By Enrique Vila-Matas, Jonathan Dunne
The narrator of Montano’s Malady is a author named Jose who's so captivated with literature that he unearths it very unlikely to tell apart among genuine lifestyles and fictional truth. half picaresque novel, half intimate diary, half memoir and philosophical musings, Enrique Vila-Matas has created a labyrinth during which writers as a variety of as Cervantes, Sterne, Kafka, Musil, Bolano, Coetzee, and Sebald go ceaselessly fantastic paths. attempting to piece jointly his lifetime of loss and ache, Jose leads the reader on an unsettling trip from ecu towns comparable to Nantes, Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague and Budapest to the Azores and the Chilean port of Valparaiso. Exquisitely witty and erudite, it confirms the opinion of Bernardo Axtaga that Vila-Matas is "the most crucial residing Spanish writer."
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The narrator of Montano’s Malady is a author named Jose who's so captivated with literature that he reveals it most unlikely to tell apart among genuine lifestyles and fictional fact. half picaresque novel, half intimate diary, half memoir and philosophical musings, Enrique Vila-Matas has created a labyrinth within which writers as quite a few as Cervantes, Sterne, Kafka, Musil, Bolano, Coetzee, and Sebald pass eternally brilliant paths.
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Their quibbles and pontifications would not deflect him from his chosen path. Rather, his credo accorded with Stendhal’s, cited in the McCahon study: “real superiority … admits no eccentricity” (Bail, “I Am” 271)—an adage that his novels, from the outset with Homesickness, insistently embodied. 36 The Experimental Fiction of Murray Bail Endnotes 1. Bail, personal communication with the author, Monash University, September 1990. 2. In the first edition this character’s name was spelt Heubler, but in all subsequent reprintings it has been changed to Huebler, the spelling I use here.
Two decades later, at another apparent turning point in his career, the writer focused on a different artist’s life story. For the first time Bail’s fiction, Eucalyptus (2001), was built around a romance storyline and offered a more character-centred narration, leading to the claim that “the homemade modernist” had at last displayed more benign feelings. (Craven, “Murray Bail” 75). Was a new Murray Bail emerging? As if in answer, he published the intriguingly entitled “I Am” (2003), an elevenpage essay on the New Zealander painter Colin McCahon, drawing on a projected monograph that had “run aground on the dangerous rocks of New Zealand parochialism” (Tillers 102).
Blake’s composition is profoundly antinomian, reading black where the majority see only white and embracing, through the voice of the devil, antithetical codes that privilege energy over constraint, imagination over reason, and infinite over finite potential—an evaluation dear to the Australian writer. ” The keynotes of these twenty-three “portraits” are reversal of expectations and a privileging of diverse forms (rather than a single one) of presentation and narration. For instance, “1. At least one person who always has to have the last word” turns out to be a character who, to overcome fear of his own mortality, is determined to contribute the last entry to the Oxford English Dictionary.