Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Bartleby & Co." by Enrique Vila-Matas

At last! A novel about novelists that don't write. In fact they master the notion of "no." Enrique Vila-Matas is at the moment, one of my favorite living authors, who consistently questions the nature of literature and why one writes 'literature.' It is probably the ultimate book on writing and its (non)writers. 
Although its a work of fiction, it is really a hardcore Literary criticism on a series of writers who either like Melville's great character Bartleby, just refuse to participate in the world of writing and therefore their lifestyle and the work that they did leave on this planet, is .....writing. All the subjects one thinks of who we may think is in this category Duchamp, Kafka, Robert Musil, and especially Robert Walser are investigated in short poetic chapters. Its a hard book to put down, and Vila-Matas has a real understanding why these (non)writers click into our conscience. Superb.
Post a Comment