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 Tu Rostro Manana 1 /you Will Betray Me Tomorrow: Fiebre Y Lanza?
you will betray tomorrow Jun 8, 2003
The Spanish protagonist of "All Souls", other novel by this author,is the same in this novel. He's an experienced translator and interpreter of English- Spanish working in England mainly for the BBC. This condition comes from the circumstances of the life of his father during the Spanish Civil War, because he was betrayed as a dangerous intellectual by his theoretical best friends, and it's true many of these men were in exile from 1939, living mainly in France, South America and Mexico but also in UK, USA and Russia, fighting or working together with the Allies as also was a small force fighting for the Germans in the Russian front. An so, an English friend whose real work is suspected but not clearly said, thinks the Spanish has a rare ability: in simplifying, we could say he suspects he's able to foretell future human comportments. This is by nothing supernatural. The two personages feels they have an unspoken agreement about that people usually don't dare to know about future simply because these can be ungrateful, but they believe that if one really wants and give up prejudices and fears, everybody could see deeply in the soul of the others and predict about characters, future conducts, possible treasons or not. These faculty is strangely well developed in the person of the Spanish translator, and the English employs him in an informal way in order to work in the task of supervising some persons. This work is vaguely insinuated to have a nexus with British government intelligence, but the Spanish is discrete and doesn't make importune questions. This synopsis can deceive readers that expect an usual novel of spies and action, and this isn't so. It's mostly discursive about the human characters and behaviours.
How much we can trust each other? Mar 27, 2003
This is the first novel by Javier Marias i have read. The rythm is slow, enough to review a tragic episode from the Spanish Civil war and make philosophy of our trust/distrust behaviors. The framework of the civil war and the second world war memories puts these behaviors under the disappointing review of Mr. Wheeler, a former british spy, and in the present of the fiction professor at Oxford university and friend of Jacques Deza (the alter ego of Marias in the novel, and the voice in off).
Javier Marias makes me remember the stories written by Jorge Luis Borges. The story, the characters, the facts, are only instruments, temporal (and atractive, and suitable) vehicles to send a message. The entire novel is only a messenger. And the message is a bunch of questions, historical facts, Javier Marías personal insights, and very interesting things about language and feelings, that every reader should "translate", on his/her personal memories, silences, and fears.
It is not a happy story. And you won't finish the book with terrific feelings about people and their deeds. But i think it is a good story to be aware about the recent history of our modern trust on institutions and people, and how vulnerable we could be if we don't see reality, just see it, plainly, instead of using the glasses of fantasy, illusion, and foolishness. And this what i take to me from this long story: our vulnerability towards our fantasies and illusions, and our resistance to see plainly, with no prejudices, reality around us, and in the hearts of the people we met.