Bolaño's Masterpiece

If one is to be judged by the company he keeps, then what does one make of this clique? Jorge Luis Borges, David Foster Wallace, Don Delillo, Denis Johnson, Philip K. Dick, and David Lynch. Jonathan Lethem compares the late Chilean poet Robert Bolaño to all of these writers (and filmmaker) in his review of Bolaño's new 900-page novel, 2666. The five-part novel is "not only a supreme capstone to his own vaulting ambition," Lethem writes, "but a landmark in what's possible for the novel as a form in our increasingly, and terrifyingly, post-national world." Each section's plot is different, so it's not exactly possible to summarize it. Of the novel's final section, Lethem writes, "If the word 'unflinching' didn't exist I'd invent it to describe these nearly 300 pages."