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There is a dream he can realise however, and that is one he had while seriously ill, caused by years of alcohol abuse. He dreamed of Dublin, “a city he had never been to, but which in the dream he knew perfectly well, as if he'd lived there in another life”. That other life is, of course, reading. He has absorbed James Joyce’s Ulysses as a vampire absorbs another's lifeblood, just as Joyce absorbed Homer. As is only natural for someone who has a “remarkable tendency to read his life as a literary text”, Riba decides to hold a funeral for the Gutenberg age of print in the very same chapel that in episode six of Ulysses saw the funeral of Paddy Dignam. If literature is dying, then a funeral must follow (more...)

A Provisional Miracle: Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas

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