New Javier Marias Novel, Los enamoramientos

El Pais is reporting on a new Javier Marias novel, Los enamoramientos (Falling in Love), to publish April 6 of this year.

Interestingly, Marias states that this novel almost never got written. After Your Face Tomorrow (see our reading group here) he felt as though he had nothing left to say as a novelist:

La aparición en 2007 de la tercera y última entrega de Tu rostro mañana -1.600 páginas, ocho años de obsesión y trabajo- le dejó agotado. “En todos los sentidos”, matiza. “Pensaba que no tenía nada más que decir en el campo de la novela. No era pose, tenía dudas sinceras. Luego uno descubre que hay historias que van fraguando en la imaginación y que cristalizan a medida que se van escribiendo”.

The novel is 400 pages in Spanish, and Marias writes from a woman’s perspective, I believe for the first time in his career as a novelist. It’s about her obsession with a couple that appears happy, and who suddenly disappear (this detail being given, typically for Marias, on the first line).

Here’s a line from the book, quoted in the article, a typically Marias-esque sentiment: “Son más los crímenes desconocidos que los registrados e infinitamente mayores los que han quedado impunes que los castigados.” Roughly: There are many more unknown crimes than known, and infinitely more have gone unpunished than redressed.

Thanks to Jordan Anderson for passing this along to me.

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Great news. Just a suggestion for an alternate and, I would say, more faithful translation (since the present one seems to elide an important nuance: the second clause builds and at the same time departs from the first–curious construction):

“There are many more unknown crimes than known, and infinitely greater are those that have gone unpunished than those that have been.”

It’s a terrific first line in either case.

This is indeed wonderful news; let’s hope the superb Margaret Jull Costa can be persuaded to drop everything and get down to work on it as soon as possible. And there are still three early novels which haven’t been translated: Los dominios del lobo; El monarca del tiempo and El siglo.

In “Menos escrúpulos” (Fewer Scruples, 1994, by the collection of short stories When I was Mortal) Javier Marías had also used a feminine voice.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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