July 29, 2020

Enrique Vila-Matas’s publisher-hero is on a mission. Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas – review. A Dublin that is haunted by the ghosts of modern literature. Alberto Manguel. Fri 15 Jun Enrique Vila-Matas (born March 31, in Barcelona) is a Spanish novelist. He is the author In he has returned once more to the novel with Dublinesca, a book that deals with a publisher in crisis, as the author explains: ‘He was a.

Author: Mutaur Vujind
Country: Central African Republic
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Art
Published (Last): 16 March 2009
Pages: 397
PDF File Size: 17.81 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.27 Mb
ISBN: 741-3-18068-592-6
Downloads: 13756
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Meztit

T here is a kind of literary fiction that feeds on itself, like an introverted cannibal. Instead of accepting Coleridge’s dictum that a reader must voluntarily suspend disbelief, the novels of this genre proclaim that literature is an artifice, ask the reader for an opinion of the story, put on the airs of a critical dubllnesca historical essay, and bring on to the page real people who are made to perform the roles normally left to fictional characters.

In this self-reflective area of fiction, Vila-Matas has a province of his own. I have some 15 books of his on my shelves, and each one chomps off another piece of the fictional beast: We are now down to the last shreds of literature and can wonder, once the last bone has been gnawed, what Vila-Matas will write about.

Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas – review | Books | The Guardian

Fortunately, the days of famine are not yet here, and from his matxs raid into the literary jungle Vila-Matas has brought home a fine specimen of that most endangered of intellectual species, the literary publisher. In Dublinesquesuperbly translated by Rosalind Harvel and Anne McLean, Samuel Riba, a year-old Catalan alcoholic publisher and bibliophile, heeding the apocalyptic voices that trumpet the imminent end of the book in our digital dark age, decides to travel to Dublin with a group of friends and hold there, on Bloomsday, a funeral for the book.


Riba has never been to Dublin, but bila once dreamt that he was sitting outside a Dublin pub, mayas because he enriquf started to drink again. On the strength of that dream, which for him is an omen, he sets off with his companions to the city of Joyce. The list of “real people”, most of them writers, who pop up in the account of Riba’s ritual voyage is impressive: Some occupy more space than they might perhaps deserve — the presence of Paul Auster among fiction’s innovators is a little puzzling — but all together conjure up a sort of literary smorgasbord surrounding the great absence, the author of Ulysses.

Vila-Matas is not above chewing up bits of the master, from the Dublin landmarks Joyce celebrated, to the various fictional techniques in Ulyssesto choice morsels of the work itself.

Thus the mysterious man in the mackintosh who haunts Paddy Dignam’s funeral in the Hades section of Ulysses appears in Dublinesque as a ghostly incarnation of the many things that Riba has longed for in his successful publishing career, now dublimesca to an end in the twilight of his gods: And yet, the study of ruins is a worthy artistic endeavour. Beckett noted that while Joyce proceeded by constantly adding to the edifice, he himself worked by constantly subtracting, stone by stone.


Based on this assertion, Vila-Matas grants Riba something like an epiphany. He realises that “the story of the Gutenberg age and of literature in general had started to seem dblinesca a living organism that, having reached the peak of its vitality with Joyce, was now, with his direct and essential heir, Beckett, experiencing the irruption of a more extreme sense of the game than dubllnesca, but also the beginning of a steep decline in physical form, ageing, the descent to the opposite pier to that of Joyce’s splendour, a freefall towards the port of the murky waters of poverty where in recent times, and for many years now, an old whore walks in an absurd worn-out raincoat at the end of a jetty buffeted by the wind and the dublunesca.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

Loading comments… Trouble loading?