The Death of Carlos Fuentes


In light of the now late author’s demise on May 15, I thought it necessary to look at some of his better works.

A Mexican author, Fuentes imbued Mexican identity into his works, though I find his work more about time and love and the disturbed relationship between the two. My favourites of his are The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) and Aura (1965).

Artemio Cruz parallels nicely with Roberto Bolano’s By Night in Chile (2000), mirroring the death bed confessional nicely and the state of delirium and distorted memory, though it is Aura that I loved that charts the sexual obsession with the youthful and beautiful that shares, again, the kind of surrealism of Bolano’s work. Burnt Water (1986) is also a collection of stories that is truly a great read.

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3 responses to “The Death of Carlos Fuentes

  1. “By Night in Chile” is on my short list but I don’t own a copy yet. Loved “2666” but the last title of Bolano that I read, “Nazi Literature in the Americas”, left me cold, though I greatly admired the concept, just not the execution and style. He was a hypergraphic writer and hypergraphs (speaking as one myself) can be very hit-and-miss. The late Ray Bradbury recommended writing in quantity under the rule that over time, at least one story will be a damn good one.

    • I love the surrealism in Bolano’s work, though it can get tiring, as with “Distant Star”, which was quite suffocating. I recently read his ‘The Redhead”, an excerpt from “Antwerp” in an issue of Granta. I found this quite different to most of his other works, much more candid and realistic. “2666” is perhaps his greatest though I’m finally reading “The Savage Detectives” which is quite similar and a good contender. Both are such enigmatic works.

  2. There is supposedly an intertextual relationship between “Detectives” and “2666” — I think it’s a particular character, can’t recall at the moment.

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