Repeating Translation, Left and Right (and Left Again)

Roberto Bolaño’s Between Parentheses and Distant Star

G a v i n A r n a l l

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

 

LIKE ALL MEN, LIKE ALL LIVING THINGS ON EARTH, BORGES I S

inexhaustible [inagotable]” (Bolaño 2011, 187/2008a, 174). This is how Roberto

Bolaño opens a brief text from Between Parentheses that recounts, rewrites,

and repeats Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The Rose of Paracelsus.” Bolaño

will go on to inform the reader that the version of the story that he will

replicate is already a repetition, that the story included in his copy of Shakespeare’s

Memory (Borges 1982) had been previously published elsewhere.1 This

is an important detail insofar as the miraculous repetition of something with

no clear beginning or end is at the heart of the story itself.

 

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