Through That Which is Seen

Illustration by René Gruau, 1961


Patti Smith in a Dior gown. Photographs by Steven Sebring, circa 1995-6


This manuscript was reportedly found in 2009 among papers Roberto Bolaño left behind after his death.


The word “diorama” originated in 1823 as a type of picture-viewing device, from the French in 1822. The word literally means “through that which is seen”, from the Greek di- “through” + orama “that which is seen, a sight”. The diorama was invented by Louis Daguerre and Charles Marie Bouton, first exhibited in London September 29, 1823. The meaning “small-scale replica of a scene, etc.” is from 1902


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