Bolaño Versus Business Strategy

Robin Holt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This essay puts to work the idea that Bolaño’s novels are interventions into a world organized utterly by business strategy and its handmaiden, dictatorship. As interventions these novels bear witness to our complicity with the prevailing distributions of what can be said and felt in this world. Who wants power? Who writes strategy? Who writes on strategy? In revealing our complicity, Bolaño’s writing contributes toward the creation of a public space, one characterized by opening up possibilities for different ways of seeing and feeling. Such a public space is an irritant to business strategy, and the space suffers accordingly. It suffers because business strategy attempts to close down the provocative and speculative use of language made by writers like Bolaño. The closing down is achieved when business strategy puts language into useful service, as it puts all things to use. If writers can be made to write in the service of specific and hence private interests, the public space can be managed, and so cease to be a public space. The writer’s job is to resist the encouragement to write in thrall to a set of interests, and to incur the guilt when this resistance fails ….

… Otherwise it is business strategy all the way through.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganization 2666 : Literary Troubling, Undoing and Refusal
EditorsChristian De Cock, Damian O’Doherty, Sine N. Just, Christian Huber
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer VS
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9783658296490
ISBN (Electronic)9783658296506
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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