The writer Javier Marías has died this Sunday at the age of 70 in a Madrid hospital where he was admitted, due to a complication of the lung condition he suffered from, sources from his editorial have confirmed to Efe.
On August 15, the Alfaguara publishing house reported that the writer and academic Javier Marías (Madrid, 1951) suffered from a lung condition “from which he was in the process of recovering”.
“Given the concern raised by the state of health of the writer Javier Marías, we inform you that he suffers from a lung condition from which he is in the process of recovering,” said the statement, in which the publisher wished “a speedy improvement” to the author.
Javier Marías was the author of fifteen novels, including ‘El hombre sentimental’ (Ennio Flaiano Award), ‘Todas las almas’ (City of Barcelona Award), and ‘Corazón tan blanco’ (Critics Award, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award , Prix l’Oeil et la Lettre).
Other of her novels are ‘Tomorrow in the battle, think of me’ (Rómulo Gallegos Award, Prix Femina Etranger, Mondello Award, Fastenrath Award), ‘Berta Isla’ (Critics Award, Dulce Chacón Award, Best Book of the Year in Babelia , in Corriere della Sera and in Público de Portugal) and ‘Tomás Nevison’, his latest book, published in March.
Last December he was elected an international member of the Royal Society of Literature, the UK charity for the promotion of literature, a list that includes, among other writers, David Grossman, Annie Ernaux, Amin Maalouf and Olga Tokarczuk. .
He was also critical of the volume of novels published today and was opposed to “superficial novels, with silly ones” of which he said there were many: “it seems that, just by knowing how to read and write, anyone can be novelist”. A current era in which he believed that there was a “desubstantialization” of people, “of a superficiality that has to do with haste and a lack of attention that is beginning to be endemic,” he assured.
With a degree in Philosophy and Letters from the Complutense University of Madrid, Marías specialized in English philology, and taught as a professor of Spanish literature at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and at Wellesley College (United States); and as a professor of Translation Theory at the Institute of Modern Languages and Translators of the Complutense University.
He also translated important Anglo-Saxon authors such as Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Laurence Sterne, Yeats, Robert L. Stevenson and Thomas Browne.
In recent times, his public appearances and interviews were few, although he continued to publish books and newspaper articles. He was also elected an international member of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL), the only Spaniard to date from this UK charity for the promotion of literature.
An author whose work will remain in time despite the fact that, as he said, “thinking of posterity on the part of a writer is ridiculous and, the more time passes, the more ridiculous that idea is.”
The President of the Government Pedro Sánchez has shared the news on Twitter. “Sad day for Spanish letters. Javier Marías leaves us, one of the great writers of our time. His immense and talented work will always be a fundamental part of our literature”.
One of the first to react to the death was the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta. “His work of him will keep him alive in our memory,” he wrote on Twitter.
The president of the Congress Meritxell Batet has also shared the news on her Twitter account. “He is one of the great authors of our time. He leaves us an essential and incomparable work that is already the history of Spanish and universal literature. I want to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends, ”she has written.
“Rest in Peace Javier Marías, what painful news. He leaves us the best novels in Spanish of the last decades. His work is unique and his deep universe was full of talent. Fortunately, we can continue reading to him.” said the councilor of the PP Andrea Levy.
Also people from the world of literature, such as the writer Rosa Montero, have shown their condolences. “Totally knocked out with the death of Javier Marias. I have known him and have treated him for 50 years. We were never close friends but it was like family. We were born the same year. For me he was the best candidate for the Nobel Prize in Spain today. How awesome”, Montero has written on his Twitter account.