Transatlantic Vila-Matas

Coord. by Felipe Adrián Ríos Baeza

Speaking about Roberto Bolaño in interviews with Andrè Gabastou, the writer Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948) affirms the following: “Apart from myself, he is the person with the most Mal de Montano that I have ever met. He lived literature in the most passionate way, even when he knew how to be so cynical and laughed about everything. Meeting him made me reinforce the idea that, despite my absolute passion for literature, I was not so much of a “weirdo”. That passion, on the other hand, is still lived in Latin America, while in Europe, and concretely in Spain, there has been skepticism and total lack of enthusiasm regarding literary impulse” (Gabastou 2013: 31).

Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Sergio Pitol, Ricardo Piglia, César Aira, Augusto Monterroso, Rodrigo Fresán, Juan Villoro… in 40 years of uninterrupted writing, Latin American literature has found a way to get itself passionately as motive, quote or reference into the interstices of Vila-Matas’ literature even further than his closest novel, Lejos de Veracruz (1995). Specialized critics have recognized, in the latest years, a strong period of French ascendency (Bartleby y compañía, París no se acaba nunca), a strong English influx (Dublinesca, Aire de Dylan) and even an intense presence of Portuguese (Extraña forma de vida, El viaje vertical) and Middle Eastern literature (Hijos sin hijos, Historia abreviada de la literature portátil). Nevertheless, there’s just a handful of studies that stress the acute influence of a Latin American literature that has adopted Vila-Matas as his own, to the point that it is no coincidence that on this side as much as on that side, critical volumes have been published by people who were able to identify this reference in his work (Cf. Margarita Heredia comp., Vila-Matas portátil. Barcelona, Candaya, 2007; Felipe A. Ríos Baeza, ed., Enrique Vila-Matas: Los espejos de la ficción. Puebla, BUAP, 2012).

With this idea in mind, the monographic “Transatlantic Vila-Matas” will take a deeper look into these aspects, intra and extra textually, to give an updated and profound outlook of the link between Vila-Matas’ work and that from the authors of the “new continent”, from all the countries and periods. This way, the monographic looks to reevaluate Vila-Matas’ position within the literary canon in the Spanish language.

All those scholars wishing to contribute an article for this special issue may email it to Deadline for submissions: January, 31st 2018. Papers must adhere to the guidelines available at our website.