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Montano's Malady

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3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  569 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
The narrator ofMontano’s Maladyis a writer named Jose who is so obsessed with literature that he finds it impossible to distinguish between real life and fictional reality. Part picaresque novel, part intimate diary, part memoir and philosophical musings, Enrique Vila-Matas has created a labyrinth in which writers as various as Cervantes, Sterne, Kafka, Musil, Bolano, Coet ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 17th 2007 by New Directions (first published 2002)
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The Rings of Saturn by W.G. SebaldLabyrinths by Jorge Luis BorgesJourney to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand CélineLast Evenings on Earth by Roberto BolañoThe Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
Best New Directions Books
61st out of 110 books — 117 voters
The Man Without Qualities by Robert MusilThe Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria RilkeBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyDuino Elegies by Rainer Maria RilkeMolloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
DIFFICULT BUT REWARDING
53rd out of 118 books — 58 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,186)
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Teresa
Nov 09, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-espanha, 5-estrelas
O Mal de Montano: a doença da literatura.
Sintomas: o paciente pensa permanentemente na literatura; a cada ocorrência do dia-a-dia associa uma frase de um autor, podendo - numa fase terminal - transformar-se num "dicionário ambulante de citações".
Tratamento: não tem.

Neste terceiro livro que leio de Vila-Matas, mais uma vez me deixo enfeitiçar pela sua paixão pela Literatura e pelos Escritores.
"Não gosto da vida verdadeira e por isso me dedico à ficção. Se a literatura não existisse eu mesmo a
...more
Carla
Mar 26, 2015 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Para todos nós, os contagiados pela doença da literatura.

“Sei que devo continuar, não chorar, observar como a vida continua e olhar como a luz nocturna banha as quietas fachadas dos históricos edifícios em frente. Sei que não devo esquecer que no fundo quis sempre dizer adeus ao amor na vida e nos romances, tudo perder menos a solidão. E continuar. Não fiz mais nada na vida a não ser continuar. Terminava um livro e começava outro, continuando sempre. Perder tudo menos a solidão. E ter aprumo e d
...more
Cosimo
Jun 24, 2015 Cosimo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il diario rubato

“Proprio perché la letteratura ci permette di capire la vita, ce ne lascia fuori. E' duro, ma a volte è la cosa migliore che ci possa succedere. La lettura, la scrittura cercano la vita, ma possono perderla proprio perché sono interamente concentrate sulla vita e sulla sua stessa ricerca”.

Epigrafe a Il mal di Montano è una domanda dalla quale la scrittura di Vila Matas sembra perseguitata come da una maledizione inestinguibile, da una contraddizione insolubile: come faremo a scom
...more
Greg
Nov 09, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
I'm feeling a little conflicted about my sort of narrow reading tastes. While it's not intentional(consciously at least) I will admit that I gravitate to white anglo/saxon and jewish male writers, with an occasional European from say France, Germany or Eastern Europe. This isn't to say that I never read women or what is awfully called 'world' literature but it's just the way things seem to work out for me. But lately I've been floored by two Spanish language writers, a language in translation th ...more
Bieiris
Sep 24, 2011 Bieiris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Me encanta ser la nota discordante, no os lo oculto, amigos míos, pero esta vez escribo con el corazón en la mano. Este libro es un p*** truño. Horripilante. Un ejercicio masturbatorio pedantesco y exasperante de un adolescente que aún cree que la literatura es una cosa y la vida otra muy distinta. El narrador, un grano en el culo del tamaño de la catedral de Amiens. Lo voy a terminar porque no quiero añadir más leña al fuego al podio del HORROR inacabado, véase, la sala de las torturas que de m ...more
Zozetta
May 04, 2016 Zozetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Αυτό είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο του Βίλα-Μάτας που διαβάζω. Και λέω διαβάζω, γιατί παρόλο που η ανάγνωση του κειμένου τελείωσε, το ίδιο το κείμενο είναι σαν να μου έχει εντυπωθεί και κατά κάποιο τρόπο να συνεχίζω να το διαβάζω και , πραγματικά, νομίζω πως θα συνεχίσω να το διαβάζω για πολύ καιρό.

Ο ήρωας του βιβλίου υποφέρει από μια αρρώστεια που την αποκαλεί «νόσο του Μοντάνο». Στην πραγματικότητα αυτή η νόσος αφορά τη λογοτεχνία και το πως κάποιοι άνθρωποι, συγγραφείς και αναγνώστες, αγαπούν τόσο πο
...more
Tosh
Oct 29, 2011 Tosh rated it really liked it
Is there such a thing as literature sickness? According to Enrique Vila-Matas' (sort of) novel, the answer is yes. There also should be a warning sign on the cover saying this book is only for literary nerds, because this is a hardcore open port to the world of literary concerns. In fact, one would think that this is the ultlmate book for anyone who is even thinking of writing a novel or two.
Reflections on Kafka, Benjamin, and every cult writer from the 20th Century is in this book, as well as
...more
Andrea Carolina
Nov 21, 2008 Andrea Carolina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lorena Rocha
Recommended to Andrea Carolina by: La revista Malpensante?
Shelves: 2008, biblioteca-mia
Con los libros de Vila Matas, me pasan cosas extrañas, no se si los leo con dificultad o no, creo que mas bien los leo con lentitud, y cada vez que leo un libro nuevo de VM me digo ¿pero porque estoy leyendo otro libro de este señor? y cuando acabo el libro me quedan ganas de leer mas, y vuelvo al circulo vicioso. Lo que se es que me gusta mucho la vision de la vida que tiene o deja ver VM en sus libros, me gustan sus temas, me gustan sus posturas "ficticias" las de los libros porque no conosco ...more
Jim Elkins
Apr 16, 2013 Jim Elkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spanish
Vila-Matas is very reflective, which prompted me to read this novel after "Bartleby & Co." The continuous infusions of literary references aren't in themselves reasons to avoid him. It's the quality of thought itself that struggles against the floods of literary memories.

The main character suffers from "literature sickness," which means he thinks only through literary allusions. He has become so "literary" that he even thinks of embodying literature. But there is a gnawing problem here. "Lit
...more
Ryan
While waiting for the death of the novel, which is like waiting for the barbarians, we could welcome the arrival of new novel forms, in new formats. These anti-novels and autofictions, they follow their own artistic programmes. They depend on a trove of treasures and trivia about certain writers and artists, recalling memories not their own, creating a mosaic of passages from literature to produce new texts, new textures. They are "last novels" because they hardly look like proper novels. Certai ...more
Stephen P
Jul 04, 2016 Stephen P rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite books by a favorite author. how could i not like a character so completely obsessed with literature? accompany it with a search and searching, a picaresque flavor blended into the mix and this book is ready to be delved into and thoroughly enjoyed anytime. a complete intellectual and literary experience.
Samuel Ch.
Jul 22, 2012 Samuel Ch. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca
Es cierto lo que se dice de Vila-Matas: A este autor o se ama con pasión o se odia de muerte. El mal de Montano puede parecer un libro denso, exageradamente intelectual, y algo reservado para las mentes más brillantes. Y aunque hay algo de verdad en eso, su complejidad puede abordarse con una primera e indispensable regla: Para poder leer El mal de Montano, debe leerse primero El viaje vertical .

El mal de Montano no es sino una extensión de esta novela. Sus premisas son casi las mismas: un viej
...more
Kaushik Viswanath
Sep 11, 2013 Kaushik Viswanath rated it it was ok
What I liked about this book was the way it constructs a narrative that is perpetually haunted by the author's literary forebears. There is no curing Montano's Malady. Despite the unrelenting circularity of the text, the novel does achieve forward momentum, and it's impressive the way this book builds itself by quoting other writers.
In the end, though, I found the book pretty self-indulgent, and if all of literature is just a bunch of dead white guys, as Vila-Matas (or fine, the narrator, if you
...more
M. Sarki
Dec 25, 2011 M. Sarki rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: abandoned
I never finished it. Pointless for me to do so. I believe I have exhausted anything and everything worth reading by Enrique Vila-Matas, which surprises me actually. But he is over-ratedm as are many in the game. A one, or two at most, book wonder. Which isn't all bad and more than most can say.
Maite Iracheta
Feb 01, 2008 Maite Iracheta rated it really liked it
p. 123:
"No conocerse nunca. Es lo que creía Musil que pasa con los diarios íntimos. Él pensaba que la diarística sería la única forma narrativa del futuro, pues contiene en sí todas las formas posibles del discurso."
Victoria
Names of writers thread through Montano's Malady, as they do through his Bartleby & Company and Dublinesque and lots of Bolaño but notably The Savage Detectives. A few are familiar, but very few, attesting to how, for the general reader, among whom I count myself, Spanish and Latin American fiction is very largely unknown. The stream of names seems memorial, casting a mournful light over these books, most poignantly Bolaño's, the sadness not only for the lost writers, but for their obscurity ...more
Edward
Apr 16, 2013 Edward rated it really liked it
Montano’s “malady” could also be called “literature sickness” and consists of living for literature, not just reading it, but having it take over your life so that it becomes more real than life itself. The reader, in this case the fictional narrator of the novel, Mantano, becomes like a vampire, finding it impossible to live without feeding off endless references and quotations from authors. What’s the “cure”, then? It’s to become a non-reader of literature, or to become silent in the face of l ...more
Mark
Aug 24, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
Like his novel Bartleby & Co, Montano's Malady is digressive romp through the author's favorite books. Enrique Vila-Matas complains this time of being literature-sick, and fears, that "If I carry on like this, literature could end up swallowing me, like a doll in a whirlpool, causing me to lose my bearings in its limitless regions." Fortunately, he does carry on, recognizing that he is "...anchored in literature, which is an autonomous world, an independent reality; it has no contact reality ...more
Marcel
Dec 30, 2012 Marcel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cuando Vila-Matas habla del mal de Montano se refiere a la enfermedad del escritor que vive por la literatura y que pareciera que se encuentra fuera de la vida, sólo dando cabida a una existencia inmersa en los libros. En las primeras páginas de esta obra que se viste de distintos géneros, de esta novela-ensayo-memoria, resulta chocante tratar con este tema, da la impresión de un escritor que, sin saber qué escribir, se revuelca en un trabajo inútil, vicioso y autorreferente. Es escabroso y pare ...more
Chris Ricks
Tranquilo, si te apetece ser un gran escritor y te da pereza idear argumentos o personajes, no te preocupes, escribe sobre tu día y día, con detalles del desayuno, y tus reflexiones. Si tienes pocas reflexiones, dale vuelta a las mismas tres durante 300 páginas. Dará tanto coñazo que te acabarán declarando un genio mientras se jactan de haberlo pasado bien leyendo un libro tan insípido. Win-win.
will
Jul 22, 2008 will added it
The malady of the title is that of 'literature-sickness,' or a somewhat unhealthy obsession with books. Vila-Matas's narrator cannot experience (or express) anything without relating it to something he has read. This condition may be, for him, a horrible way to live (his wife and friends seem to think so), but it also seems to be an accurate way to describe the impulse to write. The book takes on many forms, beginning as a first-person account of a writer visiting his son. Soon, we learn that th ...more
Marco Diaz
A journey through the mind of a character suffering a malady, the literature malady. Starts off as having the structure of a novel; later on we find out the idea for that piece of fiction grew out of a diary; and the person writing the diary is the one suffering from the malady, which later becomes the narrator of his own "fictional essay" on the literary nature of the diary. Basically, it has a layered structure, literary style on top of another literary style, or better yet, metaliterature. Va ...more
Tara
Jan 30, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
This is a fiction about a writer who confuses literature with life and tries to cure his “sickness” by keeping a diary that becomes a dictionary of other diarists, and I love stuff like that.
Oli Yerovi
Mar 21, 2015 Oli Yerovi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un autor que explora ser la literatura como respuesta a estar enfermo de ella. Una exploración que pasa por la narración, el diario, el ensayo, la creación de un diccionario y, en todos ellos, a visitar a diversos autores, sus vidas, sus obras y recrear algunas de sus frases. El lenguaje es envolvente, y arma reflexiones en torno a la literatura y a la vida, que te comprometen a leer el libro despacio y con pausa.
Eduardo Solórzano
''Todo se ha escrito, todo se ha dicho, todo se ha hecho, oyó Dios que le decían y aún no había creado el mundo, todavía no había nada.También eso ya me lo habían dicho, repuso desde la hendida nada. Y comenzó a crearlo todo.'', dice Macedonio Fernandez.
Ivan Gomez
Feb 24, 2016 Ivan Gomez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le doy un 5 a este libro por la gran impresión que me ha causado en cuanto a innovación y exploración de nuevas narrativas se refiere. Aunque también me parece justo destacar que hacia el final pierde un poco de fuerza para mi. COn todo, un imprescindible.
Andrés  Velásquez
Un libro que trata con destreza la metaliteratura, la intertextualidad y la literatura. Parece un juego de capas y capas y capas de literatura. Todo enmarcado por la dolencia de un terrible mal literario.
Marco Antonio Islas-Espinosa
Lo más curioso es que de este libro conservo más en la memoria los saltos en la narración que su efecto en mí. Supongo que después de la tercera simulación Enrique Vila-Matas me tenía justo donde el quería, aunque sospecho que él tampoco lo tenía muy claro.

Este mal es por ventura, contagioso. Quien se acerca a él se enfermará de literatura. Al fin y al cabo Vila-Matas logra el objetivo de su personaje, trazar un mapa. Un mapa no ya del "writer's block" sino de la virulenta pasión por lo literari
...more
Maria Oswald
Jun 21, 2015 Maria Oswald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Para mim, esse foi de longe o melhor romance do Vila-Matas. Um hino ao amor (e à obsessão) pela literatura.
Maria Palitachi
Aug 15, 2013 Maria Palitachi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Me encanto por que me mando a Google a investigar sobre otros escritores totalmente desconocidos. No es por nada que este libró gano cinco diferentes premios. Vila-Matas toma un escritor y le da vueltas, retoma otro y le hace lo mismo. Viaja a otros países tratándose de curar del mal de Montano. El escritor juega frente a su propio espejo convirtiéndose en un parásito de la literatura. Creo que el relee su vida bajo una mascara en el espejo.
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En el 68 se fue a vivir a París, autoexiliado del gobierno de Franco y buscando mayor libertad creativa. El apartamento donde se instaló se lo alquiló la escritora Marguerite Duras. Durante estos años subsistió realizando pequeños trabajos como periodista para la revista "Fotogramas", e incluso colaboró como figurante en una película de James Bond.

Vila-Matas publicó su primer libro: "La asesina il
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“La literatura me ha permitido siempre comprender la vida. Pero precisamente por eso me deja fuera de ella.” 11 likes
“Cené con los cretinos, escritores funcionarios de mierda, muertos. Esa raza de escritores, imitadores de lo ya hecho y gente absolutamente falta de ambición literaria, aunque no de ambición económica, son una plaga más perniciosa incluso que la plaga de los directores editoriales que trabajan con entusiasmo contra lo literario.
(...)
Aquella reunión no tenía nada de simpática ni de exótica ni de original. Era en realidad un congreso literario más de los muchos que hay esparcidos por el mundo de la corrupción.”
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