Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me by Javier Marías

battle

I love obsessive writers, such as Javier Marías. Of course, I can’t relate to every writer’s obsessions, but I can relate to Marías’ obsessions with perhaps alarming ease.

Marías is a writer fascinated by language and all the surrounding phenomena (that things are un-sayable, untranslatable, inexplicable, inexpressible, and that whatever we say and mean, it will never mean the same to another person, and everyone is locked inside their own language, and still we try to express and explain what we mean even if the result is unsatisfactory, because telling and expressing [and listening, too]) is always much more interesting than living alone and quiet in a caves, we don’t live in caves anyway, we live on archipelagos, enchanted by 400-year-old words and by their modern interpretations, and that water these words what can they do what can they do, they can – somehow – enable us to express ourselves and understand someone else); and he’s fascinated by the past, the present, and the future (the past-present-future of his characters and everything that comes with the past-present-future: There was; There wasn’t; There is; I imagine there is; I pretend there is even though there isn’t; There could have been; I wish there had been; I wish there hadn’t been but there was; There will be; There won’t be; I hope there’ll be or I hope there won’t be; I wish there was); and with never-ending curiosity he examines (again and again, throughout multiple novels) the layers and connections of pretenses, realities, falsehoods, roles, games, and truths that make up a life, and he always has something new to say.

And I always feel immediately at home in his work, because I feel that what Marías is doing only looks like a sprawling, repetitive, over-complicated and over-complicating and overwhelming and fascinating and infuriating and beautiful mess of random unconnected details – reading him is surprisingly easy because (sometimes) life feels (can feel) exactly like this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s