ASHBERY SIGHTINGS: VILA-MATAS, ASHBERY, AND THE GREAT PART OF A BOOK (LETRA GLOBAL)

The following reference to Ashbery, about what can be explained being the “bad part of a book” and what cannot “the great part,” comes from a recent interview with the Barcelona-born writer Enrique Vila-Matas—Vila-Matas: "The world is a copy of a copy, there is no point in pretending originality"—conducted on the occasion of his new novel, Esta Bruma Insensata (from Letra Global , translated here through Google Translate):


Ann Maria Church for Letra Global, April 8, 2019 Full Interview here.

The writer Enrique Vila Matas / LENA PRIETO

The writer Enrique Vila Matas / LENA PRIETO

What he says about the difficulty he had when understanding Beckett's works leads me to ask him about the literary complexity and the pleasure of not understanding everything, two themes that appear in the hand of Simon, who confesses not to understand all of The Crying of Lot 49 .

In this regard, I quote Pynchon and also Ashbery, who affirms that what can be explained from a book is the bad part and what can not be explained is the great part. What we explain about the book is that part we can access, but we can never explain the mystery of the book or its genius. As far as Pynchon is concerned, he is the great author of paranoia, one ahead of his time, and it is precisely paranoia that the narrator suffers, at least in his brother's opinion. If this were true, this senseless haze, it would be nothing other than the narration of a paranoid and, perhaps, his brother, in reality, would not exist, would not be anything other than the result of the paranoia of the narrator. Anyway, these are interpretations that I give now, once the book is finished, and that come from what some readers have told me. I have finished writing this book very open to all interpretations that readers can make. I have always been interested in making readers participate, which are those who have finished filling the gaps in my texts.