Monsieur Pain (Hardcover)
Occult sciences, César Vallejo, WWII, hopeless love, and a final “Epilogue for Voices”: Monsieur Pain is a hallucinatory masterwork by the great Roberto Bolano.
Paris, 1938. The Peruvian poet César Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness, and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the Mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud, and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow Pain and bribe him not to treat Vallejo, and Pain takes the money. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, however, he does not intend to abandon his new patient, but then Pain’s access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud leaves Paris…. Another practioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Franco, using his Mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners)—as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, Monsieur Pain, haunted and guilty, wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris...
About the Author
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed “by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),” and as “the real thing and the rarest” (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.
The poet Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He has translated books by Roberto Bolano and César Aira for New Directions. He has won the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for his poetry and the Valle-Inclan Prize for his translations.
A very good read and essential for Bolaño completists.
— Craig Morgan Teicher
John Coltrane jamming with the Sex Pistols.
— John M. Richardson
Roberto Bolaño was an examplary literary rebel. To drag fiction toward
the unknown, he had to go there himself, and there invent a method with
which to represent it. Since the unknown place was reality, the results
— Sarah Kerr
Bolaño wrote with the high-voltage first-person braininess of a Saul Bellow and an extreme subversive vision of his own.
— Francisco Goldman
— Brad Hooper
Monsieur Pain, an early novella, beautifully translated by Chris Andrews, joins his other works in all their aching splendour.
— Carolina de Robertis
A heightened sense of analogy aligns careless deserters, serious moviegoers and sold-out psychics to a world of labyrinthine visions….
— Roberto Ontiveros
A real discovery and a substantial addition to the growing Bolaño library in English.
— Stephen Henighan