Javier Marías fled to death with his ‘white heart’
His works have been translated into 46 languages in 59 countries
Wednesday – 18 Safar 1444 AH – 14 September 2022 AD Issue No. [
Marías (right), Vargas Llosa (centre) and Artorio Riverti
Madrid: Shawky Al Rayes
He was the brightest… the deepest culture… the most differentiated in the Spanish novelist path during the past five decades… and the most widely spread among his peers on the world level. This is some of what was said about Javier Marias, who died last Sunday evening in Madrid on the threshold of his 71st birthday, as a result of a severe chest infection caused by a “Covid” infection at the beginning of this year.
Marias began his literary production early when he was still under nineteen when he published his first novel “The Track of the Wolf,” which he put in Paris, where he stayed for a while at his uncle’s house, the film director, who commissioned him to translate some works in preparation for a film about Dracula. Before Paris, Marillas resided for years in the United States, where his father had to; The well-known anti-regime thinker, professor and philosopher, General Franco, moved to Massachusetts after being banned from teaching at the University of Madrid. There he met his father’s neighbor, the Russian novelist and poet Vladimir Nabokov, who translated some poems for him into Spanish, and began working as a translator with the United Nations.
His works have been translated into 46 languages in 59 countries, and he won many Spanish and international prizes, and was a candidate several times for the Nobel Prize, but he did not receive the Cervantes Prize, which is said to be his political stances and repeated critical statements granted to some writers, which prevented him from obtaining it.
Fame came to him with the release of his third novel, for which he chose a title taken from the Macbeth play by Shakespeare, “Fouad Very White,” which revolves around the life of an interpreter. The sentence that begins that novel: “I refused to know, but I knew…” still resonates in the tongues of those who are close to his works and literary production, which García Márquez once said had entered the dictionary of the wonderful introductory sentences in world literature. But his most important production was the famous trilogy “Your Face Tomorrow”, in which it deals with periods of the Spanish Civil War, based on an incident inspired by a rumor that his father died when he was a student of the great philosopher Ortega and Gasset.
During the celebration of the golden jubilee of the publication of his first novel, “Wolf’s Track”, he said that he turned to writing to escape translation, “because I hated obeying the orders of chiefs, waking up early, and keeping to fixed appointments.” But he admitted that he did not imagine “that in that escape into childhood there is such an endless amount of torment and hardship.”
For the past three years, Marías has been writing a weekly article in El País, a selection of which he collected in his last book, published weeks before his death.
In the speech he gave on the occasion of entering the Royal Academy of Language in 2008 under the title “On the difficulty of narration,” he said that his most beautiful novels are those that he was unable to write despite many attempts, and that “the most beautiful thing about writing is being lost and in your pocket is a compass, but without a road map.” ».
One of his close friends, the novelist Eduardo Mendoza who also worked for years as a translator at the United Nations, says that whenever Marías finished writing a novel, he would repeat: “This was the last, I have nothing left to say.” In recent years, he set out to establish a publishing house specializing in fantasy literature, and to follow up on the activities of a local football team that he supported with money, and he was an ardent supporter of Real Madrid, whose players observed a minute of silence in their last match.
Marias belonged to a family of multi-talented intellectual and artistic. His father was one of the great Spanish thinkers and philosophers, and his brother Miguel has encyclopedic books on art criticism, while his other brother Fernando is a world reference on the famous painter El Greco, and his younger brother Alvaro is a composer and a world flute player. His mother, who died two years ago, was also a respected translator who translated some of Rilke’s work into Spanish. In his last long speech at the end of last May, he said: “I have the impression that, in everything I wrote, I have not convinced anyone of anything at all,” and that the idea of immortality means nothing to him “what would have happened has happened, and today’s history is passing before us.” Lightning fast, and there is no point in stopping him.”
But Marillas, who did not leave his childhood features until his death, was aware that his literature constituted one of the most brilliant Spanish literary experiments, and shining evidence that the accuracy of the narration and the mastery of diving into the depths of human nature do not conflict with the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of readers and capture their admiration.
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