Dublinesque opens with a renowned and retired literary publisher’s dream: he finds himself in Dublin, a city he’s never visited, and the mood is full of passion and despair. Afterwards he’s obsessed with the dream, and brings three of the writers he published on a trip to the same cemetery where Paddy Dignam was buried in James Joyce’s Ulysses, where they hold a funeral for “The Gutenberg Age.“ And then he notices that he’s being shadowed by a mysterious man who looks exactly like Samuel Beckett…
In this witty and poignant novel, perhaps his finest yet, Enrique Vila-Matas traces a journey that connects the worlds of Joyce and Beckett and all they symbolize: great literature and evidence of the difficulties faced by literary authors, publishers, and good readers, their struggle to survive in a society where literature is losing influence.
A writer who has no equal in the contemporary landscape of the Spanish novel.
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
[Dublinesque] is enjoyable for its madcap energy, and its ability to relish its own absurdity and make well-worn literary references feel new.
By lifting the heavy weight of the past, by setting irony against dogmatism and rigidity, Vila-Matas allows his characters, and us, to contemplate the future.
—The New Yorker
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
A touching account of facing down mortality with a passion and an obsession for literature.
—The New York Times Book Review
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
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.
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 is thrilling.
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 of Books
From his latest raid into the literary jungle Vila-Matas has brought home a fine specimen of that most endangered of intellectual species, the literary publisher.
—*The Guardian *
His writing is filled with withdrawal and disappearance, and so it is withDublinesque, one of the most pleasurable and joyous novels of the year.
Hugely entertaining, witty and informed, a pleasure to read.
—The Irish Times
Vila-Matas…has no equal in the contemporary landscape of the Spanish novel.