Archive for April 14th, 2010


Down the street yesterday evening I came across a new book titled Dublinesca (Dublinesque) by Enrique Vila-Matas, an author of whom I have read nothing. His website tells me he will be participating in a couple of events in Dublin this weekend as part of the Franco-Irish literary festival.

Of the book, he says (I translate):

If I’m talking with a friend,  I feel freer and I don’t tell him about the plot and I speak to him, for example, about a melancholic gravitas, a uniform and sublime tone like that of the last quartets of Beethoven. I speak to him about an autumnal book (Gracián spoke of an autumn of the vigorous age, in which one could glimpse the frozen horrors of Vejecia [Vejecia is a pun: vejez in Spanish means old age, and the name is one letter removed from Venecia – Venice -HG]), of a consummate style, like the one analysed by Edward Said in On Late Style: Schonberg, Rothko, Picasso, surpassing himself, defeating his young self.

Dublinesque – I tell this friend- is a sort of private stroll the length of the bridge that links the Joyce’s world of near excess with the more laconic world of Beckett and which, in the end, is the main journey of the great literature of the last decades: the one that goes from the riches of one Irishman to the deliberate penury of the other; from the era of Gutenberg to Google, from the existence of the sacred (Joyce) to the sombre era of the disappearance of God (Beckett), from the epiphanic to aphonia.

If I’m speaking to the gentleman who has sat down beside me on the train from Dublin to Barcelona and simply wants to know what my novel is about, I tell him “It’s about someone who gets bored and who wants to celebrate a funeral for the world (for his own world too) and discovers that the ceremony gives him something to do. That is, he finds his future in the apocalyptic

Here’s the video that goes with it:

Seems promising enough. I shall read it sometime before 2025, all being well.

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April 2010