El Pais's Book of the Week
Ed Note: Melissa started this series on El Pais‘s book of the week as a way of providing a perspective on what books are currently being featured in other countries. Pretty interesting that the first week features Enrique Vila-Matas—one of my favorite contemporary Spanish authors. -CWP
Each week, El País features “el libro de la semana,” or the “book of the week.” This week, Enrique Vila-Matas writes about his interest in Brendan Behan, an Irish author who died at age 41 in 1964. Although Vila-Matas has long fostered a curiosity for the self-described “alcohólico con problemas de escritura,” or “alcoholic with writing problems,” he only recently picked up one of his books. Vila-Matas writes that Mi Nueva York—originally published under the title Brendan Behan’s New York—is at the same time Joycean and elegaic, as it celebrates the city’s various locations, sensations, and population. Vila-Matas writes:
Ingenioso monólogo, el libro de Brendan Behan es un soliloquio tan emotivo como humorístico sobre la ciudad de Nueva York, a la que el autor consideraba el lugar más fascinante del mundo. Nada podía compararse a esa eléctrica ciudad, el centro del universo.
An ingenious monologue, Brendan Behan’s novel is a soliloquy as emotive as it is humorous about the city of New York, which the author considered the most fascinating place in the world. Nothing could compare to this electric city, the center of the universe.
The complete original article is available here
And in case you’re wondering, it appears that Brendan Behan’s New York is currently out of print.