Javier Marías, one of the most recognized writers, dies

The writer, philologist, academic of the Language and one of the usual Spanish candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Javier Marías Franco, (Madrid, 1951) died yesterday in a hospital in Madrid where he was admitted. In the absence of nine days to turn 71, the also essayist and son of the philosopher Julián Marías died this Sunday after not being able to overcome the pneumonia that kept him in the hospital in the last month.

He felt finished as an author every time he finished a book but, with more than five decades dedicated to writing, Javier Marías has been one of the essential and most prestigious names in contemporary literature in Spanish, a critical man and always faithful to his beginning. Regular in the lists of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature each year, the extensive work of Javier Marías, born in Madrid in 1951, was awarded numerous awards throughout his career, some of which he even rejected.

The recognition of Javier Marías by critics and the public can be deduced from many figures: the author of sixteen novels, in addition to books of essays, stories and hundreds of journalistic articles, his works have been published in forty-six languages ​​and in fifty and nine countries, with almost nine million copies sold. But at the end of each of his novels, he said, he was convinced that there would not be a next one, because it seemed impossible to him to undertake the task of creating a new world and new characters again. That’s why he worked each page as if it were the last.


Son of the philosopher Julián Marías, the Madrilenian author began to publish young since his first novel, “Los dominios del lobo”, came out for the first time in 1971 under the auspices of Juan Benet, an author for whom Marías felt veneration. It was followed by “Travesías del horizon” (1972), “El monarca del tiempo”, “El siglo” (1983), “El hombre sentimental”, awarded the Herralde Prize in 2000 and the Ennio Flaiano, or “Todos las almas ”, City of Barcelona Award and finalist for the Médicis. But the consecration came with “Corazón tan blanco” (1993), considered by some critics as a masterpiece and turned into a contemporary classic. This novel was a “before and after” in his life, as it allowed him to live on literature.

“Corazón tan blanco” was awarded numerous prizes, among them the Critics’ Award, which she proudly received on a second occasion, 26 years later, with the novel “Berta Isla”. Because he believed that it is one of the few recognitions “of which one can be sure that extraliterary factors do not intervene in it”, since “Spanish critics are not going to let themselves be influenced by anything or anyone”.

Something that he did not do with the National Narrative Award, granted by the Ministry of Culture for “The love affairs” in 2012, and whose rejection had already been announced: “If they offered me a state award, I would not accept it,” he said after receiving the Austrian Award. of European Literature. “I do not share that generalized jingoism, which is common in Spain, whereby if someone wins an Oscar, they become a kind of idol, and if a Spaniard wins a championship in a sport that no one cares about, they become important,” he once said.

An academic who did not hesitate to get into controversy

“Black back of time”, the three volumes of “Your face tomorrow” (“Fever and spear”, “Dance and dream” and “Poison and shadow and goodbye”), “Los infatuations” “This is how bad things begin”, “ Berta Isla” and “Tomás Nevinson” were the following novels by this writer, who experimented with the concept of a novel, skirted limits and introduced reflections that he mixed with the plot and with the game of time.

A member of the RAE since 2008, Marías was also known for some controversial notions that he had with one of his editors, Jorge Herralde, or with Elías and Gracia Querejeta, who adapted his work “Todos las almas” for the cinema under the title of “El último journey of Robert Rylands”, and that the writer did not like it at all. He was also critical of the volume of novels published today and was opposed to “superficial novels, with silly ones” of which he said there were many: “it seems that, just by knowing how to read and write, anyone can be novelist”.

With a degree in Philosophy and Letters from the Complutense University of Madrid, Marías specialized in English Philology. An important academic, he also translated important Anglo-Saxon authors such as Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Laurence Sterne or Thomas Browne.

In recent times, his public appearances and interviews were few, although he continued to publish books and newspaper articles. He was also elected an international member of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL), the only Spaniard to date from this charity. An author whose work will remain in time despite the fact that, as he said, “thinking of posterity on the part of a writer is ridiculous and, the more time passes, the more ridiculous that idea is.”

We would love to thank the author of this write-up for this incredible web content

Javier Marías, one of the most recognized writers, dies