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60030It had been a long time since I read a book by a Spanish author (probably because I live in Spain for some years) until I finally picked up “Mañana en la batalla piensa en mí” by Javier Marías, recommended by a friend. A great recommendation without any doubts.

I had mixed feelings about the book at the very beginning, about these never-ending sentences and the over-analyzing of every detail until the point of not only stopping the moment but also extending it to what sometimes felt like hours. My doubts didn’t last long though. I felt sucked in the story and in the narrator’s stream of thoughts which created a strange and addictive feeling of living in his head, seeing through his eyes and even thinking his thoughts.

Reading this book felt like going in numerous circles, finding on the way an endless line of open doors, only to be taken back time and again and see them all being closed. What had seemed rambling without any clear purpose at first, gained meaning in the most unexpected ways while I was turning the pages in a strange frenzy.

What an wonderful and unexpected journey, a study of fragility and impermanence.

“So many things happen without anyone realizing or remembering. There is almost no record of anything, fleeting thoughts and actions, plans and desires, secret doubts, fantasies, acts of cruelty and insults, words said and heard and later denied or misunderstood or distorted, promises made and then overlooked, even by those to whom they were made, everything is forgotten or invalidated, whatever is done alone or not written down, along with everything that is done not alone but in company, how little remains of each individual, how little trace remains of anything, and how much of that little is never talked about and, afterwards, one remembers only a tiny fraction of what was said, and then only briefly, the individual memory is not passed on and is, anyway, of no interest to the person receiving it, who is busy forging his or her own memories.”

January 2014