Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2013

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Leila Gomez

Abstract

In 1973, the young Roberto Bolaño enthusiastically travelled from Mexico to Chile with the dream of participating in the up and coming socialist government of Salvador Allende, but arrived only to find disillusionment. The military coup d’état of Augusto Pinochet occurred later that year, and Bolaño, one of Pinochet’s many repressed political opponents, was exiled to Mexico and then Spain after a short imprisonment in Chile. Due to these events, exile is an everpresent theme in the literature of Bolaño, and its portrayal varies according to the literary genre. In Llamadas telefónicas, Bolaño uses fictional short stories to present the sentimental aspect of exile, whereas in his essays in Entre paréntesis, he presents a more analytical perspective of what exile means to him. This thesis attempts to reconcile the differences between these two depictions as well as explain where Bolaño finds his sense of place in spite of his experience as an exile.

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