Synopses & Reviews
In , an enormously enjoyable novel, Enrique Vila-Matas tackles the theme of silence in literature: the writers and non-writers who, like the scrivener Bartleby of the Herman Melville story, in answer to any question or demand, replies: "I would prefer not to." Addressing such "artists of refusal" as Robert Walser, Robert Musil, Arthur Rimbaud, Marcel Duchamp, Herman Melville, and J. D. Salinger, could be described as a meditation: a walking tour through the annals of literature. Written as a series of footnotes (a non-work itself), embarks on such questions as why do we write, why do we exist? The answer lies in the novel itself: told from the point of view of a hermetic hunchback who has no luck with women, and is himself unable to write, is utterly engaging, a work of profound and philosophical beauty.
"A wry, mind-bending delight: Borges and Calvino would have welcomed Vila-Matas as a kinsman." Kirkus Reviews
"It would be comical to complain that such a work skimps on the expected novelistic pleasures (can you hear a chorus of Bartlebys cackling?), and Bartleby & Co. has its strange cerebral satisfactions." The Village Voice
A marvelous novel by one of Spain's most important contemporary authors, in which a clerk in a Barcelona office takes us on a romping tour of world literature.
About the Author
Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His novels have been translated into eleven languages and honored by many prestigious literary awards including the Prix Médicis Etranger. Author of Bartleby & Co., Montano's Malady, and Never Any End to Paris, he has received Europe's most prestigious awards and been translated into twenty-seven languages.Jonathan Dunne was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, England, in 1968 and studied Classics at Oxford University. He is director of the publishing house Small Stations Press. He translates from Bulgarian, Catalan, Galician and Spanish into English.