2666: Ali Baba’s Cave

…when Archimboldi arrived at the house his first thought was that Mr. Bubis, busy as he seemed, would have no time or him. But Mr. Bubis, after making him wait ten minutes, ushered him into his office, an office Archimboldi would never forget, because with every shelf crammed full, books and manuscripts collected on the floor in stacks and towers, some so precarious that they in turn spilled over, a chaos that was a reflection of the world, rich and magnificent despite war and injustice, a library of glorious books that Archimboldi would have given anything to read, first editions of the works of great writers with handwritten dedications to Mr. Bubis, books of degenerate art that other publishing houses were once again issuing in Germany, books published in France and England, paperbacks from New York and Boston and San Francisco, as well as American magazines with mythical names that for an impecunious young writer were a treasure trove, the ultimate display of wealth, and turned Bubis’s office into something like Ali Baba’s cave.

—Roberto Bolaño, 2666

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