‘ExLibris’ Rewards Vila-Matas, the Library of Alexandria and Cambridge University Press

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The Barcelona writer finally smiled in Murcia when he was reunited with his friends, despite claiming that “no one has ever seen me laugh out loud”

Enrique Vila-Matas boasted a few days ago, in an interview published by LA VERDAD, that “no one has ever seen me laugh out loud”. But respecting his rules, yesterday, when he received the Prize for the International Week of Letters ‘ExLibris’ in Murcia, he smiled more than once, discreetly, yes. He was on friendly terms, that of his professional colleagues Miguel Ángel Hernández and Mario Aznar, and that of many readers, who came yesterday to learn the ins and outs of his latest novel ‘Montevideo’ (Seix Barral).

A story that has a lot to do with the coincidence of the stories of Bioy Casares and Cortázar and their beginnings, written practically at the same time. The two characters (gray, or at least not nice) arrive in Montevideo, take a taxi and go to the same Cervantes hotel. As he himself explained in this newspaper, “I read one day that the great Argentine critic Beatriz Sarlo had identified “the condemned door” of the Cervantes hotel as “the exact place where the fantastic erupts in the story of Cortázar”, in exactly called the story ‘The Condemned Door’, “That heightened my interest in seeking that exact spot, the spot where fiction and reality converged, perhaps the exact spot of strangeness.”

Vila-Matas, who previously participated in an event at the regional library of Murcia, has recovered from a recent kidney transplant. “I came out of such an extreme experience energized, and that had an impact on the emotional intensity and depth that I – as if I was at the end of the world – transferred to the second draft of the novel,” he told LA VERDAD .

The Barcelona writer was one of the protagonists of an ExLibris awards ceremony, led by the journalist Antonio Botías and directed by Victorio Melgarejo, also awarding the publishing house Cambridge University Press and the Library of Alexandria. Carmen Escudero, Duet Hispania Verso y Madera, Miguel Ángel Montesinos ‘El Calves’ and Santi Campillo were announced during the event at the Regional Archives.

It also paid tribute to editor and writer Jordi Sierra i Fabra for his 50 years of dedication to children’s and young adult literature. This Friday, ‘ExLibris’ continues with numerous book presentations on various stages in the city of Murcia. At 6:00 PM, in the Assembly Hall of the Moneo Building, Alfaqueque and Gollarín will present ‘Complete Works of Eliodoro Puche’, with interventions by Fernando Fernández, Juan Antonio Fernández Rubio and Pedro Guerrero. The writer Emilio Calderón will also present ‘The Erased Life of Amalia Finisterre’ (Algaida), a ‘disturbing and captivating’ thriller, and he will do so in the presentation by journalist Lucía Hernández, at 8 p.m., in the Gaya Museum.

Source: La Verdad

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