Last month I wrote about Vila-Matas’ Never Any End to Paris at Bookslut. I gave the book to my father for Christmas like five years ago. He gave it back to me so I could review it. I wasn’t too impressed by the book, or Vila-Matas’ more recent work for that matter.
Scott Esposito interviewed him for The Paris Review. Bolaño comes up at the end of their chat. Vila-Matas explains:
¨Meeting Bolaño in 1996 meant that I no longer felt alone as a writer. In that Spain, which was trapped in a provincialism and an antiquated realism, finding myself with someone who from the very first moment felt like a literary brother helped me to feel free and not consider myself as strange as some of my colleagues would have me believe. Or maybe it was the opposite: I was stranger still. We laughed together very much. We wrote letters to imbeciles and we talked of a beauty that was short-lived and whose end would be disastrous.¨
Trapped in Spanish “provincialism” and “realism” in 1996? It´s hard to imagine.
“We wrote letters to imbeciles”? Well, I never got one (I feel kind of insulted).
Any doubts I might have had about Vila-Matas’ ego have now been dispelled.