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A Heart So White af Javier Marías
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A Heart So White (original 1992; udgave 2002)

af Javier Marías

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,600458,306 (4.06)79
Javier Marías's A Heart So White chronicles with unnerving insistence the relentless power of the past. Juan knows little of the interior life of his father Ranz; but when Juan marries, he begins to consider the past anew, and begins to ponder what he doesn't really want to know. Secrecy--its possible convenience, its price, and even its civility--hovers throughout the novel. A Heart So White becomes a sort of anti-detective story of human nature. Intrigue; the sins of the father; the fraudulent and the genuine; marriage and strange repetitions of violence: Marías elegantly sends shafts of inquisitory light into shadows and on to the costs of ambivalence. ("My hands are of your colour; but I shame/To wear a heart so white"--Shakespeare's Macbeth.)… (mere)
Medlem:juanc.casanova
Titel:A Heart So White
Forfattere:Javier Marías
Info:New Directions (2002), Paperback, 280 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Favoritter
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Detaljer om værket

A Heart So White af Javier Marías (1992)

  1. 10
    Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me af Javier Marías (laurabi)
    laurabi: Una novela en la que Marías despliega su oficio, un desarrollo que atrapa y no sólo por la trama sino (como siempre) por las disgresiones del autor, desmenuza las situaciones con un detalle obsesivo y el final golpea por lo inesperado.
  2. 11
    Rebecca af Daphne Du Maurier (spiphany)
  3. 00
    Homo Faber af Max Frisch (spiphany)
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» Se også 79 omtaler

Engelsk (32)  Spansk (6)  Italiensk (2)  Tysk (2)  Hollandsk (1)  Fransk (1)  Catalansk (1)  Alle sprog (45)
Viser 1-5 af 45 (næste | vis alle)
This novel is so bad it's almost funny. It was a book club selection, so I persevered reading to the very last ridiculous sentence. The plot is contrived. The characters are uninteresting because they're so incompletely drawn. Also objectionable are the lengthy passages (paragraphing is anathema to Marias apparently), the run-on sentences, the repetition, the blatant misogyny, the contradictory philosophical musings. No one could accuse this author of having lived the unexamined life, but he's a man paralyzed by his own thoughts. ( )
  ucla70 | May 22, 2021 |
I've been really slack in my quest to read 1001 Books before I die, so it seemed like a good idea to choose one of those to read for #SpanishLitMonth at Winston's Dad. A Heart So White by Javier Marais has this citation in the 2006 edition:
The novel opens with an almost documentary account of a suicide and ends with a meditation on the untranslatable mysteries of the gender divide. (1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, ABC Books, 2006, ISBN 9780733321214, p. 814)
Indeed it does. It's a strange, discursive work, more about the difficulties of truth-telling in life and relationships than the plot... which is really only a mild mystery that carries very little in the way of narrative tension.

Juan's father has made a mystery of having been married three times. The suicide which so graphically begins the novel is that of Ranz's second wife, and as the child of the third marriage, Juan knows very little about either his mother who also died young, or her predecessor, her older sister. From the outset the reader knows that the suicide isn't a murder because Ranz wasn't even there at the time, but there is something odd about it. By the time Juan is old enough to know about things, the first wife, the predecessor of the woman who shot herself, is never spoken of. Juan begins to be curious because of a slip of the tongue, but when he asks his father his question is brushed off. Ranz is one of those annoying people who likes to be enigmatic: his one piece of advice to Juan on the occasion of his marriage to Luisa is to tell him never to reveal his secrets to his wife.

But the puzzle of these marriages has only secondary importance in the novel. A Heart So White is more about Juan's musings about the problem of truth in his relationship with his new wife. He ponders the change in his identity as it changes from 'I' to 'We' and 'Me' to 'Us'. He is uncomfortable with the loss of his own place to a shared place; and he is uneasy with having things that are not his but theirs. He makes much of the fact that as a translator he is always thinking about how to say things and to interpret the things that are said to him. Words are rarely able to be directly translated... there are always nuances of meaning that defy correspondence in another language.

To complicate the intricacies of imperfect translation, Juan also overhears strange conversations through barricades: hotel walls, bedroom doors. In Cuba on his honeymoon he overhears a bizarre conversation between a Cuban woman and her Spanish lover. She wants him to kill his wife because their relationship is going nowhere; he fobs her off. Juan becomes very preoccupied by this conversation, but he doesn't explain how he came to overhear it to his wife. There are a lot of things he doesn't tell his wife, and he muses over memories half-shared and not, so many things unsaid. (He certainly doesn't tell Luisa about his father's marital advice, not that he has any secrets anyway).

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2020/07/22/a-heart-so-white-by-javier-marais-translated... ( )
  anzlitlovers | Jul 22, 2020 |
This is a novel by Spaniard, Javier Marias, in which he examines the marriage. The book starts out with a couple on their honeymoon in Cuba. She is feeling ill, he is trying to comfort when they end up eavesdropping on another couple who obviously are having an affair and there are threats to kill the wife. This story is multiple layers and explores communication within families and in marriage. There is a secret, if you share that secret, are you also no longer innocent. I cannot say I enjoyed this book, though I did like the look at interpreting and translating that the author puts into the story. I also enjoyed the "shared pillow" metaphor for marriage ( )
  Kristelh | Jun 1, 2020 |
This is an exceptional novel, and reading it was like getting acquainted with a stranger, whom I instantly know will be one of my dearest friends.

The title refers to a line in Macbeth and much of the plot (if you care to argue there is any plot at all) comes in fragmentary meditations on the meaning of the line as it plays out in various relationships: man and wife, father and son, two lovers. Of course, to me, the most fascinating meditations occurred during the episodes with the protagonist in his work as an interpreter.

The novel is rich in meaning and implication and I highly recommend it to anyone. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
This is an exceptional novel, and reading it was like getting acquainted with a stranger, whom I instantly know will be one of my dearest friends.

The title refers to a line in Macbeth and much of the plot (if you care to argue there is any plot at all) comes in fragmentary meditations on the meaning of the line as it plays out in various relationships: man and wife, father and son, two lovers. Of course, to me, the most fascinating meditations occurred during the episodes with the protagonist in his work as an interpreter.

The novel is rich in meaning and implication and I highly recommend it to anyone. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 45 (næste | vis alle)
Like Henry James's or Marcel Proust's, his sinuous, flattering, seemingly endless sentences presume -- even insist -- that we are as subtle and intelligent as the author. And their subject matter is Proustian or Jamesian as well -- Marías is interested not so much in the violent death or the adulterous love affair itself as in how we think and feel about such events when we contemplate them beforehand or consider them afterward.
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (38 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Marías, Javierprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Coe, JonathanIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Jull Costa, MargaretOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wehr, ElkeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Wikipedia på engelsk (1)

Javier Marías's A Heart So White chronicles with unnerving insistence the relentless power of the past. Juan knows little of the interior life of his father Ranz; but when Juan marries, he begins to consider the past anew, and begins to ponder what he doesn't really want to know. Secrecy--its possible convenience, its price, and even its civility--hovers throughout the novel. A Heart So White becomes a sort of anti-detective story of human nature. Intrigue; the sins of the father; the fraudulent and the genuine; marriage and strange repetitions of violence: Marías elegantly sends shafts of inquisitory light into shadows and on to the costs of ambivalence. ("My hands are of your colour; but I shame/To wear a heart so white"--Shakespeare's Macbeth.)

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