Enrique Vila-Matas was one of those love-at-first-sight writers for me. I read Bartleby & Co. quite a bit ago and I fell immediately in love with his work. These things are always sort of dangerous, because you very well know that even the greatest writers produce really unimpressive books sometimes. But you know, as with all loves at first sight, you basically lose your capacity for rational expectation.
I didn’t read any of his other stuff until last year, when Never Any End to Paris arrived in my mailbox. It quickly affirmed his place in my literary constellation. So a couple of weeks ago, when my mood was essentially in the pits, I placed an order for Montano’s Malady, hoping that it would pick me up somehow. It’s funny how one comes to depend on one’s writers sometimes.
P.S. The stuff in the background is some paper on Shakespeare I’ve yet to read, not government missile defence plans or anything.