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Leopard

Leopard

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Taiga?s True Views: The Language of Landscape Painting in Eighteenth-Century Japan by Melinda Takeuchi (1994-06-01)
Melinda Takeuchi
The History of England, Vol 2
David Hume
The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle
Richard H. Popkin
Cicero: On Moral Ends (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Raphael Woolf, Julia Annas
Das Goldene Vlies: Dramatisches Gedicht in Drei Abteilungen
Franz Grillparzer
Euripides IV: Rhesus / The Suppliant Women / Orestes / Iphigenia in Aulis
Charles R. Walker, Frank William Jones, William Arrowsmith, David Grene, Euripides, Richmond Lattimore
Notes from Underground & The Double
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Jesse Coulson
The World of Thought in Ancient China
Benjamin I. Schwartz
The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
Erich S. Gruen
The Legend of Gold and Other Stories
William J. Tyler, Jun Ishikawa, Ishikawa Jun

Never Any End to Paris

Never Any End to Paris - Enrique Vila-Matas

París no se acaba nunca is a metafictional irony fest in which nearly every form of irony known to man comes into play and is layered into the narrative.

 

A pitiable narrator having much in common with Vila-Matas, including writing his first novel La asesina ilustrada in Paris, pretends he is giving three two-hour lectures at a literary symposium in Barcelona on consecutive days. But this pretense is immediately deflated by the content of the "lectures", not to mention the chatty language with which this content is delivered. The theme of the symposium? Irony. And in this frame the narrator rambles on about his earlier love for Hemingway and the extreme measures he takes in order to be like him (though he no longer thinks Hemingway is a good writer), the formative time he spent as a clueless and timid young writer full of ambition and dread and living in Marguerite Duras' garret, the books he's read, movies he's seen, people he's known, trips he's taken (mainly to Paris), one digression after another, with side remarks about different kinds of irony. Some of the many:

 

Irony, the only chance not to hit the wall of reality and fall stunned.

 

Irony, which allows us to avoid disappointment for the simple reason that it refuses to entertain any hopes.

 

Irony, the highest form of sincerity.

 

So, instead of writing a memoir about his apprenticeship as a writer, he has written a tower of self-referential irony shielding, distorting, enhancing this memoir. It is probably not advisable to look carefully at the structure of this tower, because I suspect that it is held together by spider webs and chewing gum. But the memoir is still there, groaning under all the irony, and it's very funny and sad and engaging. But it's also uneven - there are digressions which do not work; there are jeux d'esprit which fall flat; and the narrator definitely has more insight into his earlier and later selves than he has into the rest of the world.

 

But it takes place in Paris. The narrator and I certainly agree:

 

There is never any end to Paris!