Bartleby & Co. (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Bartleby & Co. Cover Image
$17.75
Special Order - Subject to Availability

Staff Reviews


BARTLEBY & CO. is Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas’ strange and unconventional novel about writers who can’t (or don’t) write, tackling silence in literature. In a series of footnotes (part anecdote, part philosophical) he explores the history of writers who were “artists of refusal,” that is, writers who refused to write, or writers who wrote once and stopped--or perhaps wrote, but only for themselves. Erudite, wistful and immensely readable, BARTLEBY & CO. explores phantom books and invisible texts; it ponders projects abandoned and confidence usurped. For anyone interested in the writers who existed between the margins or didn’t find (or chase) success or were abandoned by fate, this is the book for you.

— Mark

Description


In Bartleby & Co., an enormously enjoyable novel, Enrique Vila-Matas tackles the theme of silence in literature: the writers and non-writers who, like the scrivener Bartleby of the Herman Melville story, in answer to any question or demand, replies: "I would prefer notto." Addressing such "artists of refusal" as Robert Walser, Robert Musil, Arthur Rimbaud, Marcel Duchamp, Herman Melville, and J. D. Salinger, Bartleby & Co. could be described as a meditation: awalking tour through the annals of literature. Written as a series of footnotes (a non-work itself), Bartleby embarks on such questionsas why do we write, why do we exist? The answer lies in the novel itself: told from the point of view of a hermetic hunchback who has no luck with women, and is himself unable to write, Bartleby is utterly engaging, a work of profound and philosophical beauty.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780099453727
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
Publication Date: July 1st, 2005