The successful Spanish writer Javier Marias, who yesterday celebrated his 70th birthday, does not allow the passage of time or his intense self-doubt to stop him. Literary critic José Carlos Meiner ruled that his latest book, the spy novel Thomas Nevinson published in the spring, was probably Marias’ best work ever.
Success thanks to the literary quartet
Inappropriate thinker has always been considered hard to sell, even in German-speaking countries. Even “My Heart Knows It” in the summer of 1996 – about four years after the appearance of the Spanish version – was unanimously praised for the TV show “Literary Quartet”.
“The Pope of Literature” Marcel Reich Ranecke, who died in 2013, spoke of a “brilliant writer” and “the greatest writer in the world living in the moment.” After airing and more positive reviews, the novel topped bestseller lists and sold 1.2 million copies in German translation alone.
“Eternal Candidate for the Nobel Prize”
According to his publisher Alfaguara, 16 novels by Marias have so far been translated into 46 languages and sold a total of nine million times. The author is one of the “eternal nominees for the Nobel Prize”.
He was praised in heaven by fellow celebs like Orhan Pamuk and JM Coetzee. The serial smoker and late fourth-year-old openly admits that he always experiences “tremendous uncertainty” when starting a new business in his apartment full of books in central Madrid.
Rebel for literary works
As they get older, they “less and less understand how novels are made.” While the blank paper—Marias hates computers and always writes on a typewriter—causes him discomfort, the final work often causes inconvenience to the literary historian and university professor. “All my novels look bad to me once they are finished. I often want to throw all the pages in the trash.”
Marias is considered a rebel in the field of literature. He rarely gives interviews, does not accept any awards from government agencies in Spain – and also no prepayments. His explanation: “I will lose my freedom. And you can’t put a book that didn’t work in the drawer.”
“Travel aficionado. Certified problem solver. Pop culture guru. Typical writer. Entrepreneur. Coffee trailblazer.”