No I don’t hate Christmas. Usually I end up hating Christmas.

My wife, watching a TV show on her laptop next to me, suddenly gasped and and shouted “oh shit”. At that moment I was reading this sentence from Roberto Bolaño: ‘At the end of the year they both traveled to Great Falls and spent Christmas with Anne’s parents.’ A timely gasp! Bolaño, like Sebald, makes the distinction between fiction and nonfiction seem completely irrelevant. Everything in their stories could be true or not and it would make no difference.

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