Here’s an interview with Lorin Stein, a senior editor at FSG who worked on translations of Bolaño’s works. This part caught my eye:
MB: Were there parts of the book that had to be retranslated multiple times? What parts needed the most editing?
LS: The one section where Natasha undertook heavy revisions, as I remember, was The Part About Fate. Between drafts she did research into boxing, the Black Panthers, etc. We also discussed Father Mapple’s sermon in Moby-Dick as a precursor to Barry Seaman’s motivational speech.
This sermon by Father Mapple? Barry Seaman’s speech on pages 246-256? Is Marius Newell supposed to be Jonah? Sure, I see all the aquatic metaphors and symbols in both sections, but…is that all it takes for two seemingly disparate works to be so casually linked?
Canelli, you’re a recent reader of Moby Dick. What do you think?