The Paris Review has just published my interview with Enrique Vila-Matas. It can be read here.
As I’ve said many times, here and elsewhere, Vila-Matas has pioneered what I see as a highly successful vision of what literature is in a post-“anxiety of influence” age. To put it all in a way that doesn’t reduce quite so well into a soundbyte, in The Western Canon Harold Bloom writes of Borges that he “overtly absorbs and then deliberately reflects the entire canonical tradition.” If that’s Borges, then Vila-Matas is overtly absorbed by the canon, which he then mutates from within. Although, that’s not quite it, since Vila-Matas’ canon isn’t your typical canonical canon; it’s more like a canon made from explorers of the abyss (to steal a title of an untranslated Vila-Matas book), a canon that almost entirely existed in inter-war Paris.
If that sounds like the kind of thing you want to associate yourself with, then you can find out more by reading my review of Never Any End to Paris, as well as my essay on Vila-Matas’ two prior books.