Enrique Vila-Matas: Quote of the Day!


A while ago, when I was shaving, I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself. The radical loneliness of these last few days is turning me into someone else. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the anomaly, the deviation, the monstrosity of myself as an isolated individual. I derive a certain pleasure from being unfriendly, from swindling life, from adopting the posture of literature’s radical non-hero (which is to say from playing at being like the cast of these footnotes), from observing life and seeing that the poor thing lacks a life of its own.

I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself. Then I fell to thinking about what Baudelaire used to say, that the real hero is he who keeps himself amused. I looked in the mirror again and detected a certain resemblance to Watt, Samuel Beckett’s reclusive character. Like Watt, I could be described in the following way: a bus stops opposite three repugnant old men, who watch it seated on a public bench. The bus moves off. “Look,” says one of them, “someone’s left a bundle of rags.” “No,” says the second, “that is a fallen rubbish bin.” “Not at all,” says the third, “it is a pile of old newspapers that’s been put there.” At that moment the heap of rubbish advances towards them and asks them extremely impolitely to move up. This is Watt.1

1. Vila-Matas, Enrique (2007-05-23). Bartleby & Co. (pp. 46-47). New Directions. Kindle Edition.

One thought on “Enrique Vila-Matas: Quote of the Day!

  1. Reblogged this on Myriad Ways and commented:
    I have been in this place, not to long ago. Though not in such a literate state. When viewed through my own experience in the last few years, I had to laugh. When I laugh at myself, I am able to let some of those pretensions that keep me bound to one path, when many paths are available. In my darker moments, I relate to this, but upon reading it, I laugh and the darkness clears a little. I can see other ways to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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