Stitution 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 grandiose 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 Tigers in Normandy riveting and he has a wry sense of humor which makes the beautiful writing even engaging Ieally enjoyed these essays This is a collection of mostly short pieces I m guessing a significant number of them are from his weekly newspaper column They are pleasant often entertaining Presidential Secrecy and the Law rarely profound and a bitepetitive when assembled this way One eads these not for Marias opinions which are asserted ather than supported with evidence and are sometimes fairly Hume on Religion 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 guessing his novels are at least a cut above this and that this is not a great introduction to understand why he is so wellegarded as a literary figure 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 esult isn t totally coherent although Grohmann has done a good job of 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 eview Also published in 2017 was Marias contribution to The Cahiers Series To Begin at the Beginning my City Schools: Lessons from New York review Again I was a little underwhelmed and arguably the c20% of the essay here on writingather The Widow's Lawman remove the need toead that book with many of the same themes The Story Within 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 to go down them to venture along paths he merely signalled the energy thehythm the glow of his images and metaphors all drive us on and create in is an illusion of intuition evelation or even sudden wisdom Then when you emerge from the wave and look back you ealise 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 Your Face Tomorrow Henry IV part II Thus Bad 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 God Gave Me a Mulligan: A Journalist's Life in War and Peace 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 ultimatelyesolved 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 aised by All Souls
WAS THE CHARACTERS THAT WERE INSPIRED ALBEIT MUCH LESS the characters that were inspired albeit much less based on eal 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 gloves in a litany if hesitant and extremely polite but poisonous uestions I wonder if is the usual opening gambit to which no one however well prepared and composed they might be will be capable of giving a satisfactory answer Oxford then almost never states it merely uestions and it does so to perfection Although he admits he is unable to comment as to whether this uniuness isn t in The American Academic Profession: Transformation in Contemporary Higher Education reality shared with Cambridge He himself notes only the extreme superficial likeness of the two great Universities which makes one suspect the existence of enormous underlying differences and notes that in contrast to the instinctive disdain for graduates from any other University in the world Oxford graduates treat those who come from Cambridge with an exuisiteespect tinged with deep set loathing I can not The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model: Reconciling Art and Science in Psychiatry 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 the great universities Oxford Cambridge HullMary WellBlackadder What you didn t spot is that only two of those are great universitiesMary You swineGeneral Melchett That sight 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 The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism really honest then their favourite book will be the one they themselves have written Which gives him the wonderful pleasure of being able to hand his accolade to Tristram Shandy since he wrote it in Spanish beingesponsible for an award winning translation In artistic terms Marias argues for the opposite of pretension proclaiming the merits genre fiction notably spy thrillers and of Hollywood movies and Westerns in particu. Every kind a polymath and a ogue 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 anges widely from the literary to the philosophical to the autobiograp. I don t know if we ll ever be able to see a film about an artist or A Kangaroo's Life 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 great 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 hisesplendent 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 given how exceptional so much of his fiction is nonetheless king xavier of edonda could pen nearly anything and it would command the attention of many this eader included between eternities explores alights and muses upon a ather 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 get a sense of someone with whom sooner or later i m going to have dealings i try to imagine what they would have been like as a child and how we would have got on whether we would have been good friends or have hated each other s guts one comes to ealize that if anyone contains anyone it s the child who contains the future adult and not the other way The Monacan Indian Nation of Virginia: The Drums of Life 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 theeason 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 people give importance to childhood itself as if humanity s sole crazy aim was to shape and create eternal perennial children not a good idea but that is how it is translated from the spanish by margaret jull costa saramago pessoa de ueir s vila matas cardoso atxaga carrasco et al35 stars My husband who is Spanish ecently ecommended that I Murder in Gutenthal read Javier Marias Several days later at the library I saw this book translated to English and picked it up beforeealizing it was a series of newspaper pieces
and essays One of Our Thursdays Is Missing rather than fiction I must say it wasather a poor introduction to essays On the Field of Glory: an Historical Novel of the Time of King John Sobieski rather than fiction I must say it wasather a poor introduction to 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 I Lassie Come-Home really loved the essays in the first section A Borrowed Dream The trouble is that I did not enjoy theemaining 200 pages which WERE FILLED WITH MOVIECHARACTER CRITIUES AND OBSERVATIONS ON CHANGES filled with moviecharacter critiues and observations on changes society some of which The People from the Sea relate to his affluent upbringing It s 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 theealm 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 emotely interesting It s interesting that his most ecent 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 However much certain optimists may talk about the survival or possible esurrection of the Western I fear much to my egret that as a genre it is pretty much dead and buried a Mr. Majeika and the Dinner Lady and Mr. Majeika and the Music Teacher relic of a credulous innocent emotional age an age less crushed or suffocated by the ghastly plague of political correctness This is just one great uote from the book of essays by Javier Marias Between Eternities which I would give a 910ating 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 all beautifully written provocative and evocative across a wide spectrum of topics Javier is a film buff who clearly liked 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 emember you will probably find that you know hardly anyone who does not claim to place some ather impersonal or abstract ideal or entity above his or her Ninth City Burning (War of the Realms, 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 theevolution communism fascism the capitalist system justice the law the language this or that in. An exhilarating far Der Ritter und die Bastardtochter ranging collection of non fiction writing from the internationally acclaimed author of A Heart So White and The InfatuationsInternationallyenowned writer Javier Marias is a tireless examiner of the world around us an enthusiastic debunker of pretensions of. ,
Lar Artistic prejudices are always the most difficult to Chinaberries and Crows 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 a wild success usually in order to take the opposing view and which had been damningly labelled popular Admirable sentiments and perhaps a uote all Goodreadseviewers myself particularly should take to heart However the esulting 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 eally without knowledge of the films or actors concerned And having ejected 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 greatest of insultsThe two main deliberate omissions from this English language selection are Marias extensive writing on politics and football which feels ather a shame particularly 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 eports in the style of that book on eal life figures But it could well have been written in 2018 Essentially the man is a bore even when he s merely a guest he has to dominate Whenever he gets 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 his deep seated insecurity this man is unscrupulous but in the most eal and adical sense of the world he has never ejected scruples for the simple eason 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 Reform, Red Scare, and Ruin reveal that Berlusconi started as a cruise ship entertainer shades of John Prescott andeminds 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 good as your last game cliche which he endorses He Grauwacht 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 canest a little after having written a great novel designed a marvellous building or made an unforgettable ecord some have been deemed to be good ight up to their death thanks to one estimable work written fifty years before in sport generally 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 great southern European peer of Marias Lies, Damned Lies, and History rather embarrasing NotebooksAnd Marias completists aside ie me this is my 18th Marias book this is bestead 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 be garnening critical acclaim to make its way into English Reading a book of essays written by one author I like it is almost a gift to me because it helped to show under a new light many of the novels he wrote and to
GET TO KNOW HIM A LITTLE BIT BETTER SOto know him a little bit better So are the The New World 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 wasight describing the people of Venice but the You Wouldn't Want to Be an Inca Mummy!: A One-way Journey You'd Rather Not Make reasons are exactly the same he is Spanish and I am ItalianLeggere unaaccolta di saggi di uno degli autori che mi piacciono uanto di pi simile ad un egalo da parte loro che io possa mai icevere Intanto perch getta nuova luce sui libri gi letti e poi perch mi io possa mai The Fashion Industry and Its Careers: An Introduction ricevere Intanto perch getta nuova luce sui libri gi letti e poi perch mi dopo di conoscerlo un po meglio e uesto credoiassuma le agioni 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 agione sta nel fatto che lui spagnolo mentre io sono italianaTHANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW I got a free copy from GoodreadsOverall it is not a book that I would Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land read again I d prefer toead 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 Einführung in die germanistische Linguistik 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 toead about others It is a glimpse
and it may have been better to have a translation in American Englishit may have been better to have a translation in American English If you have not seen the classic movies mentioned in the last part you may not understand all the クロネコ彼氏の甘え方 [Kuroneko Kareshi no Amaekata] 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 whatemains 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 Sneeuwwitje moet sterven really appreciate this concise style I m a huge fan of Marias I count him among my favorite contemporary novelists I found this collection to be underwhelming not least because Vintage didn t edi. 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 greatest living writ.