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Reading Groups

Roberto Bolaño's 2666: An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom with Samuel Rutter

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Five Sessions Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT March 15 to June 7, 2023

Online via Zoom

The ‘With Book’ option includes a copy of 2666 at a 10% discount from our Bookstore. Please allow 2 weeks for shipped books to arrive.

Meeting Dates:
3/15, 4/5, 4/26, 5/17, 6/7
Online via Zoom

Originally published in Spanish, shortly after the author’s death in 2003, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is considered one of the greatest novels of the 21st century, in any language. Its sprawling plot takes in a mysterious German author and a gang of literary critics who set out to find him, the sinister and mostly unsolved femicides in the fictional border city of Santa Teresa (largely based on Ciudad Juárez) along with fascinating explorations of the nature of horror, violence and art in the 20th century.

In this reading group, we will approach 2666 as a multi-faceted, expansive novel that is many things at once: border narrative, history of violence, and meditation on the art and calling of literature. In addition to these thematic concerns, we will dissect the novel aesthetically, examining how each part employs different styles and structures.

The novel is divided into five sections, and we will read one section per week. (Please read each Part before the corresponding week’s meeting).

There will be no compulsory secondary reading or outside preparation beyond the novel itself.

  • Session I: The Part About the Critics (160pp)
  • Session II: The Part About Amalfitano (70pp)
  • Session III: The Part About Fate (120pp)
  • Session IV: The Part About the Crimes (280pp)
  • Session V: The Part About Archimboldi (230pp)

Led by

  • Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia. His work can be found in Harper’s, the White Review, the Paris Review, and ARTNews, and he is a regular contributor to T magazine. Until very recently, he was the deputy editor of Astra magazine.