[AUDIO] Valerie Miles and Scott Esposito in Conversation on Enrique Vila-Matas


On February 11, 2016, we were very pleased to be joined by the editor and translator Valerie Miles via Skype to discuss her translation of Enrique Vila-Matas’s Because She Never Asked, as well as Vila-Matas’s work more generally. When Miles worked with Vila-Matas to create her anthology A Thousand Forests In One Acorn, the author told her that Because She Never Asked was his favorite book that he has ever written. Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito discusses with Miles why this is, as well as how this book fits into Vila-Matas’s idiosyncratic, postmodern, ironic approach to literature. Miles also talks about the challenges of translation Vila-Matas and her favorite of his books. Below you will find the complete audio of this event, as well as a table of contents.


0:00 Introductions

4:29 The main idea of Because She Never Asked

10:10 Paul Auster’s book with Sophie Calle, and how it relates to Because She Never Asked

14:30 Valerie’s perceptions of Vila-Matas as a person, and the relationship of Vila-Matas the person to Vila-Matas the author/literary figure

18:35 Vila-Matas’s ridiculous presentation of himself on the page, and how this relates to his literary aesthetic, and the kidney failure that occurs in Because She Never Asked

23:30 Why Because She Never Asked is Vila-Matas’s favorite thing he has ever written; Exploradores del abismo; and Vila-Matas’s near-death experience

30:25 Translation challenges that Valerie faced in Because She Never Asked, including Vila-Matas’s voice and his use of tense in this book

36:50 “Shandys” in Vila-Matas’s literature, the origins of Vila-Matas’s aesthetic

45:10 Vila-Matas’s generosity toward other writers and artists in his books, and writers Valerie and artists has discovered through Vila-Matas

49:54 Vila-Matas’s El País column about Green Apple Books bookseller Stephen Sparks

51:10 Valerie’s favorite work of Vila-Matas’s, The Illogic of Kassel, and a general discussion of Kassel

59:10 Vila-Matas’s relationship to Roberto Bolaño, and disciples of Bolaño compared to disciples of Vila-Matas

1:02:40 Audience Q & A

Comments are closed.