Spanish writer Javier Marias dies

You don’t have to think long when it comes to naming the title of a novel by Spanish writer Javier Marias: “My Heart Is So White.” This novel burned itself into literary memory, and the life of Javier Marías as a writer has always been associated with it. In 1992, the novel “My Heart Is So White” was published, and Marias had already published a large number of books in his homeland, for which he was awarded the “Premio de la Critica” for this novel, two years later, in 1995, even with the Rómulo Gallegos Prize , one of the most important literary prizes in the Spanish-speaking world.

Although two of his books have been translated into German, Marías has not yet been notified. But when “Mein Herz soweiß” was also published in Germany in 1996, and Marcel Reich-Ranicki judged this novel to be “one of the most important novels I’ve read in recent years”, there was no stopping it: number one on the Spiegel list. A bestseller, over a million copies have been sold. The novel is demanding, contains plenty of literary references, of which Shakespeare is only one, tells a love story elegantly, amusing, with remnants of mystery and eternal unfulfillment, and the criminal search for clues is also in My Heart Is Too White.

Finally, there was someone who could hold a candle to Eco in terms of literature, who could tell a story and still not betray any literary pretensions. And, of course, a bestseller of course became the successor to “Tomorrow in the battle Think of Me”, which was quickly translated into German and originally published in 1994. With this too, Javier Marías proved just how difficult and refined the narrator he was, and this novel is also A tribute to Shakespeare.

He wrote a novel when he was 18

The latter was based on his studies of philosophy and literature in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Madrid. He had to focus on early English philology. The fact that Marias taught Spanish literature at Oxford in the mid-1980s fits well with Shakespeare’s image.

Born in 1951 as the second youngest of five children of the philosopher and opponent of Franco Julian Marias, Javier Marias was skeptical of the Spanish dictator and joined a communist group, which he later wanted nothing to do with. Storytelling was his passion anyway.

He wrote his first novel (which was never published) before he was eighteen, and he was 20 when his first novel, Los Dominios de Lobos, was finally published. Having dealt with his time at Oxford with the campus novel All Souls, he decided to give up his chair, which he now occupied in Madrid, and work full-time as a writer—as author of novels with titles such as Sentimental Man, through literary reflection. , of books with endearing mysteries, historical-philosophical know-how, and Javier Marías’s long, complex, and usually sparse sentences.

“Your Face Tomorrow” was his greatest work

As with bestsellers like My Heart Is So White – all of the following really measured against them, and Javier Marias could only achieve this to a limited extent. The audience, at least in Germany, began to turn away from him again, which is why his greatest composition, the trilogy Your Face Tomorrow, was received with respect but not with enthusiasm.

In it, Marias tells the life story of the exiled Spaniard Jaime Deza, who was recruited by British intelligence because of his ability to see people and anticipate their behavior. The atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid and London form the backdrop to this long life. The Spanish public was elated, but in Germany the trilogy did not receive much attention from the public and literary critics.

dont care. Javier Marías was a self-confident writer; Who also insisted on writing newspaper columns on politics and society regularly, did not hide his enthusiasm for Real Madrid and of course wrote about it as well. But no matter how great his affection was towards members of the royal family, literature was always his first love.

He’s testified to this in great humorous books like Written Life and The Life of Ghosts. There are serious, less serious character portraits of the writers, and unkind words of Thomas Mann or James Joyce, but there are also seven good reasons not to write novels. But there was nothing better for him than spending most of his life in a fantasy, “perhaps the only place that could be tolerated or that could be tolerated halfway.” On Sunday, Javier Marias died of pneumonia as a result of contracting Covid, on his 71st birthday.

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