Bartleby & Co.Paperback
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- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 192 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 200mm x 14mm | 140g
- Publication date: 7 July 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 009945372X
- ISBN 13: 9780099453727
- Sales rank: 132,697
Marcelo, a clerk in a Barcelona office who might himself have emerged from a novel by Kafka, inhabits a world peopled by characters in literature. He once wrote a novel about the impossibility of love, but since then he has written nothing. He has, in short, become a 'Bartleby', so named after the character in Herman Melville's short story who, when asked to do something, always replied: 'I would prefer not to.' One day Marcelo sets out to make a search through literature for all those other possible Bartlebys, and with this in mind he has the engagingly original notion of keeping a diary and writing footnotes to an invisible text. His references to authors, both real and invented, provide the reader with extravagant doses of humour that are at once hilarious, irreverent and stimulating.
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Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His extraordinary literary oeuvre includes Bartlby & Co, Montano and Never Any End to Paris, winner of the same Premio Romulo Gallegos that catapulted his friend Roberto Bolano to international renown. He has been translated into 30 languages.
" 'Vila-Matas has had the brilliant idea of tracking down literature's slackers- Bartleby and Co proposes a shadowy history of literature' - Alberto Manguel. 'Ingenious...An Excellent book...A work of honesty and profound beauty' - John Burnside, Scotland on Sunday. 'Bartleby and Co is set to become the book of the literary season... An enormously enjoyable and intelligent book, and if I am not mistaken, an important one' - El Pals. 'Told with considerable elegance and an admirable lack of melodrama' - Spectator"