In this novel, Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey connecting the worlds of Joyce and Beckett, and all they symbolize.
One night, a renowned and now retired literary publisher has a vivid dream that takes place in Dublin, a city he’s never visited. The central scene of the dream is a funeral in the era of Ulysses. The publisher would give anything to know if an unidentified character in his dream is the great author he always wanted to meet, or the ghostly angel who abandoned him during childhood. As the days go by, he will come to understand that his vision of the end of an era was prophetic.
Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey that connects the worlds of Joyce and Beckett, revealing the difficulties faced by literary authors, publishers, and good readers in a society where literature is losing influence. A robust work, Dublinesque is a masterwork of irony, humor, and erudition by one of Spain’s most celebrated living authors.
About the Author
ENRIQUE VILA-MATAS was born in Barcelona. He has received countless prizes and written numerous award-winning novels, including Bartleby & Co., Montano’s Malady, Never Any End to Paris, and Dublinesque.
Rosalind Harvey is translator in residence at London's Free Word Centre. Her translation of Juan Villalobo's Down the Rabbit Hole was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.
Anne McLean lives in Toronto and has translated the works of authors including Javier Cercas, Julio Cortázar, and Juan Gabriel Vásquez, and Enrique Vila-Matas.
Mr. Vila-Matas shows that the reasons for (and the consequences of) not writing fiction can, in a funny way, be almost as rich and complicated as fiction itself. — The Economist
Perfect. Beautiful. Wistful. There is no hint of irony in these words of praise for Bartleby & Co.
— The Los Angeles Times
A touching account of facing down mortality with a passion and an obsession for literature. — The New York Times Book Review
The accent of Vila-Matas's project falls on an accomplished romanticism conscious of its historicity, an artist-worship taken to maturity that concurrently absents and introduces itself into the work at every moment. — Los Angeles Review of Books
Vila-Matas's wildly original novels are all investigations of whether or not originality in fiction is still possible; every nook and cranny of literary history is explored and interrogated, the margin of every great novel frantically scribbled in. — Morten Høi Jensen - Dublin Review of Books
Enrique Vila-Matas is a great writer, and his new book Dublinesque is what great readers have been searching for. It is Vila-Matas' style of writing that distinguishes him as one of the best living authors today, and what makes Dublinesque a must read book.
— The Coffin Factory
Dublinesque is a pleasure to read...hugely entertaining. — The Irish Times
[Dublinesque] is enjoyable for its madcap energy, and its ability to relish its own absurdity and make well-worn literary references feel new.
The novel is about the death of the author in more senses than one. Funerals make a kind of art out of death, and so does Dublinesque.
— London Review Bookshop
One of the most pleasurable and joyous novels of the year. — The Independent
The Spanish novelist is a master of that problematic enterprise of literature: the death-defying highwire act of telling the truth through lies, of invoking reality through fiction. — The Millions
It is both shocking and gratifying for the reader. Dublinesque offers the reader layer upon layer of secrets that only she is privy to, and the effect (as it often is, when one is the sole owner of a secret) is thrilling.
— Full Stop
Vila-Matas has brought home a fine specimen of that most endangered of intellectual species, the literary publisher. — The Guardian