I discovered Javier Marias back in 1997 and have read all of the above titles, in Greek, or English translation.
I am fascinated by his obsession with secrets, cryptic feelings and his microscopic description of gestures left unfinished. ‘What would have happened if….’ his main characters are sort of captives of a destiny or a past, which they try to ‘translate’ to be set free. Adorable writing!
Javier Marias deserves a post in my blog because he was the reason I traveled to Seville in May 2011 for the Feria del Libro.
My poor, freshly acquired Spanish abandoned me when I was standing in front of him asking for an autograph, just as he was about to enter the lecture room. Although the time was not appropriate, Javier, an expert in translation, ‘translated’ my gesture and my facial expression, I assume, and he responded with politeness and generosity.
I left happy and went to eat my tapas with his handwriting at the first page of my A Heart so White, in the apparently excellent Greek translation.
‘With a book I travel’, I took the metaphor literally.
This copy of A Heart so White was the same book I had with me while I was visiting Edinburgh for the Festival in August 1997, the only time I visited the Festival so far; the city I have visited also in 2007.
Though I indulged in the fascinating Scottish world, the family secrets that haunted the newly wed Juan of the Javier Marias’ novel could not leave me indifferent.
Now, I am going to read it again translated in English and I am eager to see where it will travel me this time.
“My hands are of your colour; but I shame/ To wear a heart so white”
from Shakespeare’s Macbeth