Spain’s Most Celebrated Writer Believes the Fascist Past Is Still Present

Javier Marías has spent his career chronicling his country’s moral trade-off with its violent history.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/magazine/javier-marias-spanish-literature.html
This November, we have a wonderful opportunity to study Javier Marías in Valencia as hosted by Salonista Robin Tottenham. His work, A Heart So White, considers the questions around what choose not to know of our loved ones’ lives and histories– and what we imagine in the face of our ignorance. This article connects these explorations to the history of Modern Spain–with insights for us all on memory and forgetting…
Robin spotted this reflective article in the NYT magazine– some thought-provoking reflections on the novelist’s relationship to history, the ambivalence of forgetting crimes of political power, the nobility of speaking out at times, and the importance of silence at other times…and the importance of recognising differing positions on what should be told: 
“Some things are so evil that it’s enough that they simply happened,” he said. “They don’t need to be given a second existence by being retold.” He took a drag on his cigarette. “That’s what I think on some days, anyway,” he went on. “Other days I think the contrary.”
 
Of course, Marías is not advocating outright ignorance; he is inviting us to consider the tension that exists between memory, which can be stifling and constraining — a form of perpetuating grievance or division — and forgetting, which can be a form of liberation.”
 
The article also connects our coming read of A Heart So White  to these reflections– especially the narrator’s resistance to learning the truth of his family’s history. 
Enjoy! 
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