Enrique VILA-MATAS

Esta bruma insensata

Seix Barral, 2019 | This Senseless Fog

Translations

France/Actes Sud; Italy/Feltrinelli; Portugal/Teodolito; Romania/Vellant

Press

«The narrative voice in novels by Vila-Matas can survive anything: few contemporary authors are able to sustain such an intimate, individual tone. His books are always eagerly anticipated because we long to hear that voice again. And this – waiting impatiently for an author's new book – is something which happens rarely these days.» Ricardo Piglia

«There’s something about Enrique Vila-Matas, just as there is about Michel Houellebecq and Roberto Bolaño, which reminds me of Philip K. Dick; something of his own, something unique, something great.» Emmanuel Carrère

«Every new book by Vila-Matas is a surprising contribution to what is conceived as a unique endless novel (...) Here we have one of the most audacious novels by our boldest writer. Intelligence and imagination are our constant companions throughout the journey.» J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia

«When we walk on the edge and certainties wobble, to escape in time can be an opportunity get rid all that is redundant. The result is a writing that defeats the boundaries of fiction, transcending the personal and historical experience, and creating the dreamed geography for a soul completely free, even from its own misfortune. A novel about the inextinguishable energy that comes from absence.» Qué Leer

«Vila-Matas power to build solidly on the shifting sands of the doubts and uncertainities which threaten what we call ‘literature’ underline his singularity within the European letters. Vila-Matas perfects a fiction with no “self”, even though we can’t deny that both Rainer and Simon are recognizable avatars of the author.» Ródenas de Moya, El Periódico

«Vila-Matas follows the itinerary of his particular exploration with Esta bruma insensata. The novel connects with some of its best works, deepening the furrows in the limits of writing, the possibility of impersonation, tightrope walking  yet not as an acrobatics exercise but as an inquiry on the vertigo, on the abysses and the happiness of imbalance. Vila-Matas is an explorer of the unexpected towards all directions. As in some of his previus works, there is a very extreme literary positioning. Dissolution, extinction or disappearance are the way in which some of his characters conjure up emptiness. Literature is, once again, the beginning of all loss. And, at the same time, it’s the provider of antidotes.» Antonio Lucas, El Mundo

«A devilish novel that invites to all kind of interpretations. It mixes ‘noir’ intrigue with satire and an acidic sense of humor that he rarely uses.» Matías Néspolo, El Mundo

«With this novel, Vila-Matas self-examines from the indulgence and understanding that only time provides. And he does so by transferring the debate to the writing field. The only 'lesson' to be learned is that there are no dazzling magic formulas or infallible certainties. Or maybe there are two: one attacks the required easiness that forces writers to skip many moments of reflection, losing along the way 'the potential of prose without additives'. The other is the purpose to find a new space from which to write and tell. Enrique keeps working at it.» Ana Rodríguez Fischer, El País

Synopsis

A novel about inexhaustible energy born out of absence and the tension between having faith in writing and rejecting it utterly.

From a cliff-top mansion on the outskirts of Cadaqués, Simon Schneider works for a successful writer who goes by the name of Gran Bros and has been living reclusively in New York for years. Simon is a hokusai, a supplier of quotations to other writers. Although he would never imagine it, one of these writers is none other than Robert Pynchon. On the afternoon of October 27, 2017, Simon is suffering from writer’s block and trying to recall a particular phrase about the infinite. In search of the elusive quotation, he sets out on a long walk.

When you skirt the edge of the abyss and certainties fall away one by one, escaping in just the nick of time can open the door to pure writing. This is a pursuit that goes beyond fiction, transcends personal and past experience, and conjures up a landscape so new it’s like something dreamed of by a soul set free from everything, even its own misfortune.

In this literary tour de force, Vila-Matas turns his unique philosophy about writing into something accessible, fascinating and completely original. Paradox abounds, because this is the story of a writer who feeds off others’ quotations yet Vila-Matas writes like no one else.