How do you account for the atmosphere of dread in the first few pages of the novel (how does the author achieve these effects)?
Bolano writes the book with the use of a narrator who is unknown throughout the story. I feel that he has been very open in writing about a person who was planning a hidden yet revolutionary agenda. The sensitivities of the main character are well brought out but the atmosphere of dread comes out when the reader feels that the author has some fear in him. I have the idea that there is a lot of reading between the lines that has to be done. The way he says that Ruiz-Tagle didn’t really look like an autodidact shows how the author tries to say it in a very indirect way. He never says directly that he WAS an autodidact. But the author knows this very much. Tagle didn’t even come to class regularly. His poems were short and very different but they were not bad. He was only friendly with the girls in class, specially the Garmendia twins. Tagle was the only person who could say which twin was which from the other. But being friendly only with the girls was a little strange.
What are at least two possible reasons for Ruiz-Tagle/aka Carlos Weider attending the poetry workshop? What are some plausible, if differing, explanations?
For an autodidact (Ruiz-Tagle considered to be so) there is no necessity for anybody to come and teach him what to do. Maybe Ruiz-Tagle wanted to experience the different views shared by people thinking otherwise. Maybe he wanted to see how other students reacted to different ways of thinking. I think he must have thought of collecting people who would support him with his ideas. If anybody went drastically against them it would have been a reason for him to react against them very violently later in the story so that no different thinker will stand against him. Ruiz-Tagle would have been desperate to get to his status accepted by people who went in line with his thinking. But surprisingly he never showed to...