Javier Marías dies at the age of 70

Javier Marias dies

Photography: Javier Marias. Font: Penguin Books.

The writer Javier Marías has died this Sunday in Madrid. According to him, he died from complications with pneumonia that he had been dragging for the last month and that had left him hospitalized.

The literary world mourns his passing because he has hit unexpectedly. The author would have turned 71 on September 20. Many are his novels and his articles. He was a widely respected and recognized author. He has been a writer in the Spanish language studied at the university, whose work is an example for his style and transcendence in Hispanic letters. He now he has left us.

His last months and work as an author

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he would have suffered a complicated surgical intervention on his back that left him in recent years staying in his house in Madrid, and making some trips to Barcelona where his wife's house is located. During this time he has tried not to abandon writing. In addition to surrounding himself with books for reading him, in 2021 he gave us his last novel, number sixteen, Thomas Nevinson and in February of this same year he published a compilation of his articles, Will the cook be a good person?

Javier Marías was one of the great contemporary writers of the XNUMXth and XNUMXst century. His style can be defined within linguistic clarity, but with extraordinary syntactic and lexical richness.. Perhaps this is why his work has had such an impact. He is one of those writers who help to broaden a language, in this case, Spanish. Some of his best known novels are All souls, Heart so white, Your face tomorrow, Crushes, Berta Island, or the "false novel" Black back of timeHis work has been translated into 46 languages ​​in 59 countries, and more than eight million copies of his books have been sold..


This writer has not been exempt from controversy either.. Like the statements that she made in an interview a few years ago about feminism and that caused discomfort in some sectors of Spanish society. Among other things, she expressed her disagreement about the role left to women in cycling, for example, the traditional kiss of the prize giving to the winner of the race.

Moreover, led to various disputes in literary circles. This was the case with his work. All souls, for which he brought the producer in charge of adapting his novel, Elías Querejeta, to court. Beyond any controversy or detractor, Javier Marías gave the literary world great works for culture and society.

Royal Spanish Academy and recognition

Likewise, it is a sad and changing moment for the Royal Spanish Academy, whose institution Javier Marías has been a part of since 2006, although it was not until 2008 that he took possession of the letter R. The speech he offered upon entering this prestigious organization was entitled On the difficulty of counting.

Javier Marías was a writer and also a translator. Graduated in Philosophy and Letters from the Complutense University of Madrid, he carried out a teaching career as a professor of Spanish Literature and Translation Theory in several universities, such as Oxford. Equally, especially important was his translation of Tristram shandy and for which he was awarded the National Translation Award in 1979. . Of course, the list of recognitions, awards and prizes of this author is exhaustive. In 2021 he was named an international member of the Royal Society of Literature of Great Britain, becoming the first Spanish writer to achieve it.

Javier Marías: his circle

Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951 and has always been linked to an intellectual elite that surely favored an innate talent. He belonged to a very educated family: his father, Julián Marías, was an academic and philosopher (at the same time he was also a student of Ortega y Gasset), his mother was the writer Dolores Franco Manera, and his uncle was the film director Jesus Franco. He should also add his brothers who are also part of the world of culture.

His father had to flee Spain since he was not allowed to teach at the Spanish university because he was not a sympathizer of the Franco regime. The family settled in the United States in the house of the poet Jorge Guillén, whose neighbor was the distinguished Vladimir Nabokov.. He counted among his friends Fernando Savater and was well known by Fernando Rico. All of them have gone down in the annals of literature, but Javier Marías too.

However, professionally, his most relevant circle for him were, without a doubt, his readers, who have always thanked him for being an accessible, kind and willing writer.

memory for the author

We do not want in this article to miss the opportunity to comment on the answer that Javier Marías always gave to the question of why he became a writer; because he said it was a way to get around hard work. Apparently the writing profession was a good way to avoid a boss, exhausting days or the obligation to get up early every morning. It was a way, as he joked, to lead a placid lazy life. But, paradoxically, he acknowledged, that he would never have thought that writing was so far removed from all that. However, he also would not have imagined that he would have enjoyed it as he did.. This is undoubtedly a good way to remember this illustrious writer of our letters.

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