’2666′ in Pie Chart Form

Gabe Habash -- February 14th, 2013


…Guerrero, at that time of night, is more like a cemetery than an avenue, not a cemetery in 1974 or in 1968, or in 1975, but a cemetery in the year 2666, a forgotten cemetery under the eyelid of a corpse or an unborn child, bathed in the dispassionate fluids of an eye that tried so hard to forget one particular thing that it ended up forgetting everything else.

So you read 2666. You probably have questions. Such as:

1. What’s with all the dreams?

2. What exactly is Archimboldi doing in Mexico?

3. What is happening?

4. I’m tired.

The problem with asking any of those questions is you won’t find the answers in 2666, a world-eating novel where looking for an answer just leads to more questions. In his notes, Bolaño mentions a “hidden center” concealed beneath the novel’s “physical center.” And while we can’t tell you what the hidden center is of 2666, we can tell you that the hidden center of PWxyz’s 2666 pie chart is delicious and gooey, not unlike Barry Seaman’s recipe for Brussels sprouts with lemon (luckily we spared you the idea of “Brussels sprouts with lemon pie” and made this a tasty lemon meringue pie).

After you’re done savoring our 2666 pie, check out our other literary pie charts: UnderworldMadame Bovary, Crime and Punishment, The Metamorphosis, and Ulysses.


6 thoughts on “’2666′ in Pie Chart Form

  1. Juanita Rice

    I agree with three previous: thus my critique of the book–that a full third of 2666 concerns kidnapping, torture, sexual voice, and murder of women and more women and more women, and girls, and almost children., but this real and incomprehensible suffering is merely landscape in a fiction, and, maybe because it concerns ‘only’ women, is less visceral and frightening than the revenge murder of four male gang members in a Mexican prison. Because those “victims” are presented as human beings actually experiencing horror, while the women are just slabs of meat as Bolano cruises through the despicable Mexican countryside, I think the inclusion of the Ciudad Juarez disasters is a little opportunistic. Just as the Jewish Holocaust is all swept into one example of Polish ineptitude, these years worth of misogynist slaughter and sadism are trivialized. He exploits the fact of twenty years of violence against women; it seems like a delightful facet of his creativity. And this chart proves how little it registers as a major crime against humanity. It’s not th

    1. Keith Kolber

      I think that “The Part About the Murders” is anything but trivial or opportunistic. I read it as a novelist’s reaction to an abhorrent atrocity. The writing of the accumulating murders and their clinical descriptions is a tool Bolaño uses to awaken in the reader the horror he feels regarding the crimes and their mishandling. Even if he doesn’t specifically elaborate the humanity of each victim (remember that many have never been identified), he does describe the reactions of family members of some of the victims and for others describes what their lives were like (at least as I remember it). One can extrapolate from these examples that the author had empathy for these women and girls. The interposed story of Lalo Cura is used mostly to highlight the depressing reality of the inadequate police work surrounding the crimes. Indeed, the pun of that character’s name is the first tip that Bolaño is truly struggling with this painful situation rather than exploiting it. Personally, I was very moved by this section of the novel and I consider it the product of very sincere deliberations regarding how to honor these women and girls who were so awfully treated and disregarded.

  2. Paula Koneazny

    Ahem. Does “War” include war on women, femicide, etc. Otherwise, I think you missed a HUGE category where 2666 is concerned. There are a few more I might add as well. Your pie chart may be amusing, but it isn’t very helpful.

    1. Cathy Butterfield

      I agree–there’s a huge component of crime and ineffectual justice in the book. And I’d definitely expand the Dread/Unease/Foreboding portion–creepiness just glues to the reader long after the book is done.

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