Dublinesque

Overview

In this novel, Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey connecting the worlds of Joyce and Beckett, and all they symbolize.One night, a renowned and now retired literary publisher has a vivid dream that takes place in Dublin, a city he’s never visited. The central scene of the dream is a funeral in the era of Ulysses. The publisher would give anything to know if an unidentified character in his dream is the great author he always wanted to meet, or the ghostly angel who abandoned him during childhood. As the days go ...
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Dublinesque

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Overview

In this novel, Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey connecting the worlds of Joyce and Beckett, and all they symbolize.One night, a renowned and now retired literary publisher has a vivid dream that takes place in Dublin, a city he’s never visited. The central scene of the dream is a funeral in the era of Ulysses. The publisher would give anything to know if an unidentified character in his dream is the great author he always wanted to meet, or the ghostly angel who abandoned him during childhood. As the days go by, he will come to understand that his vision of the end of an era was prophetic.Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey that connects the worlds of Joyce and Beckett, revealing the difficulties faced by literary authors, publishers, and good readers in a society where literature is losing influence. A robust work, Dublinesque is a masterwork of irony, humor, and erudition by one of Spain’s most celebrated living authors.
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Editorial Reviews

The Economist
“Mr. Vila-Matas shows that the reasons for (and the consequences of) not writing fiction can, in a funny way, be almost as rich and complicated as fiction itself.”
The Los Angeles Times
“Perfect. Beautiful. Wistful. There is no hint of irony in these words of praise for Bartleby & Co.”
The Irish Times
“Dublinesque is a pleasure to read...hugely entertaining.”
The Coffin Factory
“Enrique Vila-Matas is a great writer, and his new book Dublinesque is what great readers have been searching for. It is Vila-Matas' style of writing that distinguishes him as one of the best living authors today, and what makes Dublinesque a must read book.”
London Review Bookshop
“The novel is about the death of the author in more senses than one. Funerals make a kind of art out of death, and so does Dublinesque. ”
The Independent
“One of the most pleasurable and joyous novels of the year.”
The Millions
“The Spanish novelist is a master of that problematic enterprise of literature: the death-defying highwire act of telling the truth through lies, of invoking reality through fiction.”
Full Stop
“It is both shocking and gratifying for the reader. Dublinesque offers the reader layer upon layer of secrets that only she is privy to, and the effect (as it often is, when one is the sole owner of a secret) is thrilling.”
The Guardian
“Vila-Matas has brought home a fine specimen of that most endangered of intellectual species, the literary publisher.”
The New York Times Book Review
“A touching account of facing down mortality with a passion and an obsession for literature.”
Los Angeles Review of Books
“The accent of Vila-Matas's project falls on an accomplished romanticism conscious of its historicity, an artist-worship taken to maturity that concurrently absents and introduces itself into the work at every moment.”
Dublin Review of Books
Vila-Matas's wildly original novels are all investigations of whether or not originality in fiction is still possible; every nook and cranny of literary history is explored and interrogated, the margin of every great novel frantically scribbled in.— Morten Hoi Jensen
Bookforum
“[Dublinesque] is enjoyable for its madcap energy, and its ability to relish its own absurdity and make well-worn literary references feel new.”
Morten Høi Jensen - Dublin Review of Books
“Vila-Matas's wildly original novels are all investigations of whether or not originality in fiction is still possible; every nook and cranny of literary history is explored and interrogated, the margin of every great novel frantically scribbled in.”
The New York Times Book Review
…Enrique Vila-Matas…turns this slight tale into a touching account of facing down mortality with a passion and an obsession for literature…It's clear which writers have influenced Riba (and Vila-Matas). Their names pop up on every page: Joyce, Beckett and Unamuno, of course, but also Borges, Fernando Pessoa, Julien Gracq, W. G. Sebald, Juan Carlos Onetti, José Emilio Pacheco, Samuel Johnson, Heinrich von Kleist, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marguerite Duras, Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Michel Houellebecq, Robert Walser. And there are more. But the reader is not tempted to pick up their books instead to chase references. Riba is plaintive, intelligent and unpredictable enough to demand our full attention, and his preoccupation with literature is not a gimmick or distraction; it is the whole story.
—Rachel Nolan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811219617
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/27/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 663,964
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His novels have been translated into eleven languages and honored by many prestigious literary awards including the Prix Médicis Etranger. Author of Bartleby & Co., Montano’s Malady, and Never Any End to Paris, he has received Europe’s most prestigious awards and been translated into twenty-seven languages.

Rosalind Harvey is translator in residence at London's Free Word Centre. Her translation of Juan Villalobo's Down the Rabbit Hole was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Anne McLean has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize twice, as well as the Premio Valle Inclán. She has translated the works of Javier Cercas, Julio Cortázar, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ignacio Padilla, and Evelio Rosero.

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