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Berta Isla

Berta Isla

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Marías transforms a spy thriller into an eloquent depiction of those left behind at home in this rich novel . . . The espionage premise is initially enticing, but the real draw is the depth of Marías’s characterization. This weighty novel rewards readers with the patience for its deliberate dissection of a marriage.” —Publishers Weekly El escritor Javier Marías, en la presentación de 'Berta Isla' en Madrid. andrea comas Initially,

Temele abordate de sunt cele legate de problema existenței noastre, cât de reale sunt lucrurile pe care le vedem, cât de bine cunoaștem oamenii de lângă noi, pe cei pe care credem că îi știm cel mai bine, cât de repede uităm, unde se termină propria realitate și unde începe a celuilalt, unde este hotarul dintre percepție și fapte. Again, it is the endless, proustian style that makes up the spell of this novel and again works mesmerizing. And as always Marias makes clever use of a number of literary references: in this novel mainly the final poem of ‘The Four Quartets’ by T.S. Eliot (Little Gidding) plays a leading role (“ And what the dead had no speech for, when living,/ They can tell you, being dead: the communication/ Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”). And of course, also Shakespeare comes around again. Marias vorbește despre problemele conjugale din cuplu, făcând observații filozofice, axându-se pe gânduri și idei într-un stil lent, interminabil uneori, aproape proustian, dar care dă forță acestui roman.trattandosi di un romanzo dello scrittore spagnolo più verboso dai tempi del siglo de oro, potrebbe esser presa come un’involontaria metafora. di sicuro è un buon contrappasso. A thrilling new literary offering from the acclaimed author of The Infatuations and A Heart So White E il monito, il dovere o il compromesso di fermarsi di fronte a certe domande che se non le si fa è sempre meglio per tutti Supponi per assurdo che tuo marito un giorno sparisca e tu non sappia più ricostruire che fine egli abbia fatto.

Berta Isla and Tomas Nevinson are school sweethearts who marry in their 20s. Berta does not know that while in Oxford Tomas has been recruited by MI6, albeit not totally willingly. “He was one of those people with great abilities and qualities, but who has no idea what to do with them unless instructed and told what they are for.” But soon it becomes apparent to her that she and the family would never play more than a small part in Tomas life. She endures his long disappearances, his internal struggle and inability to share with her anything of importance due to the secrecy surrounding his job. She goes through all of this only for one day to discover his disappearance. And that is how her waiting starts. Marias poignantly leads us through the evolution of her feelings, her motivations and struggles. It is interesting how the loyalty inevitably combines in her mind with the resentment of Tomas; how honest she is with herself. It cannot be otherwise as love has to feed on something and how one cannot resent the person who left physically, but still has got such emotional hold on one’s-self… Berta Isla, şimdiye kadar -yalnızca birkaç tanesi hariç- bütün kitaplarında gördüğümüz ve Marias’ın etrafında gezinmeyi en çok sevdiği anlatmak, anlatamamak, anlaşılmak, “yarınki yüz”, özellikle de bir evlilikte hayatın gerçek anlamda ne kadarının ortak olduğu üzerinde yükselenen, çevirmen- dil konularına bu sefer bir de gerçek anlamda bir casusluğun eklenerek yükseldiği bir roman. “Amma da çok şey istiyoruz: insanların ille de yüreğini okumak iddiasındayız, en çok da yanımızda uyuyan, yastığımızın yanında soluk alan kişinin.” They choose each other as life partners with a strange and touching certainty. Their conviction that they are meant to be together is particularly striking in a book that so often asserts our powerlessness over our fate and questions our basis to make judgments about anything. At the same time, there’s a detachment and pragmatism about Berta and Tom. Both lose their virginity to other people: Tom, while he’s at Oxford, studying languages; Berta to a young bullfighter she meets in the street during an anti-government rally. These infidelities only strengthen their conviction that they’re destined for each other.Before going any further, i need to make a caveat. Marias is one of my favourite writers. I’ve read the majority of his novels. And “Your Face Tomorrow”, so called spy trilogy, is my all time favourite of his. One could call “Berta Isla” a spin off from that trilogy. It even features the same MI6 agents. So if you did not like that trilogy you might not appreciate this book either. It is also not a spy novel - the plot is more or less evident from the very beginning. There are no thrills, twists or turns, or at least none of those which would attract the reader of spy novels. The spy novel form is just an effective vehicle he uses to create the architecture if his book. It is not a character driven novel either. Anyone familiar with Marias’s work probably would notice that he uses his characters quite often to convey his thoughts more than to shape a whole fictional individual. This book is not an exception. So what is then left to like? Penso que Berta Isla é um dos melhores - talvez o melhor - romances de Marías. [...]Admiro a sua capacidade para sondar os mais recônditos recantos da alma humana.» — Julia Navarro, ABC Cultural The presence of a copy of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent at an early scene of crisis for Tomás Nevinson, however, indicates that within this seemingly anglophilic portrait there are undertows of danger, manipulation and imposture not far from the surface. For a while, she wasn't sure that her husband was her husband. Sometimes she thought he was, and sometimes not...' Una novela maravillosa. [...] Berta Isla recuerda por qué la ficción, en manos de sus mejores practicantes, sigue siendo la única forma de conocernos cabalmente.»

Pe scurt, subiectul cărții este reprezentat de Berta și Tomás Nevinson, un cuplu tânăr din Madridul anilor ’70. Mama lui era spaniolă, iar tatăl englez, cu o carieră în cadrul Serviciului de Externe, și care ar dori ca fiul său să îmbrățișeze aceeași profesie. Tomás pleacă la Oxford, iar Berta studiază la Madrid cu intenția de a se căsători când Tomás se va întoarce. Viitorul lor este sigur, se vor căsători, iar Tomas va fi recrutat într-o agenție străină de spionaj, celebra MI5, MI6, căsnicia lor devenind una plină de secrete, distanțe și dispariții. And while not mentioned at all, the real-life cases of figures such as Stakeknife, the British spy who infiltrated the IRA, and the undercover policeman Mark Kennedy, who infiltrated various civil protest groups and had romantic relationships with a number of activists, provide factual validity to what otherwise might seem a far-fetched story. An ambitious work filled with mysterious and sublime moments, Berta Isla is a rich and complex novel and can be regarded as some of Javier Marías’s best storytelling to date. Volendo alzarsi al di sopra dei partiti, va detto che Marias a me piace perché lo vedo come una sorta di ragioniere. La sua frase con la situazione o con il personaggio che descrive deve “tornare”. Nel senso contabile del termine. Deve pareggiare al centesimo. E pareggiare significa che deve corrispondere con precisione al senso. Towards the end of his time in Oxford he has a chat with one of his dons, Peter Wheeler, whom we have met in several other Marías novels, particularly the Tu rostro mañana (Your Face Tomorrow ) trilogy. Wheeler, we know from these books, is not only an Oxford don but also a spymaster and something of a Machiavellian character. Because of Tomás’ linguistic talents, he tries to persuade him to join the spy fraternity. Tomás refuses outright. Very soon afterwards, Tomás is caught up in a most unpleasant incident in which he is essentially told that he risks prison. However, were he to join the spies the matter would be buried. We do not hear his decision but we know, from the rest of the novel, what it is.Since the eternity, people were doing just that - waiting for winter to end, for the crops to grow, for a war to end, for a ship to come to shores. More often than not it was women’s fate. Even biologically a woman needs to endure waiting for a child inside of her body. So she knows how to be patient probably better than a man. It does not mean to be passive at all. But it probably means to be loyal and to be hopeful in spite of everything. From Tomás’ perspective, he feels he has been duped into serving in the Secret Service and clearly does not like the job yet carries it out, at least in the early part of the book. He seems completely detached from the world, including the world of his wife and children. Essentially, two lives have been destroyed and probably four if you count the children, though we never learn the effect on them. una ventina d’anni dopo, ritrovo marías più o meno dove l’avevo lasciato: con le citazioni di shakespeare nell’immaginario e nel plot (più molti altri scrittori, come è stato giustamente e abbondantemente sottolineato), con le coppie che non si conoscono mai davvero, con la trama che ha maglie molto larghe perché non è sicuramente quel che all’autore interessa di più. ciao javier stammi bene, ci vediamo forse fra altri vent’anni. Amid the seeming confusion of our mysterious world, individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one another, and to a whole, that, by stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever. Like Wakefield, he may become, as it were, the Outcast of the Universe.

Es muy probable que los sentimientos afloren por ese amor al Marías de antaño y que de pronto regresa, cuando ya lo creías perdido. An unexpected approach to the espionage-thriller formula, mixing marital intrigue with a history lesson of late 20th-century conflict … [Also] a dialled-up drama of early motherhood … A twisty, thought-provoking tale that puts notions of truth and morality under pitiless scrutiny.” —Anthony Cummins, The ObserverBerta Isla" es la envolvente y apasionante historia de una espera y de una evolución, la de su protagonista. También de la fragilidad y la tenacidad de una relación amorosa condenada al secreto y a la ocultación, al fingimiento y a la conjetura, y en última instancia al resentimiento mezclado con la lealtad. The heart of the book is two fold. A love story and a spy story. What would you say if your spouse went away for work and you never knew what they did. Are they a liar? Sworn to secrecy. Sworn to the Crown. Is he lying or telling the truth? What is the truth? Did that really happen? What happened to my husband? Who is my husband?



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