Your Face This Spring

Javier Marias

Okay, let’s do this. Starting this spring, I’m going to read Javier Marias’ Your Face Tomorrow trilogy. Whoever wants to join me on this ambitious trip through the magnum opus of an author many consider Spain’s greatest living writer is welcome to join on in.

To make it easy on all of us, I’ve broken it down into 17 weekly segments. Throughout this trip you’ll only be reading 15 pages per day at most, so you have no excuse. If you’ve longed to read this trilogy and harbor dreams of impressing your friends at the next cocktail party, then get on board.

We start on March 21, the first day of spring. I’ll be posting regularly on my progress, and crowd participation is encouraged. Here’s the breakdown, counting pages with the New Directions editions. (I’ve included the opening lines from each section in case people are using other editions of this trilogy.)


–1: Fever–

* Week 1, March 21-27: pp. 3 – 95 (Section ends at: “But before getting back to the Tupras . . .”)
* Week 2, March 28 – April 3: pp. 96 – 180 End of Section 1

–2: Spear–

* Week 3, April 4-10: pp. 183 – 233 (“Yes, I did remember . . .”)
* Week 4, April 11 – 17: pp. 234 – 316 (“This ability or gift was very useful . . .”)
* Week 5, April 17 – 24: pp. 317 – 387 (End of VOLUME 1)


–3: Dance–

* Week 6, April 25 – May 1: pp. 3 – 60 (“And so in the disco . . .”)
* Week 7, May 2 – 8: pp. 61 – 121 (“I left the restroom as resolutely . . .”)
* Week 8, May 9 – 15: pp. 122 – 201 (End of Section 3)

–4: Dream–

* Week 9, May 16 – 22: pp. 205 – 264 (“He fell silent for longer this time . . .”)
* Week 10, May 23 – May 29: pp. 265 – 341 (End of VOLUME 2)


–5: Poison–

* Week 11, May 30 – June 5: pp. 3 – 113 (“Yes, we almost certainly shared that in common . . .”)
* Week 12, June 6 – 12: pp. 114 – 171 (End of Section 5)

–6: Shadow–

* Week 13 June 13 – 19: pp. 173 – 230 (“When you haven’t been back . . .”)
* Week 14, June 20 – 26: pp. 231 – 328 (End of Section 6)

–7: Farewell–

* Week 15, June 27 – July 3: pp. 331 – 393 (“I didn’t in fact think much about anything . . .”)
* Week 16, July 4 – 10: pp. 394 – 482 (“Wheeler stopped speaking and eagerly . . .”)
* Week 17, July 11 – 17: pp: 483 – 545 (End of VOLUME 3)

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I strongly recommend you to read All Souls first. Although it was written a decade (or maybe more) before YFT, it is the place where the development of the character actually begins. After reading the whole trilogy I wondered for a while if Marías knew that he wanted to do this when he was writing All Souls. Sometimes I believe he did.

Count me in. Now, to order my copy.

I’d love to participate, although I still have to pick up Volume 2.

I’ll try to clear up my reading schedule.

I know what J means by suggesting All Souls first. But I wonder if Marías might not have gotten the idea more fully during or after having written Dark Back of Time. All Souls and Dark Back make a neat near-dyptych.

But I think this group should dive into Your Face not worried at all about these earlier novels—for now.

J & Tupra,

I appreciate the suggestions for even further reading. If I end up liking the trilogy as much as I think I’m going to, I’m sure I will be taking you both up on those.

Im in. Ive already read Vol 1, but Ill use the discussion here as a refresher before I start Dance and Dream.

You are courageous. I have never been able to read Javier Marías again. I read Mañana en la batalla piensa en mi and it was painful to the point of wanting out. We recently got Tu rostro mañana as a one volume edition of all three parts at the bookstore where I work and I started reading the first page. It is literary torture. Even though he uses the language beautifully it is much too difficult to understand. Two pages was my limit.

Shrek. Love to join this. I still have to get a copy of Vol. 3 though. To add to the further reading, a friend of mine said A Heart So White contains a subtle thread of connection to YFT, Dark Back of Time, and All Souls.

Your Face Tomorrow is the best book I have ever read. I think I found the perfect sentence. We always read for these right? Pg. 174 of Vol. II. Yes, everything . . . (I am done with contemporary writers; I think I’ll read Tristam Shandy and Proust; I just can’t go backwards, you know)

I’m in – late and catching up. Thanks for this!

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