Honestly, I dislike topics like “the greatest Chilean of all time", I remember a tv show about that topic. And also i remember a Nicanor Parra's poem:
"Los cuatro grandes poetas de Chile/
Alonso de Ercilla y Rubén Darío"
And it's funny because the strength of the poem is on the nationality of Ercilla and Darío, Spanish and Nicaraguan respectively. I'm not sure about who could be the greatest Chilean of all time, but I admire the work and life of Roberto Bolaño. And isn’t a coincidence that I write about that Parra’s poem, because Bolaño work with that poem talking about exile, literature, nationality and how a country fight to appropriate of a writer, poet or anything else.
Bolaño lived, almost, all his life in México or Spain, or simply out of Chile, but his work made possible the “novel” in Chile, because Chile is a poet’s country, but the novel here is a weak topic. He wrote about adolescence and exile, mainly set in México because he live his teen years there, but the teaching in his books, named a different exile first, because exile is leave a country, but also, leave a city, leave your house and most important leave your youth, burn the poems and start to write novels, there is and exile there. And in other hand the adolescence happens everywhere, because also the nationality is not a country for a writer, is his memories, and these are better hide.