How does a literary text come into being? Is it born from mad inspiration, or from the labor of a logical mind?
Pablo M. Ruiz explores these questions in Four Cold Chapters on the Possibility of Literature (Leading Mostly to Borges and Oulipo) (Dalkey Archive, 2014), but he also ends up doing much more. He takes us on a journey through literature from Aristotle to Queneau and, being a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, he can’t resist taking the scenic route and pointing out interesting landmarks along the way. The result is a digressive, meandering, occasionally frustrating and yet utterly absorbing book.