Between Eternities (EBOOK)
Javier Marias is justifably best known in the English speaking world as a uite magnificent novelist but in his native Spain he is also a prolific essayist and newspaper columnistHis Spanish pieces have been collected into a number of collections from 1991 2013 among others Pasiones Pasadas Vida del Fantasma Literatura y Fantasma Mano de Sombra but have only been sporadically translated into English So this English language collection published in 2017 translated by his long term collaborator Margaret Jull Costa and selected and edited by Alexis Grohmann is to be welcomed Spanning such a long period the earliest was written in 1988 and one piece was written in 2016 and wide variety of topics the result isn t totally coherent although Grohmann has done a ood job of Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F): Canadian Art: Volume I (A-F) grouping pieces under broad themesThe vast bulk of the pieces are 2 3 pages with one a few longer than this by far the longest piece on Venice has already been published in English earlier in 2017 as the slightly disappointing as not terribly insightful Venice An Interior my review Also published in 2017 was Marias contribution to The Cahiers Series To Begin at the Beginning my review Again I was a little underwhelmed and arguably the c20% of the essay here on writing rather remove the need to read that book with many of the same themes repeatedThe one post 2011 piece here Writing a Little More 2016 explains why 6 of Marias fictional works and indeed one of his essay collections take their titles and concepts from Shakespeare There are so many ideas that he merely noted in passing but left unexplored you feel tempted too down them to venture along paths he merely signalled the energy the rhythm the low of his images and metaphors all drive us on and create in is an illusion of intuition revelation or even sudden wisdom Then when you emerge from the wave and look back you realise that there is still much to explore to develop to puzzle over and think about What further encouragement does an author need to write a little Those are the 5 novels A Heart so White Macbeth Tomorrow in the BattleRichard III Dark Back of Time Tempest Your Face Tomorrow Henry IV part II Thus Bad Begins Hamlet the story collection When I Was Mortal Richard III and Ser amado cuando falte Coriolanus I Shall Be Lov d when I am Lack d See there is little specific commentary on his own books although he does in one essay comment on the auto fiction nature of All Souls not that he accepts that label another ridiculous concept currently in vogue and in particular the issue he had with the character of the narrator who was almost entirely based on himself but not actually him an issue he ultimately resolved by having the narrator looking back on the experiences in Oxford that he shared with the author being unlike Marias married with children The other issue raised by All Souls was the characters that were inspired albeit much less closely based on real life characters from Oxford often combinations of than one person this was of course the focus of his magnificent meta fictional false novel Dark Back of TimeHis experience of Oxford leads him in another piece The Keys of Wisdom to hail the uniueness of the Oxford method of inuisition of visiting scholars True these crucifixions were carried out with enormous delicacy as if the pain would be lessened if the nails were hammered on very slowly and by someone wearing silk loves in a litany if hesitant and extremely polite but poisonous uestions I wonder if is the usual opening One Touch of Scandal gambit to which no one however well prepared and composed they might be will be capable ofiving a satisfactory answer Oxford then almost never states it merely uestions and it does to perfection Although he admits is unable to comment as to whether this uniuness isn t in reality shared with Cambridge He himself notes only the extreme superficial likeness of the two Bulletproof Feathers great Universities which makes one suspect the existence of enormous underlying differences and notes that in contrast to the instinctive disdain forraduates from any other University in the world Oxford Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store graduates treat those who come from Cambridge with an exuisite respect tinged with deep set loathing I can not resist but insert here the memorable moment in Blackadder when a German spy is unmaskedCaptain Blackadder And then the final irrefutable proof Remember you mentioned a clever boyfriendNurse Mary YesBlackadder Well I leapt on the opportunity to test you I asked you whether he had been to one of thereat universities Oxford Cambridge HullMary WellBlackadder What you didn t spot is that only two of those are Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580-1620 great universitiesMary You swineGeneral Melchett That s right Oxford s a complete dumpMarias in common with many leading non English speaking authors is also a prolific translator and in My favourite book he comments that if a writer is really honest then their favourite book will be the one they themselves have written Whichives him the wonderful pleasure
Of Being Able To being able to his accolade to Tristram Shandy since he wrote it in Spanish being responsible for an award winning translation In artistic terms Marias argues for the opposite of pretension proclaiming the merits enre fiction notably spy thrillers and of Hollywood movies and Westerns in particular Artistic prejudices are always the most difficult to root out Critics whose duty should be to see beyond the pretensions of artists and the public s passing fancies often allow themselves to be persuaded by the way authors present their work by what they say they have achieved or else
ARE GUIDED BY WHATEVER HAS BEEN guided by whatever has been wild success usually in order to take the opposing view and which had been damningly labelled popular Admirable sentiments and perhaps a uote all Goodreads reviewers myself particularly should take to heart However the resulting section of this book focusing on Westerns and from which indeed the collection takes its title a uote from the made for TV movie Broken Trail and cover picture is perhaps the weakest of the book from my perspective since the pieces don t really without knowledge of the films or actors concerned And having rejected artistic pretension it has to be said that as in his novels Marias writes from a very old fashioned educated upper middle class old fashioned and almost fusty stance towards almost anything modern vulgar is perhaps to his mind the reatest of insultsThe two main deliberate omissions from this English language selection are Marias extensive writing on politics and football which feels rather a shame particularly Chicago Architecture (Architecture Urbanism) given the uality of the two pieces that are included Albeit one wonders if his pieces on smoking see eg have been deliberately omitted as out of step with UKUS attitudes No Narrative Shame was written in 2006 as a sort of spin off of Your Face Tomorrow one of a number of reports in the style of that book on real life figures But it could well have been written in 2018 Essentially the man is a bore even when he s merely auest he has to dominate Whenever he ets together with other heads of state it s obvious that deep down he feels like an intruder and it s precisely his jaunty carefree manner that betrays. An exhilarating far ranging collection of non fiction writing from the internationally acclaimed author of A Heart So White and The InfatuationsInternationally renowned writer Javier Marias is a tireless examiner of the world around us an enthusiastic debunker of pretensions of.
Javier Marías å 2 SummaryAnd he has a wry sense of humor which makes the beautiful writing even engaging I really enjoyed these essays I ot a free copy from GoodreadsOverall it is not a book that I would read again I d prefer to read novels from this author It is too easy to pick such eclectic stories and pack them together to say that there is something new to sellCons This miscellaneous selection of short stories or essays lacks consistency and only scratches the surface of very different topics like reviews of western movies details of his own childhood in Madrid and past experiences when teaching in Oxford or visiting Venice I DNF some of them but wanted to read about others It is a limpse and it may have been better to have a translation in American English too If you have not seen the classic movies mentioned in the last part you may not understand all the reviews Even if we do not expect a philosophical essay about time the sampling does not deliver a clear message about the author s vision because it presents him only as an external observer of what remains or changesPros It shows that Javier Mar as has a witty mind and is a polymath with acute attention to his environment Most of the stories have clearly something to do with time the main topic of the book Javier Mar as was free to express himself on different matters and fortunately he did it without narcissism wordy descriptions or bittersweet complains of nostalgia I really appreciate this concise style I really loved the essays in the first section A Borrowed Dream The trouble is that I did not enjoy the remaining 200 pages which were filled with moviecharacter critiues and observations on changes in society some of which relate to his affluent upbringing It s all fine and well articulated writing it just did not have the youthful imaginative spirit that I hoped would continue throughoutLooking back at my reading status updates for this book I ot through the first section 40 pages in under 2 days the final 200 pages took me a month Marias is one of the best novelists at work today He is also apparently a tiresome bore who writes fluff for newspapers and now we have proof of this second identity in English The editors and translators try to justify farting this out into the world but the justification can only be that Marias is Marias and people like me will buy whatever he writes with a stress on the words buy whatever he writes There is very little merit to the essays they tell us little about the novels that the novels don t tell us themselves and Marias is like any other author who suddenly turns into an asshole when they leave the realm of fiction Marias seems to think he s shocking the bourgeoisie but he s just tiresome take a way the irony of fictional narration and that isn t even remotely interesting It s interesting that his most recent novel in English is so much politically and socially astute than anything he writes in these essays I do wonder what that s all about Reading a book of essays written by one author I like it is almost a Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919 gift to me because it helped to show under a new light many of the novels he wrote and toet to know him a little bit better So these are the reasons why I liked this collection even if it was sometimes hard due to the fact that I had no idea about some of the topics or the people he was talking about plus I have to say I do not think he was right describing the people of Venice but the reasons are exactly the same he is Spanish and I am ItalianLeggere una raccolta di saggi di uno degli autori che mi piacciono uanto di pi simile ad un regalo da parte loro che io possa mai ricevere Intanto perch etta nuova luce sui libri i letti e poi perch mi sembra dopo di conoscerlo un po meglio e uesto credo riassuma le ragioni per cui ho apprezzato il libro Ci sono chiaramente state molte volte in cui non avevo idea di chi fossero le persone o i libri o i film che citava n posso dire di essere d accordo sulla sua visione di Venezia e dei veneziani ma per entrambe le cose la ragione sta nel fatto che lui spagnolo mentre io sono italianaTHANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW My husband who is Spanish recently recommended that I read Javier Marias Several days later at the library I saw this book translated to English and picked it up before realizing it was a series of newspaper pieces and essays rather than fiction I must say it was rather a poor introduction to Marias for me While many of these pieces may have been uite insightful at the time they were written without further context many of them seemed too brief and too unconnected from anything else Additionally because they were Classic Rough News grouped by topic the reader sometimesrew weary of similar topics being raised in numerous pieces read one after the next when in reality such works were published years apart from each other The section rouping together some of his film criticisms included articles highlighting the same obscure films and the section with his literary criticism included
SIMILAR REPEATED REFERENCES TO THE SAMErepeated references to the same and works something which seemed rather unnecessarily redundant I probably would have iven it to the same authors and works something which seemed rather unnecessarily redundant I probably would have iven it two stars but I did find two elements that I particularly loved and that alone earn an extra star First were the brief vignettes about Spain The story of the dead stork and the article about Spanish football loyalties I know it s cheap to trade on cultural stereotypes Spanish bureaucracy Spain as a nation of crazed football fanatics but he does it with such warmth and affection that anyone who has familiarity with Spain will find these stories both very funny and very true Second Marias finally captured for me what I have always tried to articulate when defending It s a Wonderful Life as than just a heartwarming Christmas story Next time I challenge someone on this point I fully intend to direct my opponent to his essay on this often misunderstood film So three stars I think is fair When I was in the library the other day I picked up one of Marias works of fiction I look forward to seeing if it s a little to my liking This is a collection of mostly short pieces I m uessing a significant number of them are from his weekly newspaper column They are pleasant often entertaining rarely profound and a bit repetitive when assembled this way One reads these not for Marias opinions which are asserted rather than supported with evidence and are sometimes fairly random but instead for the pleasure of his easy familiar delivery like sitting in conversation with an unguarded friend who watches a lot of westerns I m Common People: The History of An English Family guessing his novels are at least a cut above this and that this is not areat introduction to understand why he is so well regarded as a literary figure I m A Huge Fan Of Marias I Count Him Among My huge fan of Marias I count him among my contemporary novelists I found this collection to be underwhelming not least because Vintage didn t edit it from British to American spelling and that the introduction by Alexis Grohmann presumed that details of Marias s novels were autobiographyThe last two sections of this book redeemed it from being pedestrian as well as the longer piece about Venice I look forward to Javier Marias s next nove. Hical from football to cinema comic books to mortality to 'Why Almost No One Can Be Trusted' Trenchant and wry subversive and penetrating Marias demonstrates a dazzling intellectual vigour showing with exhilarating verve why he is so often said to be Spain's reatest living writ. His deep seated insecurity this man is unscrupulous but in the most real and radical sense of the world he has never rejected scruples for the simple reason that they are beyond his imagination and have never been part of his thinking let alone his valuesThe subject no not who you are thinking but Silvio BerlusconiAlthough even this piece betrays a certain amount of snobbery as Marias is delighted to reveal that Berlusconi started as a cruise ship entertainer shades of John Prescott and reminds Marias of an old style caretaker or porter the kind who kowtow to the owners and to the wealthier tenants but treat delivery men and servants like dirtAnd the one piece on football included is essentially Marias take on the only as ood as your last conquest and community:the afterlife of warrior saint ghazi miyan game cliche which he endorses He reveals that he temporarily but uite seriously fell out with his Barcelona based publisher and also vowed never to again set foot in Tenerife after the dramatic finale of the 1991 2 La Liga He observes that while a writer an architect or a musician can rest a little after having written areat novel designed a marvellous building or made an unforgettable record some have been deemed to be Composition and Literature: Bridging the Gap good right up to their death thanks to one estimable work written fifty years before in sportenerally and football in particular having been the best yesterday doesn t count today let alone tomorrow Past joy is as nothing compared to present anxietyOverall this was certainly a significant improvement on Jose Saramago s another Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity great southern European peer of Marias rather embarrasing NotebooksAnd Marias completists aside ie me this is my 18th Marias book this is best read in place of not just Venice An Interior which it subsumes but also the Cahiers Series To Begin at the BeginningHowever this still feels like something to fill the time while one waits for Berta Isla which seems to bearnening critical acclaim to make its way into English i don t know if we ll ever be able to see a film about an artist or read a book about his or her life without it making us wonder if our admiration for the work of such a creature hasn t been a big mistake too true of course so perhaps we should be especially thankful a biography or documentary film about javier mar as has heretofore not been made the reat spanish writer in addition to his exceptional body of fictional offerings and like so many non american authors has also accumulated a significant output of essays newspaper columns and other feature articles between eternities collects some two decades worth of such writingsany fan of mar as s novels will find much to enjoy in this newly translated non fiction collection perhaps most of all his resplendent prose yet overall between eternities leaves a little to be desired though it ought to be said that the bar for mar as s writing is already so demonstrably high iven how exceptional so much of his fiction is nonetheless king xavier of redonda could pen nearly anything and it would command the attention of many this reader included between eternities explores alights and muses upon a rather wide swath of subjects including film european cities most notably venice which makes up the collections s longest piece books his own and others authors the writerly profession aging passing time death etcwhile mar as has always seemed like a deliberate careful and observant writer there s a whiff of haughtiness to some of these pieces for such an erudite and learned fellow one might expect a healthy and necessary dose of iconoclasm or even irreverence yet surely none is to be found the collection eschews politics almost entirely nonetheless there s much within between eternities to slake even the most ardent mar as devotee s literary thirst though it surely does not make one any less impatient for the next novel any feeling of pity arises at least in my case from the contrary idea far from carrying a child around inside us which would it must be said be a terrible nuisance what we think we see in our photos or in our oldest memories is that the adult we are was already contained in the child that we were and wasn t very difficult to spot either often in order to Contingent Lives: Fertility, Time, and Aging in West Africa get a sense of someone with whom sooner or later i moing to have dealings i try to imagine what they would have been like as a child and how we would have ot on whether we would have been ood friends or have hated each other s Creating Chicago's North Shore: A Suburban History guts one comes to realize that if anyone contains anyone it s the child who contains the future adult and not the other way round and when one looks at old photos it s hard not to think in a way of the burden this implies not that there s any place for self pity here either throughout all of history children have always been adults in the making and the reason childhood has been seen as important is because of the way it shapes and influences what will come later which is what matters nowadays on the other hand peopleive importance to childhood itself as if humanity s sole crazy aim was to shape and create eternal perennial children not a ood idea but that is how it is translated from the spanish by margaret jull costa saramago pessoa de ueir *S Vila Matas Cardoso * vila matas cardoso carrasco et al35 stars However much certain optimists may talk about the survival or possible resurrection of the Western I fear much to my regret that as a enre it is pretty much dead and buried a relic Of A Credulous Innocent Emotional Age An Age Less Crushed a credulous innocent emotional age an age less crushed suffocated by the Chicana Falsa ghastly plague of political correctness This is just onereat uote from the book of essays by Javier Marias Between Eternities which I would ive a 910 rating if that were possible on Goodreads I like well written essays and these are all beautifully written provocative and evocative across a wide spectrum of topics Javier is a film buff who clearly liked the classic American Westerns but he also highly praises one of my favorite all time films which I used to show in my Foreign Film Club Almodovar s Volver There are a dozen markers in my book noting passages that I loved but perhaps my favorite essay is Why Almost No One Can Be Trusted It begins When you think about it or look back or remember you will probably find that you know hardly anyone who does think about it or look back or remember you will probably find that you know hardly anyone who does claim to place some rather impersonal or abstract ideal or entity above his or her relationships with other peopleone always claims that something usually something that does not exist or is at most ungraspable intangible amorphous or invisible is above everything else and naturally above other people God or the Church Spain Catalonia or Euskal Herria the company the party ideology the State the revolution communism fascism the capitalist system justice the law the language this or that institution this school this newspaper this bank the Crown the Republic the Army this or that TV channel a particular brand Barcelona football club or Real Madrid my family my principles my country Anything from the randiose to the trivial can be deemed to be above mere peopleand have no ualms about sacrificing or betraying individuals in the name of what they consider to be sacred or the cause His writings about certain cities are riveting. Every kind a polymath and a rogue This selection of his inimitable non fiction pieces are published together in English for the first timeFollowing in the essayistic tradition of Montaigne Between Eternities ranges widely from the literary to the philosophical to the autobiograp. ,