I’m a big fan of Vila-Matas—as can probably be deduced from the reviews of his books that we just posted—and am thrilled to have the chance to see him read with Paul Auster next Thursday at the Cervantes Institute in New York.
The event is free and open to the public, so anyone interested in great, fun literature should definitely check this out.
The Cervantes Institute is at 211-215 East 49th St., and the event starts at 7pm.
And I can’t recommend Vila-Matas enough. He’s one of those rare authors who is incredibly literary and erudite, without being the least bit boring. His books are incredibly funny and informative, and the narrators are very memorable, relating their anger and isolation is a way that’s warm, funny, and very compelling.
The closest comparison I can think of in terms of style is Marcel Benabou, whose Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books is another of the most inventive novels of the past twenty years.
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .