Interview in BIG ISSUE NORTH: Author Q&A: Enrique Vila-Matas

phpthumb_generated_thumbnailjpgKEVIN GOPAL: Did you consciously set out to be literary as a writer – in the sense of invoking and discussing other authors – or did it develop naturally?
I think I feel a certain sympathy for other writers, especially the ones who are suicidal, alcoholic, mad or doomed, because they’re the writers I like best. I’ve always tried to write like them, to create an equally tragic vision of the human condition and of how close we all are to the edge of the abyss, but without having to suffer intellectually as they did and without ending up as another Pale King.

What does the urban landscape offer you as a writer?
Anyone who knows me knows that I find the beauty of the countryside positively soporific. In the city, on the other hand, I feel that I come face to face with poetry. I still remember the misty winter morning in New York when I realised there was no reason to dismiss the green jewel shining among the branches just because it was a traffic light.

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