Roberto Bolaño’s Monsieur Pain

  • Antoine Dechêne
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)


The study of Monsieur Pain, in this chapter, describes the labyrinthine investigation of a detective for whom words turn into hiccup sounds and mesmerism replaces the familiar ratiocination format. The hellish atmosphere and historical background (Paris after the Great War) of Bolaño’s novel also suggest that melancholia is an inherent shadow of human nature, a painful condition which is suffocating for most of Bolaño’s characters who crumble under the weight of guilt and of missed opportunities to achieve change. This chapter should offer a new way of apprehending a text often left aside by the critics of Bolaño and foster links with his more canonical work.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Dechêne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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