Contemporary Death: The Solitude Of Abandonment In «O Retorno» by Roberto Bolaño

Emanoel Cesar Pires de Assis


Let us imagine ourselves, instead of Oedipus, at the entrance to Thebes, before the Sphinx. So, instead of the well-known riddle, she stares at us coldly and asks the voracious question: «What is life?». Indeed, in a brief reflection, we will conclude that even the wisest men known to mankind would probably be swallowed up. Next to the first question, no less uncomfortable and hungry, there is another: «Is there life after death?». Finding resolutions to these questions and to others that reverberate from them is perhaps the most exciting task to which we, beings with consciousness, have dedicated ourselves. The neo-fantastic tale O retorno, by the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño, presents us, through a spectrum-narrator, the experiences of a being who experienced, as Agamben (2012) says, «the dark of his time». The main objective of this article is to submit the mentioned narrative to an interpretative work about a portion of this «dark» that translates into the condition of abandonment that permeates the lives of the characters, and the state of loneliness-death in which they find themselves, thus opening ways for thinking about the being-in-the-world of contemporary man.


neofantástico, contemporaneidade, Morte, solidão

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