"Of the three, two have died since I left Oxford and the superstitious thought occurs to me that they were perhaps just waiting for me to arrive and live out my time there in order to give me the chance to know them and, now, to speak about them. In other words—and this is equally superstitious—I may be under an obligation to speak about them. They did not die until after I had ceased to have anything to do with them. Had I continued to figure in their lives (to figure in their daily lives there) and stayed on in Oxford perhaps they would not be dead. This thought is not only superstitious, it is also vain."
All Souls by Javier Marias, translated by Margaret Jull Costa
I realized last night I hadn’t read any Marias in a while, so I went back to my first encounter. These are the first lines from All Souls, which, in my mind, is the best entry point to his work. Reading something you loved from the first moment is such a curious and wonderful pleasure. It brought a very satisfied smile to my face.
A quick note: if you click the link to content source it will take you to an out of print New Directions edition on our webpage. Click the paperback 03/2013 link on that page and it’ll bring you to a forthcoming edition from Vintage if you’re interested in pre-ordering from us. It’s a gloomy morning in Chicago, and the thought of going over all of this again is just a depressing thought, so click this link for an explanation as to why New Directions no longer has the rights to Marias’ work.