Enrique Vila-Matas

First Sentence:     He belongs to an increasingly rare breed of sophisticated, literary publishers.

Back of the book:

Samuel Riba is about to turn 60. A successful publisher in Barcelona, he has edited many of his generation’s most important authors. But he is increasingly prone to attacks of anxiety – inspired partly by giving up alcohol, and partly by his worries about the future of the book. Looking for distraction, he concocts a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dublin, a city he has never visited but once had a vivid dream about.

Riba sets off for Dublin on the pretext that he wishes to honour James Joyce’s Ulysses, and to hold, on Bloomsday, a funeral for the age of print. But as he and his friends give their orations, a mysterious figure in a mackintosh hovers in the cemetery, looking rather like Joyce’s protégé Samuel Beckett. Is it Beckett, or is it the writer of genius that Riba has spent his whole career trying, and failing, to find? As he ponders this, and other profound questions, he marks a death but makes some illuminating discoveries about life.

Quotes from the book:

[…] this morning he seems condemned to go from Gutenberg to Google and from Google to Gutenberg, moving back and forth between two options, between the world of books and that of the web […]

‘It will be much better if, at the end of everything, sorrow disappears and silence returns.’

* * * *

Last Sentence:     ‘Always someone turns up you never dreamt of.’