Dark Back of Time

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 2004 - Fiction - 336 pages
2 Reviews
Called by its author a false novel, Dark Back of Time begins with the tale of the odd effects of publishing All Souls, his witty and sardonic 1989 Oxford novel. All Souls is a book Marias swears to be fiction, but which its characters--the real-life dons and professors and bookshop owners who have recognized themselves--fiercely maintain to be a roman a clef. With the sleepy world of Oxford set into fretful motion by a world that never existed, Dark Back of Time begins an odyssey into the nature of identity (we do not know anyone entirely, not even ourselves) and of time. Marias weaves together autobiography (the brother who died as a child; the loss of his mother), a legendary kingdom, strange ghostly literary figures, halls of mirrors, a one-eyed pilot, a curse in Havana, and a bullet lost in Mexico. Dark Back of Time has been acclaimed here as superb (Review of Contemporary Fiction), fantastically original (Talk), brilliant (Virginia Quarterly Review), and a rare gift (The New York Times Book Review). In the best manner of Borges, The Hudson Review commented that this hybrid is lush and mysterious.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Undoubtedly a five-star book but the fact that I only "really liked it" is due to all the historical references that bogged down for me, especially near the end. And that is no fault of the writer, it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Am I burning out on Marias? I hope not; 'The Infatuations' should be in my hands the day it comes out. But I found this much less gripping than his other works, for two connected reasons, that have a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
12
Section 3
23
Section 4
31
Section 5
47
Section 6
63
Section 7
76
Section 8
90
Section 13
171
Section 14
179
Section 15
208
Section 16
227
Section 17
234
Section 18
240
Section 19
247
Section 20
266

Section 9
118
Section 10
124
Section 11
142
Section 12
157
Section 21
286
Section 22
288
Section 23
322
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Javier Marķas 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 practiced translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.

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