Distant Star Background

Distant Star Background

Particularities of the author:

Until 1995, Bolaño was a practically unknown author. Finding himself in a precarious economic situation, he sent the manuscript of “Nazi literature in America” to various publishers, finally being accepted by Seix Barral for a modest offer, although Jorge Herralde, owner of Editorial Anagrama, had already read the manuscript and thought about publish it later. Herralde, who did not manage to tell Bolaño his intentions to publish, this decision took him by surprise and partly disappointed him, writing to the Bolaño a brief letter about his positive opinion of the work.

Bolaño got back in contact with the publisher a few days later, going to see him at his office and being able to talk for a long time. Bolaño agreed to send a new novel, which he fulfilled shortly, with the manuscript of Distant Star - which had also been rejected by other publishers, including Seix Barral - which was finally published in Anagrama a few months after “Nazi literature in America”. This book was the first of Roberto Bolaño published by Anagrama, beginning a close friendship with Jorge Herralde and a prolific working relationship. Through this work, Bolaño gave his first press conference on November 25, 1996.

Sources of inspiration:

Being the author Chilean, he saw closely the Pinochet dictatorship and the change of government, some of his friends disappeared and it was never known why, although it was speculated to be for a political persecution, the novel is a parallel of the author's life, not only in the aspect of the Chilean political situation, but we can also see this parallelism in the countries in which we see the novel take place; like him, the central character travels to Mexico and Spain. Another important aspect for the realization of the novel is the economic aspect, Bolaños begins to write novels by necessity and makes them with the purpose of helping his family.

In addition to this, another source of inspiration was Jorge Luis Borges, as stated by Bolaños himself: "To say that I am in permanent debt to the work of Borges and Cortázar is a truism"

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