Dietario Voluble

Volatile Diary | Anagrama, 2008; PRH/DeBolsillo, 2016


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Composed in part by notes that come directly from the writer’s personal notebook in the Sunday edition of El País in Catalonia, but also by important fragments that did not appear in the notebooks and are now published for the first time, and also by notes that were written ex-profeso for this book. More than anything, Dietario voluble is a tapestry that extends in many directions.

This book covers the last three years (2005-2008) of the personal notebook of Enrique Vila-Matas. Since it is a literary diary with its origins in reading, it is written from the centre of writing itself. It combines the comments made on books read with experience and personal memories, and it breaks down certain narrative barriers and opens up the path for a broad autobiography that constantly seeks to ensure that what is real is seen as an ideal space to accommodate that which is imaginary, and thus create a novel of life. The Dietario voluble does not stray far, either, from Vila-Matas’s most habitual literary procedures, where stylistic differences between works of fiction and collections of essays are decreasingly relevant and increasingly faithful to a happy consignment of hybrid and fragmentary literature where the limits are never clear and what is real dances on the border of fiction, a border that is erased by the rhythm.

If Justo Navarro, talking of the Explorers of the Abyss, spoke of “the happiness of relating discoveries in an interplanetary mental graffiti that went from Stockholm to Ronda, Malibu to deepest Russia, from Buenos Aires into space, and where Kafka and Petronio, Bernhard and Burroughs, impossible couples, coincide”, here in the Dietario a new journey is embarked upon, travelling in all the possible directions of the tapestry, and the dancing partners are even more strange, if that is possible: their incessant rhythm erases any dividing line between infinity and the limits.


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