Plot summary[ edit ] The book is narrated from a distance by Arturo B. The narrator first encounters Ruiz-Tagle in a college poetry workshop led by Juan Stein, where Ruiz-Tagle presents himself as a well-dressed, financially secure, self-taught writer with an unnaturally cool, distant, and calculated demeanor — in sharp contrast to the economically poor, messy, leftist, activist tendencies of the narrator and most other poetry fans then enrolled at the University of Concepcion. Ruiz-Tagle also shows a surprising detachment from his own work, giving measured, intelligence criticism and receiving it without flinching. Ruiz-Tagle also shows a disquieting lack of interest in having more than superficial social relationships with most of his fellow aspiring poets. The next sighting comes as the narrator stands in a prison camp for political undesirables, gazing up at a World War II Messerschmitt skywriting over the Andes. The aviator is none other than Ruiz-Tagle, now serving in the Chilean air force under his actual name, Carlos Wieder, and writing nationalist slogans in the sky.
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The narrator is an year-old young man. In events of , the narrator is imprisoned in the gymnasium and he sees a plane flown by Carlos Wieder, who writes aerial poetry. The literary critic Ibacache is also mentioned as someone who praises his skills vehemently. When the narrator is freed, Bibiano goes to visit him to give him news.
They have been expelled from the university, and several classmates, most of which in the poetry workshops they attended, have gone missing.
Marta Posadas, or Martita, who became a close friend of Ruiz-Tagle, realizes after he moves away and disappears, that he is Carlos Weider, they are the same person.
Juan Stein, director of the poetry workshop, and friend of Bibiano and the narrator, goes missing after the events. Bibiano keeps track of his whereabouts around the world here and there.
He sporadically appears and then disappears just as quickly. When he is killed in a riot, Bibiano tries to find his family but discovers that his mother passed away three years prior and Juan Stein, the real one, actually died a year before Bibiano went looking for him. His friend, a woman who lived in late Mrs. Diego Soto, friend, and rival of Juan Stein the impostor , on the other hand, disappears in He goes in exile in Europe and marries a French woman and becomes the father of two children, However, he is invited to a poetry event away from home and after the event, at the train station, he is stabbed for trying to help a homeless woman from being hit by three Neo-Nazi youths.
After these stories, he turns to C. Weider in as an air force pilot, continues to write aerial poems and a few years later he is arrested at a party. Years after the death of Ibacache, Weider is mentioned in a posthumous work. His track is lost in Germany, South Africa, and Italy. Judgments are made that do not prosper and the case is forgotten.
Abel Romero , a famous policeman, enters the scene. Twenty years have passed and he finds our protagonist in Barcelona and proposes to find Weider. He pays him good money for him to find his trail. Here, six of the company are killed. He finds the place where he goes every afternoon, close to his apartment in Lloret province.
The protagonist recognizes him, feels fear, relief and when spotting Weider, the protagonist confirms his identity to Romero, who addresses his home. Back in Barcelona, Romero gives the protagonist the sum of three hundred thousand pesetas.
And then Romero retires to Paris. Update this section!
Distant Star – Roberto Bolaño
Turn up any stone in Chile, the poet Pablo Neruda used to say, and five poets will crawl out. The fictional narrator of Distant Star, with little surprise is one of them: a young Chilean to the far south of the country caught up in turbulent times, enamoured of poetry, political debate, and the two stunningly beautiful Garmendia sisters. Unfortunately for him - and very soon, for them as well as others, the sisters only have eyes for another of the aspiring poets in their poetry workshop, the aloof and mysterious figure of Alberto Ruiz-Tagle Carlos Wieder , a vaguely aristocratic young man who does not share the others political beliefs, freedoms, or bohemian lifestyles whilst also hiding a menacing secret. In the vertiginous first chapter of Distant Star, we descend rapidly from the student world, of late nights, literature, and hopeless poetic passions, to the ghastly realities of military repression, murders, disappearances, and an all together uncertainty on what the future holds.
Distant Star Quotes
By his own account, he was skinny, nearsighted, and bookish: an unpromising child. He was dyslexic and was often bullied at school, where he felt like an outsider. He came from a lower-middle-class family,  and while his mother was a fan of best-sellers they were not an intellectual family. The only interesting article in it was about a house that had once belonged to Dylan Thomas I got out of that hole thanks to a pair of detectives who had been at high school with me. He was notorious in Chile for his fierce attacks on Isabel Allende and other members of the literary establishment. He affectionately parodied aspects of the movement in The Savage Detectives.
The narrator of Distant Star is one of them: a young Chilean in the far south of the country, enamoured of poetry, political debate, and the two Garmendia sisters. In the vertiginous first chapter of Distant Star, we descend rapidly from the student world of literature and hopeless poetic passions to the ghastly realities of military repression and disappearances. From that moment on, the narrator, like so many of his fellow countrymen, is a haunted man. He is picked up as a "terror ist suspect", and spends several months in a concentration camp. He then begins a wandering life in Europe that is forever defined by this historical moment. As he wanders, he hears more of Ruiz-Tagle, who now calls himself Carlos Wieder and has re-invented himself as an officer in the Chilean airforce.