Monsieur Pain (Paperback)
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A Bolano classic. The Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow him and bribe him not to treat Vallejo. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, Pain does not intend to abandon his new patient, but his access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud mysteriously leaves Paris. Another practitioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Generalissimo Franco, using his mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners) as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, a haunted Monsieur Pain wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris. . . .
About the Author
Roberto Bolano was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, "The Savage Detectives", received the Herralde Prize and the Romulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. Roberto Bolano died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty.
The poet Chris Andrews has translated many books by Roberto Bolano and Cesar Aira for New Directions.