Passion for life


Practicing literature requires slow learning. The age of writers does not exist. The fact that Javier Marías died at age 70 is like an athlete died at age 30. Marías was our Spanish prodigy and our most notable Nobel Prize contender, as his novels were translated into many languages ​​and his international standing was solid. In all European countries and in the United States, Javier Marías’ novels were read and acclaimed by critics. I was fascinated by the author’s ability of ‘Corazón tan blanco’ to penetrate the human soul. Javier Marías was our Dostoevsky. He knew all human abysses: betrayal, loneliness, love, time, lies, power.

This death hurts us because we all sensed that Marías still had many extraordinary novels to write. Many of the myths of literature were updated during his lifetime, such as the myth of the indomitable independent writer. For example, I remember his rejection of the National Narrative Prize, which was awarded to him in 2012 for his excellent novel ‘Los Enamoramientos’. It built a prestige away from the Spanish political vicissitudes. He belonged to the Royal Academy of Language, perhaps because his father, the philosopher Julián Marías, was also a part of it. I was always moved by that loyalty and love for his father.

He was a writer who was proud of his art and often disdainful of his Spanish heritage, but he was a writer in Spanish. He spoke little about Spanish writers, apart from Cervantes, who preferred to emphasize their Anglo-Saxon influences. Javier Marías was a reformer of the Spanish novel. He gave her a new epic, took her to unsuspected areas. In that sense, it was a colonizer of new territories reclaimed from the void. With the teachings of Juan Benet, Marías gave the slip to Spanish realism and took the novel to other seas, this broadening operation was a success and it enriched our literature. The Spanish novel, starring Javier Marías, took on the same international brilliance as Spanish democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, after the long night of Francoism. All of Spain and its literature were homologous to other European countries. Especially the death of writers is terrible. It’s as if life has died. A writer is primarily a defender of the passion of life.

Source: La Verdad


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