Item description for Corazon tan blanco by Javier Marias...
Translator and interpreter Juan Ranz is a newly-wed in Havana on his honeymoon. As he is looking over the balcony, an unknown girl in the street mistakes him for somebody else, and he overhears a strange conversation in the hotel. From that moment "a feeling of disaster" hovers over his marriage. The key to that uneasiness is in the past: his father married three times to conceive him.
Javier Marias has created a hypnotic novel about the convenience of secrecy, about marriage, murder, suspicion, silence, and persuasion. About white hearts (corazones tan blancos) getting darker and darker until they know things they never wanted to know.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.28" Width: 6" Height: 1" Weight: 0.91 lbs.
Release Date May 30, 1999
Publisher Santillana USA Publishing Company
ISBN 8420430838 ISBN13 9788420430836
Availability 0 units.
More About Javier Marias
Javier Marias is an award-winning Spanish novelist. He is also a translator and columnist, as well as the current king of Redonda. He was born in Madrid in 1951 and published his first novel at the age of nineteen. He has held academic posts in Spain, the US (he was a visiting professor at Wellesley College) and Britain, as a lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University. He has been translated into 34 languages, and more than six million copies of his books have been sold worldwide. In 1997 he won the Nelly Sachs Award; the Comunidad de Madrid award in 1998; in 2000 the Grinzane Cavour Award, the Alberto Moravia Prize, and the Dublin IMPAC Award. He also won the Spanish National Translation Award in 1979 for his translation of Tristram Shandy in 1979. He was a professor at Oxford University and the Complutense of Madrid. He currently lives in Madrid.
Reviews - What do customers think about Corazon tan blanco?
Too easily written Dec 8, 2007
Marias has a rhythm that he repeats throughout the book, in which an apparently natural inner monologue leads up to a surprising insight or an unexpected obstacle. It is clear that he thinks these changes of direction produce meaning, and that their accumulation can lead to deeper meanings. But for me, it's consistently disappointing to see him leading up to one of those moments, and imagining that the result will be expressive or even profound, and then turning, satisfied, to the next episode.
The book has a large-scale structure, and was clearly planned in advance, but on the level of the page, it is loose. Epiphanies were managed so much more tightly, and with so much more variety, by Joyce. Even though Marias is a very introspective person, there are clearly limits to his self-awareness when it comes to these structures. That lack of self-awareness extends to repeated phrases and images: he knows he is repeating them (he is not an unskilled or unpracticed author), but he believes they are justified by the ebb and flow of inner monologues. The result is loose and unbelievable, like a sloppily sketched painting.
I know this review is somewhat abstract, but it's on this level that he fails. If you can stop yourself from seeing how he thinks he is creating deeper meanings, then you can suspend disbelief in the naturalness of his prose.
A Heart so White Apr 4, 2007
This is the best novel that I have read since Pamuk's novel, Snow. I was captivated by the mystery that opens the novel on the first pages, a woman who kills herself after her honeymoon - why? The novel unravels through the ears of an interpreter/translator and we travel with him searching for the best words to translate a life. Extraordinary!
...."My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white" Mar 21, 2007
Xavier Marias is a master in leading us with the protagonist's story to the tragic hero of seemingly equal but more bridled remorse than Lady Macbeth demonstrated in the quote above. The act revealed toward the end of the story was committed in the blindness, selfishness and isolation of passion and love. I was fascinated with the author's ability to take us in the realm of thought flowing "between the lines", a consciousness we imagine, but often don't find on paper. To choose the profession of interpreter for his protagonist is a great tool to enhance that trait of awareness of sounds and language, of listening and interpreting. Besides the richness of thought, the story is a real page turner. I highly recommend it.
Hypnotic Jan 5, 2007
This is the work of a writer of the first order. The book is both brilliantly written and a page turner, though the writer does go in for long hypnotic sentences and descriptions, some of them heady or philosophical. There is a series of separate stories in the novel, loosely woven together, though at first it is not easy to see the connections. All in all it's a book that would reward reading more than once.
Powerful, European in nuance Sep 11, 2006
A rather straightforward story line, creatively structured, unraveled slowly through nuance, sexual enticement, digressions, reversals, repetition, and thought provoking writing causing one to become intrigued by its intrinsic mosaic beauty.