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Never Any End to Paris

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A splendid ironic portrayal of literary Paris and of a young writer’s struggles by one of Spain’s most eminent authors.
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 Marsé, 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.

From Publishers Weekly

May 16, 2011 – This hilarious and winning send-up to an author's star-struck youth in Paris takes the form of a purported lecture, yet reads more like a memoir in the capable hands of Spanish novelist Vila-Matas. The playfully ironic narrator, born in Barcelona in1948, comes of age during the mid-1970s, when he lived for two years in Paris trying to write his first novel and imitated the impoverished, supposedly happy, time of his idol, Ernest Hemingway (it's from Hemingway's memoir, A Movable Feast, that the author takes his title). Yet the narrator at that time of his youth was poor and unhappy. He rents a garret from legendary French novelist Marguerite Duras, who takes pity on the novice writer, offering bewildering and opaque advice. The narrator nabs invitations to exclusive parties where he meets Isabel Adjani before she is famous, frequents famous has-been cafes like Café Flore, and generally believes that "living in despair was very elegant." Except that it wasn't. It did, however, give rise to a lifelong pursuit of irony, which he achieves beautifully by poking gentle fun at the young man he was, quoting Hemingway copiously, and essentially depicting the quivering aims of a fledgling writer.
Never Any End to Paris
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 24, 2011
  • Publisher: New Directions
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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