Chapter

Browne, <i>El siglo</i>, and the Depiction of Tyranny

Gareth Wood

in Javier Marías's Debt to Translation

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199651337
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651337.003.0007

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs

Browne, El siglo, and the Depiction of Tyranny

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This chapter examines the use of quotation and intertextual referencing of the works of Browne in Marías's fourth novel El siglo. It is argued that Marías's ambition in that novel to marry the noble or grand style with the bathos of farce is masterfully achieved through the quotation of Browne and the evocation of the works of John Milton and the composer Arnold Schoenberg. The chapter also refutes the reading of the novel offered by Alexis Grohmann, arguing for an analysis that pays closer attention to the psychological development of character and less reliance on stylistics alone. Marías's interest in and attempt to depict the novel's central protagonist—a government informer—is set against the background of the betrayal his father suffered at the end of the Spanish Civil War and his antipathy for Camilo José Cela, the celebrated novelist who worked as an informer and censor in the aftermath of that same conflict.

Keywords: El siglo; Sir Thomas Browne; Alexis Grohmann; Camilo José Cela; informer; Julián Marías; Spanish Civil War

Chapter.  13095 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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