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Domene conversa con Vila-Matas. He is the author of a singular body of literary work, begun with two nouvelles — Mujer en el espejo contemplando el paisaje and Katas asesina ilustrada — both profoundly indebted to Kafkian influence. His later work synthesizes a variety of avant-garde techniques, and also provides for careful reflection upon the irony and the humor of this complex world.

With his latest installment, Dublinescathe reader attends the most festive funeral of the Gutenberg era. The broad passageway that joins fiction and veetical is cool and well-ventilated, and the air within blows about with the same natural ease with which I mix biography and invention. The reason I ask is that recently there has been a lot of talk about the poet Gil de Biedma who, as you know, imbued a great deal of his work with concrete narrative elements taken from his own life.

To what extent are you conscious of this willful escape from reality? This is apparent, I vetrical, in Dublinesca.

Enrique Vila-Matas: El viaje vertical [The Vertical Voyage]

I think realism took on the task of writing about the grayness of life, enriwue vida gris, and it tried to carry out this task in some sort of extraordinary way. What Flaubert ended up saying was that a subject could be ordinary, lowly, degrading; but art would redeem it all. The era of Gutenberg is ending. Are we faced with a new conception of the apocalyptic, literarily speaking? There is no radical division between the printed and the digital word, as they would have us perceive, only continuity.


Pedro M. Domene: The Last Writer

Perhaps this is why we must celebrate a festive funeral for the Gutenberg era, as you maintain in Dublinesca? The apocalyptic enirque be found in all civilizations, and Riba, my character, understands that the end of the world can only be dealt with at this point by means of parody. His funeral for the Gutenberg era is a party.

After all, as I have said, there is no radical division between the print and digital worlds, only continuity. Can books, in general, resist the onslaught of modern times? What is truly important is that language and thought are not lost. Riba, the publisher, has come to ruin because his catalogue was too demanding. Take a look at the catalogue. I had great fun making it up; for a few days I became a publisher.

I bring together the conventional with the revolutionary, and this is the source of the possible originality of my proposal.

In this volume, you persist in rendering homage to your favorite writers with extraordinary tributes, as you have done for years. The atmosphere in this book is that of the Irish novels.

The more rainy passages of Dublinesca touch upon it. Boredom, rain, sheer curtains closed up to the outside world. Familiar ghosts from Aribau Street. Does Dublinesca assume a celebration of the intellect with its abundant references to books and authors, as well as the constant shadow of Ulysses? A celebration of the intellect? Are you concealing a story within an essay in order to compose your own intellectual autobiography?

I try to do a great deal, and sometimes I forget about some of the things that I attempt. Enriqeu respect to time, does it really pass as fast as it says in Dublinesca? Even though this novel may not presume to be an act of vindication, is there a kind of sorrow particular to the literary publisher? This sorrow does exist; at least it does since I named it in the book.

Fiaje to your answer, who will foresee the end of literature first, a publisher or a writer? I am sure that one day there will come a writer who will be mxtas last. There will be a last writer; there has to be. The last publisher will come before the last writer.


The writer will be alone in the world, ultimately and without a doubt, alone. What must one do to join this Order? It is a republican order; at the moment it has yet to admit women we are unjustly labeled as sexist. There are six knights, and on each Bloomsday we name one more, admitted so long as he is accepted by a minimum of five of the six members. The candidate is nominated by someone within the Order, by email. We study the proposal and accept or disapprove the nomination. It is an indispensable requirement that the candidate adore Joyce.

Vertifal gentlemen of the order are almost all writers: There is also a publisher, Malcom Otero Barral. E year, Andreu Jaume will be joining us.

I walked into an Irish pub the other vioa, and the barman was French, and when he saw the red insignia he became excited, believing he found himself in the company of a distinguished fellow countryman. He wanted to know what heroism had earned me such a distinction, and when I told him I was a writer from Barcelona, his face went blank, and he became visibly disappointed.

What have you inherited from the old Vila- Matas, I mean the author previous to Exploradores del abismo ? I am his executor. I manage his work. I maintain the friendships that he had. I manage his life sensibly. What might Vila-Matas really make the most of in this life? What do I like? To begin with, life. As a parting question, at this moment in your literary life, what could it mean for you to be able somehow to fictionalize the self in convincing literary terms?

Who will travel with you on the next Bloomsday? I like to climb the tower, because from there I can see the Irish Sea. That sea lifts my spirits.

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