I just listened to Daniel Alarcon read Roberto Bolano’s short story “Gomez Palacio” on the New Yorker’s Fiction podcast. The host, Deborah Treisman, asked Alarcon if he was aware of Bolano’s work before it was translated into English. Alarcon responded, “I’d heard of him. He was one of those writers that was sort of starting to become very, very well known. … Two years later he was one of those writers that every university student had a copy of his book under their arm. …”
I can only hope that my work someday becomes required reading for students, even if only because they look cool with my name — with what it symbolizes — under their arms. I hope my words relax them, my imagination excites them, my ideas inspire them.
I don’t mind becoming part of civilization’s background noise. I don’t mind being obscure or forgotten, eclipsed or rejected. Someone somewhere at some time will find what I write fascinating, exciting or comforting. For that one person, at least, as well for myself do I write the chapters of these novels, the lines of these short stories, and the endless outlines cleverly tying it all together to the same universe. In 50 or 100 years, the work will live on, and so will I, like the Voyager spacecraft hurtling through the great expanse of incomprehensible time and empty space.
“Greetings, mankind. Meet Fernando Ortiz Jr., a writer who once loved, laughed and lived. Read what you hold in your hands. It’s beautiful and timeless. It’s wise and strange. It’s about your loves, your laughter and your lives. Enjoy it, and remember him with a smile.”
My soundtrack for today included:
1. SAMBA PA TI Santana
2. YOUNG LUST Pink Floyd
3. FAREWELL RIDE Beck (once used in a powerful teaser for the last season of “The Shield”)
4. DIE ANOTHER DAY Madonna
5. I WALK ON GILDED SPLINTERS Paul Weller
6. 6 UNDERGROUND Sneaker Pimps
7. THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE Thievery Corporation
8. EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING Lauryn Hill
9. PARALLEL LINES Junior Boys
10. THRU AND THRU The Rolling Stones