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Enrique Vila-Matas
Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His works include Bartleby & Co, Montano, Never Any End to Paris, The Vertical Journey, winner of the Premio Romulo Gallegos, and Dublinesque, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. 'February 2008' is an excerpt from his novel Dietario Voluble, published by Anagrama in 2008.

Articles Available Online


Writers from the Old Days

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Issue No. 13

Enrique Vila-Matas

TR. J. S. Tennant

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Issue No. 13

Augusto Monterroso wrote that sooner or later the Latin American writer faces three possible fates: exile, imprisonment or burial.   I met Roberto Bolaño...

poetry

January 2015

Litanies of an Audacious Rosary

Enrique Vila-Matas

TR. Rosalind Harvey

poetry

January 2015

FEBRUARY 2008   * I’m outraged, but I’ve learned a way of reasoning that quickly defuses my exasperation. This...

In 1925, aged 20, the Hungarian poet Attila József was expelled from the University of Szeged for a radical poem published in a periodical He left Hungary for Vienna, where he squatted in a slum with tens of thousands of other people, many of them refugees from eastern Europe He sold newspapers outside restaurants and cleaned university buildings As he did for much of his life, he lived in housing he had no formal right to, and earned a living without a wage, unrecognised by the state He existed, to use a modern phrase, in the informal economy After four months in ‘that frightful slum’, József had a rare stroke of luck He was invited by the Hatvany family to live at their mansion Even for those without benefactors with mansions to share, over the next few decades more and more Viennese residents became, as it were, legitimate (give or take a Nazi invasion) Land rights were formalised, social housing was built and slums diminished, as they did across Western and Northern Europe   It seems unlikely that the informal settlements of the global south will dwindle as did their forebears in Europe, at least in the near future In fact, slums are getting bigger According to the UN’s 2003 report ‘The Challenge of Slums’, in 2001 around 924 million people, or thirty two per cent of the world’s total urban population, lived in slums In the first thirty years of this millennium that number is likely to double The term slum is usually defined by standard of living rather than rights to land, although it is often used interchangeably with informal or extra-legal settlement In developing countries, the majority of people living in slums are also employed in the informal economy   Contemporary slums are in many ways similar in the conditions they provide for their residents to those of Vienna in the 1920s or Manchester in the 1850s Most lack basic amenities, are cramped, crowded and susceptible to the rapid spread both of diseases and flames But whereas Victorian slums were largely a product of the industrial revolution, in the

Contributor

August 2014

Enrique Vila-Matas

Contributor

August 2014

Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His works include Bartleby & Co, Montano, Never Any End to...

Leaving Theories Behind

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Issue No. 9

Enrique Vila-Matas

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Issue No. 9

I. I went to Lyon because an organisation called Villa Fondebrider invited me to give a talk on the relationship between fiction and reality as...

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Art

September 2015

Sightlines: James Turrell

Gareth Evans

Art

September 2015

For, and in memory of, Jules Wright   Approach   It is a pleasure too rarely realised to venture...

Interview

Issue No. 12

Interview with Douglas Coupland

Tom Overton

Interview

Issue No. 12

Douglas Coupland likes crowdsourcing. I should know, because he crowdsourced me shortly after the first part of this interview....

poetry

August 2017

From The Dolphin House

Richard O’Brien

poetry

August 2017

Note for the following three poems: In 1965, a bottlenose dolphin christened Peter was the subject of a scientific...

 

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