|978-08112-2275-4 New Directions|
Thursday, December 17, 2015
"Because She Never Asked" by Enrique Vila-Matas (New Directions)
"Because She Never Asked" by Enrique Vila-Matas (Translated from the Spanish by Valerie Miles)
Once every little awhile, I come upon a writer who has exactly the same concerns as yours truly. In fact, I at times, feel like I wrote his books. Enrique Vila-Matas is my favorite living author. If he died, he would be my favorite dead writer. I like him because he writes about writing. Most, if not all (I haven't yet read everything by him) deals with the literary world - sometimes the by-products of writing, but also the social life of a writer. This short novella "Because She Never Asked" deals with the author's relationship with the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle. Throughout the narrative he tries to start-up a project with her, where reality springs out of literature.
A writer pretty much works in their head, and then on the writing tool of their choice. Here he has a chance to write literature and have it come to life. This, becomes a major conflict in the narrator's life and work. The beauty of this book is his commentary on the nature of writing, and how that in turn, becomes a piece of work. For me, and with my writing, I fully understand Enrique Villa-Matas' concerns and worries. The fact that the book's second character of interest is Calle is an additional plus, and a tribute to her own work, which is often obsessive, secretive, and a touch of danger. A wonderful book.