Bolaño’s 300 Years of Laziness

ELISEO ÁLVAREZ: Did your parents influence your love of literature, books?

ROBERTO BOLAÑO: No. In terms of genealogy, the truth is I come from two families: one that dragged with it 500 years of constant and rigorous illiteracy and the other, maternal, that dragged with it 300 years of laziness, just as constant and as rigorous. In that sense I’m the black sheep of the family. I suppose that they would have preferred any other thing. The truth is I’m fifty years old and knowing what I know now I wouldn’t want my child to be a writer either. That isn’t to say I would want him to continue with 500 more years of illiteracy, but why not 300 more years of laziness? It’s quite hard to be a writer, although, let’s not exaggerate.

A wry allusion to Marquez? I’d like to think so.

From Roberto Bolaño : the last interview & other conversations


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