Saturday, July 05, 2008

Noted: Enrique Vila-Matas

From Montano's Malady:
Gradually the percentage of copying in my poems decreased and slowly, but with a certain amount of confidence, my own personal style evolved, always constructed--to a greater or lesser extent--with the collaboration of those writers whose blood I sucked for my own benefit. Without haste, I began to acquire a little of my own style, nothing dazzling, but sufficient, something that was unmistakably mine, thanks to vampirism and the involuntary collaboration of the rest, those writers I laid hands on to find my personal literature. Without haste, arriving always after, in second place, accompanying a writer, all the Cernudas I discovered along the way, who appeared first, original. Without haste, like Walser's secondary or Joseph Roth's discreet characters, who pass through life in endless flight, placing themselves on the margins of the reality that troubles them so much and also on the margins of existence--in the face of the mechanism of sameness so dominant in the world today, to defend an extreme residue of irreducible individuality, something that is unmistakably theirs. I discovered mine in the others, arriving after them, first accompanying them and later liberating myself.

I think I can now say, for example, that thanks to Cernuda's protective staff I began to walk on my own and to find out what kind of writer I was, and also not to know who I was, or, better put, to know who I was, but just a bit, in the same way as my literary style is just an extreme residue, but that will always be better than nothing. The same can applied to my existence: I have just a bit of my own life--as can be observed in this timid dictionary--but it is unmistakably mine, which, to be honest, to me already seems a lot. Given the state of the world, it is no small thing to have a bit of autobiography.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice quote. Montano's Malady is my current favorite book--and I don't see it being replaced anytime soon. It is just the most refreshing, category breaking novel; and as much an influence, in my personal history, as when I first read Alain Robbe-Grillet.