This blog takes its theme and contents from a passage in Dublinesque, by Enrique Vila-Matas. In the course of a morning full of melancholy ruminations about the sorry state of literary publishing, Vila-Matas has his narrator, Samuel Riba--who is, one suspects, Vila-Matas himself--offer the following reflection:
"He dreams of the day when the spell of the best-seller will be broken, making way for the reappearance of the talented reader, and for the terms of the moral contract between author and audience to be reconsidered. He dreams of the day when literary publishers can breathe again, those who live for an active reader, for a reader open enough to buy a book and allow a conscience radically different from his own to appear in his mind. He believes that if talent is demanded of a literary publisher or a writer, it must also be demanded of a reader." (page 51)
In this blog we propose to offer comments on literary fiction that does just this--that 'allows a conscience radically different from his own to appear'--to express our admiration for important works of literary fiction, books that are overlooked by most readers in the search for the newest, trendiest books offered in the pages on the New York Times or other mainstream outlets.
We are hardly alone in writing about literary fiction, and we will pay homage not only to books but to some of the many thoughtful and inspiring reviews that one finds in select corners of the web.
Neither Peter nor I are professional reviewers, professors of literature (or of anything else), or literary critics. We are serious lovers of literary fiction and poetry, who hope, someday, to be talented readers.
Thanks for reading.
George Ovitt and Peter Adam Nash