The book 2666 by Roberto Bolaño was reviewed in the New York Times. I was very touched by one of the parts of this book, the one about the violence in Ciudad Juarez, which was also described in the NYT review:
If the word “unflinching” didn’t exist I’d invent it to describe these nearly 300 pages, yet Bolaño never completely abandons those reserves of lyricism and irony that make the sequence as transporting as it is grueling. The nearest comparison may be to Haruki Murakami’s shattering fugue on Japanese military atrocities in Mongolia, which sounds the moral depths in “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” Bolaño’s method, like Murakami’s, encapsulates and disgorges dream and fantasy, at no cost to the penetration of his realism.
It is interesting that he compares to Murakami, because I also got the same feeling from both books. A ghastly horrible feeling of unneeded violence. Dori and I saw War Dance a movie about a dance competition in Northern Uganda. After learning about the atrocities against the Acholi people by The Lord’s Resistance Army. This “army” fights for religious reasons and has been terrorizing these people for 20 years. What does the Ciudad Juarez of Bolaño, Manchuria as described by Murakami and Uganda as depicted in the War Dance documentary have in common? To me, the answer is the absurdity of violence for the sake of it.
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