What avail all your scholarly accomplishments and learning, compared with wisdom and manhood? To omit his other behavior, see whata work this comparatively unread and unlettered man wrote within six weeks. Where is our professor of belles-lettres, or of logic and rhetoric, who can write so well?
No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon every chapter, line and tenet?
A chorus of tough southern belles whispered, You need a loyal husband around here. Loyal to you, loyal to your family, loyal to your land. I added, Good in bed, smart, and romantic. Politically, socially, and religiously compatible. And he had to want children.
Nazi Literature in the Americas, a wicked invented encyclopedia of imaginary fascist writers and literary tastemakers, is Bolaño playing with sharp, twisting knives. As if he were Borges's wisecracking, sardonic son, Bolaño has meticulously created a tightly woven network of far-right litterateurs and purveyors of belles lettres for whom Hitler was beauty, truth, and the great lost hope.
Learning has been as great a Loser by being shut up in Colleges and Cells, and secluded from the World and good Company. By that Means, every Thing of what we call Belles Lettres became totally barbarous, being cultivated by Men without any Taste of Life or Manners, and without that Liberty and Facility of Thought and Expression, which can only be acquir'd by Conversation.
Only through religion can logic develop into philosophy, only from this source stems that which makes philosophy more than science. And without religion we will have only novels, or the triviality today called belles lettres instead of an eternally rich and infinite poetry.