Never Any End to Paris (Paperback)
New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811218139, 197pp.
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
This brilliantly ironic novel about literature and writing, in Vila-Matas's trademark witty and erudite style, is told in the form of a lecture delivered by a novelist clearly a version of the author himself. The lecturer tells of his two-year stint living in Marguerite Duras's garret during the seventies, spending time with writers, intellectuals, and eccentrics, and trying to make it as a creator of literature: I went to Paris and was very poor and very unhappy. Encountering such luminaries as Duras, Roland Barthes, Georges Perec, Sergio Pitol, Samuel Beckett, and Juan Marse, our narrator embarks on a novel whose text will kill its readers and put him on a footing with his beloved Hemingway. (Never Any End to Paris takes its title from a refrain in A Moveable Feast.) What emerges is a fabulous portrait of intellectual life in Paris that, with humor and penetrating insight, investigates the role of literature in our lives.