Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages


Araceli Tinajero


Jose del Valle

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Latin American Studies


2666, Estrella distante, infrarealismo, Los detectives salvajes, Roberto Bolano


This dissertation aims at attaining a general understanding of the aesthetics and philosophy on the practice of writing of Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003), the Chilean poet and writer, through interpretive devices developed by him and by extrinsic means. Bolaño claimed that his works stemmed from a pre-extant poetic universe, so that each work is interrelated thematically with the rest of the oeuvre and individually representative of the totality.

Throughout the works analyzed, our two primary questions--the aesthetical and ethical--intercept while we examine his understanding of the role of the writer and literature itself. Estrella distante (1996), Los detectives salvajes (1998) and 2666 (2004) present a world of conflict where literature acts as both a means of resistance and sensual stimulus, as well as control and intellectual numbing: the canon, official literature, publishing businesses, &c. Given the differences in form and content between these pieces, each one has required a unique theoretical approach. Estrella distante has been analyzed against hitlerian aesthetics and the theory of the grotesque developed by Mikhail Bakhtin. Los detectives salvajes was treated as the central self-critique leveled by Bolaño on vanguardist movements in general but most importantly his own infrarealismo, where a complex combination of praise and criticism comes through. 2666 has been interpreted through the theory of transmodernity developed by Rosa María Rodriguez Magda, and various approaches to cultural and economic globalization.

All pieces have been analyzed and contrasted in the last chapter through their metafictional content, bringing to light the ways in which this philosophical totality makes works converge and diverge in form, while preserving the principal concerns of the writer: for the pieces as products and for literature as a whole.