By Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa
A guy marries a lady and after the honeymoon she commits suicide. as a consequence, he marries her sister and has a son. the radical, which received the Spanish Critics' Award, recounts the son's efforts to find the reality of that mysterious tragedy. via the writer of All Souls.
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Additional info for A heart so white
I STILL FIND that delay inexplicable and even then I sincerely regretted it, not because it might have any consequences, but because of what, in an excess of scruple and zeal, I thought it might mean. And whilst it’s true that I immediately linked that marital tardiness with the first feeling of unease I mentioned, and with the fact that since our wedding it had become increasingly difficult for me to think about Luisa (the more corporeal and continuous her presence, the more removed and remote she seemed), the appearance of the second feeling of unease, which I’ve also mentioned, was due not to my laconic contemplation of the mulatto woman and to my brief moment of negligence, but to what happened once I had ministered to Luisa and dried the sweat from her forehead and her shoulders and undone her bra so that it wouldn’t cut into her, leaving her to decide whether to keep it on, even though it was unfastened, or to take it off.
But I didn’t dare go over to her and stroke her hair to calm her down properly and help her back to sleep, as I would have done under normal circumstances, because what I didn’t dare do at that moment was abandon my post on the balcony, or even take my eyes off that woman who was convinced she had an arrangement to meet me, or to shrink any longer from the abrupt dialogue being demanded of me from the street. It was a shame we spoke the same language and that I understood her, because what was not as yet a dialogue was becoming increasingly violent, perhaps precisely because it wasn’t a dialogue.
THAT WAS a long time ago, before I was born, before there was the remotest chance of my being born, indeed it was only after that that I could be born. Now I myself am married and not even a year has passed since I returned from my honeymoon with Luisa, my wife, whom I’ve known for only twenty-two months, a hasty marriage, well, fairly hasty considering the amount of thought everyone always says should go into such a decision, even in these precipitate times so different from those other times, even though those other times were not so very long ago (only a single, incomplete or perhaps already half-lived life ago, my life, for example, or Luisa’s), when everything was considered and deliberate and everything had its weight, even foolish things, though not death, and certainly not death by suicide, like the death of the person who would have been and yet never could have been my Aunt Teresa and was only ever Teresa Aguilera, whom I’ve gradually come to know about, though never from her younger sister, my mother, who was almost entirely silent during my childhood and my adolescence and who subsequently died and was thus silent for ever, but from more distant, incidental people and, finally, from Ranz, who was the husband of both sisters as well as of a foreign woman to whom I’m not related.
A heart so white by Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa