Skip to content

Literature Professor Releases Book on Acclaimed Chilean Author

March 13, 2015

Ignacio López-Calvo, professor of Latin American literature in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, has edited a book that was published by Palgrave MacMillan this month.

Roberto Bolaño, A Less Distant Star: Critical Essays,” is the first English-language volume of essays on the most influential Latin American author of his generation. The book uses 10 essays to examine the collective works of the Chilean novelist, poet and essayist, with a special emphasis on his masterpieces: “2666,” “The Savage Detectives,” “By Night in Chile” and “Distant Star.”

Ignacio López-CalvoThe essays address many topics related to Bolaño’s work, including Jorge Luis Borges' influence, the role of repetition, social memory, allegory, neoliberalism, post-magical realism, and the relationship between violence/dictatorship and literature/art.

This book covers the need for a study that goes beyond the rather impressionistic journalistic writing that, until now, constitutes the core of the written English-language reception of Bolaño,” López-Calvo said.

The professor’s latest book on a Chilean expatriate author connects with the topic of his first one, “Written in Exile: Chilean Fiction from 1973-Present” (Routledge, 2001), which analyzed the impact of dictatorship and exile, emphasizing how works deconstruct power, provide a self-referential study of writing itself, or acknowledge the impossibility of describing such tragic events.

A member of UC Merced’s founding faculty, López-Calvo has been instrumental in building the campus’s reputation for Latin-American literary research. He’s published seven books and has edited six volumes. He is also the co-founder and co-executive director of the open-access academic journal “Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World,” and editorial board member of several academic journals.