Length: 336 Pages
Dark Back of Time is a compelling story of the way in which reality blurs into fiction by Javier Marías, whose highly-anticipated new novel The Infatuations is published in 2013. It is translated by Esther Allen in Penguin Modern Classics.
'We lose everything because everything remains except us', says the mysterious narrator of this extraordinary novel, which meditates on the transience, chance and fragility of life. As a man called Javier Marías recalls the strange events and people that shaped his past, including ghostly literary figures, a pilot, an adventurer, a brother who died as a child and the king of an island in the Caribbean, we begin to question the nature of time, memory and reality itself. Here the writer is both a keeper of memories and a purveyor of illusions, destined to be lost in the dark back of time.
Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne.
'I was enthralled by his strange mix of made-up memories, lost experiences and real-life fantasies' Marina Warner, Guardian
'He uses language like an anatomist uses a scalpel to lay bare the innermost secrets of that strangest of species, the human being' W. G. Sebald, author of Austerlitz
Length: 336 Pages
Dark Back of Time is one of the best Spanish novels of the twentieth century
It leaves you with an impression of having been haunted: the most complex, perfect and outstanding of Marias' novels
Neither essay nor novel, Javier Marías' most recent book is, quite simply, magnificent. As a book, it is funny, even hilarious, and at times profound, obsessive, and overwhelming.
The author knows how to dive into the formidable chasms of life, fate and death
I was enthralled by his strange mix of made-up memories, lost experiences and real-life fantasies
Shows sensitivity in exploring an entire shadowland of human experience just beyond the reach of words, and could be said to be a culminating point in the author's career