Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's not just me then

At this precise moment, something happened that was very important for me. I don't know how, but I was reminded of a sentence by Nietzsche that I have always read in a thousand different ways, it depends on the meaning I wish to give it each time. It is a sentence I apply to a whole range of circumstances: “One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous - a crisis without equal on earth.”

One cannot go against one's imagination, and at that instant, on the terrace of the Brighton [Hotel], I imagined my name and surname in a few years' time evoking the brutal memory of a crisis in literature that humanity will have overcome - the imagination, when it's very powerful, is capable of these things - thanks to my heroic conduct, Quixote, spear in hand, against the enemies of the literary.
From the wonderful Montano's Malady by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated by Jonathan Dunne.


  1. Anonymous10:23 am

    I like the quote but the Quixote parallel seems odd. It's many years since I read it but isn't Quixote an enemy of the literary? Someone whose imagination cannot accommodate experience? I could easily be wrong, I must dig out my old copy.

    Susan Evans

  2. Isn't more that for Quixote, experience cannot accommodate imagination?

  3. Anonymous1:35 pm

    No, Jacob, I don't think that is the case. I can see that it is an argument that could be advanced but my memory of it was that as the story advanced into part 2 and they begin meeting people who have read accounts of their adventures in part 1, there is an increasing sense of the isolation of Quixote and the writing he has immersed himself in. I will definitely have to go back and read it now. I enjoyed it a lot at the time.


  4. Anonymous10:57 pm

    Stephen, I think those of us who are regular readers of This Space expect nothing less than that you will become Literature Incarnate, and try to save it from possible extinction by reviving it, just in case, in your own person, your own sorrowful face.



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