Javier Marías, the heart of the word in the Kingdom of Redonda

Julián Marías was always in favor of freedom and against Franco’s dictatorship. Favorite disciple of Ortega y Gasset, friend of Xavier Zubiri, admirer of Unamuno and Morente, Julián Marías defined his robust personality in the newspaper and in philosophy and it was a relevant name of our Republic of Letters. He achieved the highest distinctions of his time: academician of the Royal Spanish Academy, Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, Mariano de Cavia Award…

During the fifteen years that I was in charge of the real ABC, not a single month passed without publishing his serious, deep and sometimes dazzling Thirds. He was a republican, but he was on the side of Don Juan III de Borbón and believed in the Monarchy of all advocated by the great Spanish exile.

And from such a stick, such a splinter. Javier Marías was formed surrounded by selected books and also by the most relevant men in culture. But, except for a few outbursts from Benet, he did not succumb to philosophical or literary influences. From a very young age he demonstrated his independence, the infinite love of the word, the sonorous silence of freedom, and built an enormous body of work due to its quality and the deep capacity that he always maintained in scrutinizing the psychology of his characters.

Among the hundred articles that I have read after his death, I want to highlight the one by Eduardo Mendoza, a novelist at the top after the disappearance of Juan Marsé, the author of If they tell you that I fellwho wrote the most beautiful Spanish of the last half century.

Eduardo Mendoza highlights the female characters, drawn, x-rayed by Javier Marías who “found a voice, a theme and a style so unique that they became an eccentric phenomenon, within Spanish literature… Javier Marías’s writing is unlike any other. It’s easy to parody, it’s impossible to imitate.”

Monarch of the Editorial Kingdom of Redonda, Javier Marías was an excellent academic of the Royal Spanish Academy. I supported him with a hundred steps to be elected academician and over the years He demonstrated in the plenary sessions of the House, the rigor with which he analyzed the words and how far he was from the tinsel and the fireworks. He believed, like Cervantes, that “the pen is the language of the soul”, he disdained the presumptuous and lambasted not a few writers whose intelligence was distorted by vanity.

Javier Marías despised literature as a luxury industry. He was simple and friendly, but he went out of his way to appear unfriendly. “To be successful, it is enough for half of those who hate me to buy my books,” he used to say. And he agreed with Goethe, perhaps without knowing it, when he wrote: “A work of imagination must be perfect or not be.” It will not be easy to find a writer in the last half century who has tried so hard to approach perfection.

It was said that he was always close to the Nobel Prize. But it wasn’t true and he knew it. Carmen Villar, the ABC correspondent in Stockholm, had excellent information from the Swedish Academy. And she was right in nine of the ten predictions that she made me. I asked him a few times about the possibilities of Javier Marías. “It has no atmosphere,” he replied.

I thought, finally, the author of black back of time that literature is the expression of beauty through the wordand in the plenary hall of the Royal Spanish Academy, in the dark corridors, in the pasta room, his voice always embraced the heart of that word that throbbed rapidly in his Kingdom of Redonda.

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Javier Marías, the heart of the word in the Kingdom of Redonda