Postmodernism of Resistance in Roberto Bolaño’s Fiction and Poetry

By J. Agustín Pastén B.



Postmodernism of Resistance in Roberto Bolaño’s Fiction and Poetry examines the ways in which Bolaño employs a type of literary aesthetics that subverts traits traditionally associated with postmodernism. Pastén B. coins these aesthetics “postmodernism of resistance” and argues that this resistance stands in direct opposition to critical discourses that construe the presence of hopeless characters and marginal settings in Bolaño’s works as signs of the writer’s disillusionment with the political as a consequence of the defeat of the Left in Latin America. Rather, he contends, Bolaño creates a fictional world comprised of characters and situations that paradoxically refuse to accept defeat—even while displaying the scars of terrible historical events. In this work Pastén B. challenges some critical assumptions about Bolaño’s fiction and poetry that led to decontextualized interpretations of his work and offers a singularly comprehensive investigation that synthesizes multiple perspectives of a complicated author into one text.

Contributor Bios
J. Agustín Pastén B. is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Octavio Paz: crítico practicante en busca de una poética.