Two books

In the cultural supplements of the written press, the interviewees are usually asked something like this: what book could not finish reading? If I had to answer that question, I would answer that there has only been one that I abandoned before, quite a bit, from the end. Is about Gulag Archipelago, famous work of the Nobel Prize Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer who achieved enormous fame with this study on the USSR, its governments, administration and, especially, the prison system, which he knew thoroughly from having been detained repeatedly for his opposition to the Soviet regime. It turned out to be a heavy, repetitive, excessively detailed book, and, what I decided to leave it, just reading the back cover and the press information about its content was enough. Knowing dates and names, and more dates and more names, was important as a document, but complicated for a reader like me at the time I was reading it.

Two books Javier Fernandez Lopez

There have been many other books that I have approached for different reasons and that I have been tempted to abandon before reaching the end, but using the diagonal reading technique I have always managed to finish them. There is an impulse in me that leads me to continue, to continue, to see if there is something that compensates. And that is the reason why I have finished reading one of the two books that I am going to write about today. I have read the other in full.

Juan Marsé Y Rafael Chirbes placeholder image They are, were, and have passed away, two good writers. It is the opinion of editorials, critics, readers and award juries. I have read several works by both of them and I share that criterion. Although they are only about fifteen years old, they belong to two different eras with respect to their writing. They are close in residence, Barcelona and Valencia, but their territorial maps are not literally bordering. They do have coincidences regarding their origins and literary background since they are both children of lower-class families and focus the arguments of their stories and novels on marginalized people, unfortunate in life. Postwar Catalonia and Spain, Valencia mainly, during the transition. Marsé has enjoyed, since his first novels, a great acceptance in the world of cinema since many of his works have been adapted. His way of narrating, very visual, has fitted well into the screens. The same has not happened with Chirbes, his narrative is less cinematic, but one of his works, Crematorium, was adapted as a television series with a huge impact.

It is not his works of fiction that I wanted to talk about today since it is more or less two memoir books that have led me to write these lines. Notes for a memoir I’ll never write of Marsé and Diaries de Chirbes are works that are framed in a similar model, since the diaries are notes that help to shape memories. It is, therefore, non-fiction literature and books whose protagonists are those who write them. It is accepted, by those of us who have a fondness for reading these books, that they lie a lot. It is not about telling the truth, that is not fun, and many pages are devoted to settling scores with people not loved by the authors and rewriting unpleasant episodes. Beyond these disquisitions there is a much more important classification: the one that divides this class of texts into decent and cheating. Marsé’s is a perfect example of the latter.

Already in the title the Catalan author tells us that he does not want to write a memoir. Well, don’t write them. But it is not true since he is keeping a diary that only has one object, converting it in the future into something similar to memories, including foreign phrases such as that of Manuel Vazquez Montalban, which he endorses, that in «Catalonia against Frank we lived better ». He is aware that he will not be the author, but he knows that a book will come out of his notes. The object of it is obvious, to provide some money to your close friends, family and publishers friends. An expendable book.

Chirbes’s exudes truth from the first word. For many years, as he develops his literary career, he takes notes, developing a diary. Although this class of notebooks has the character of being something private, written for whoever writes it, in some authors what is growing is a future work. They are private notes to be made public. The writer wants to develop two parallel paths, that of pure fiction and that of reality embodied in a story. As an author who has the will to transcend, he is reflecting, studying, criticizing, making life go through pages that someone will read. And he is not complacent, neither with him nor with anyone. Life is not something wonderful according to the Levantine. We are in a valley of tears and it must be told that way, harshly. A great book.

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this amazing web content

Two books