The only novel that doesn’t embarrass me


On the back of my copy of Robert Bolaño’s novel Antwerp is the following quotation from the man himself, “The only novel that doesn’t embarrass me is Antwerp.” I assume he was speaking only of the novels he wrote, but maybe not. Maybe he meant all the novels, every single one. There is nothing sexier than a book you haven’t read yet. Especially if it has a nice cover and nice fonts. Especially if it is by someone with an aura. The volumes of Kierkegaard’s writings put out by Princeton University Press used to drive me crazy. The block of color on top and the pure black underneath. The line drawing of Kierkegaard’s profile in an oval in the middle of the book.

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