The essentials of Javier Marías

Javier Marías, who in recent years had been on the list of favorites for the Nobel Prize, leaves behind 16 novels, as well as several volumes of short stories, essays and newspaper articles.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
11 September 2022 Sunday 20:51
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The essentials of Javier Marías

Javier Marías, who in recent years had been on the list of favorites for the Nobel Prize, leaves behind 16 novels, as well as several volumes of short stories, essays and newspaper articles. Precisely his latest publication, Will the cook be a good person?', which appeared this year, is a compilation of his writings published in 'EPS' between February 2019 and January 2021 in which he portrayed his often controversial vision of contemporary society. But the novel is undoubtedly the genre that has earned him unanimous recognition both by the public and by the most demanding critics. A large survey carried out in 2007 by the Colombian magazine Semana, among 81 writers, critics, editors, professors and cultural journalists from Latin America and Spain, chose two of his works, Corazón tan blanco and Mañana en la Batalla Think of Me, among the ten best in Spanish of the last 25 years. If repeated today, surely other titles would be added to the list. Here are some of the most prominent.

A game between fiction and reality in which Marías narrated his experience as a professor at Oxford University, where he intersects with characters such as the married lover, Clare Bayes, a woman conditioned by something she attended but does not remember; the friend Cromer-Blake, ironic homosexual who lives manufacturing intense experiences for an old age that he anticipates lonely; the now retired professor Toby Rylands or the prowler Alan Marriott, with his three-legged dog... It earned him the Ciutat de Barcelona award.

"I didn't want to know, but I did know that one of the girls, when she was no longer a girl and had not long since returned from her honeymoon, went into the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror, opened her blouse , took off her bra and searched for her heart with the point of the gun...”, thus begins a novel with which she won the Critics' Award in 1993, the Prix L'Oeil de la Lettre that same year and the Dublin Impacd International Literature Prize in 1997, and of which millions of copies were sold throughout the world Located between Havana and Madrid Havana to Madrid, it brings together some of the great themes of its literature: the marriage, secrets, murder, suspicion, not wanting to know and the convenience of keeping silent.

Marías reintroduces the reader to the novel with another burst of impact: "Nobody ever thinks that he can go to meet a dead woman in his arms and that he will no longer see her face whose name he remembers." This is what happens to the narrator, Víctor Francés, a black television scriptwriter who is in charge of writing the speeches of important and ignorant people. Recently divorced, he is invited to dinner at his house by Marta Téllez, a married woman whose husband is away and the mother of a two-year-old boy. After dinner, the man and woman go to the bedroom where she begins to feel bad until she agonizes and dies. ..

Defined by Marías himself as a "false novel", he draws on his experience as a writer to pose questions such as what a novel is today, the relationship between reality and fiction, the limits of one and the other, and the work of the storyteller.

Monumental trilogy composed of Fever and Spear (2002), Dance and Dream (2004) and Poison and Shadow and Goodbye (2007), in which he approaches the Civil War from an episode inspired by the denunciation of which he was a victim his father, the philosopher and disciple of Ortega y Gasset Julián Marías, who was imprisoned for being a Republican and was prohibited from teaching at the Francoist university for refusing to sign the principles of the Movement.

A deep, sharp and intelligent reflection on the state of falling in love, death or the impossibility of knowing the truth. María Dolz, the narrator and protagonist, only learned his name «when his photo appeared in the newspaper, stabbed and half-shirtless and about to become dead: the last thing he must have realized was that he was being stabbed by confusion and without cause."

The starting point is the meeting of a young man ("the young De Vere") who observes the intimacy of a marriage: that of the filmmaker Eduardo Muriel, who has hired him as an assistant and is facing the decline of his career, and his attractive wife Beatriz Noguera.

As in 'Your face tomorrow', the novel is starred by a young Spaniard who lives between two cultures, the Spanish and the English, and who in this case is the object of attention of the intelligence services: MI5 and MI6. T

Published in March 2021, it is his last novel and it deals with the story of a retired spy who is called on one last mission in a town in the Basque Country at the time of ETA and the GAL. Blessed draws an extreme rural drama, from the murder of Joan shot in the back in a mansion. A reflection on evil based on the adventures of a British agent investigating the connection between ETA and the IRA.

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