Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Literatura Y Errabundia (Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina Y Rosa Montero)

Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Literatura Y Errabundia (Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina Y Rosa Montero)

Article excerpt

ALEXIS GROHMANN. Literatura y errabundia (Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina y Rosa Montero). Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. 2011. 197 pp. ISBN 84-7962-374-8.

Literary scholars who focus on contemporary authors typically track the development of their subjects, mapping early phases, continuing growth and mature stages through which writes move during both their careers and their lives. Perspectives on living, publishing authors can change with time, turning initial analysis irrelevant - if not ridiculously inaccurate. While these dangers motivate great care in our observations on literary subjects, we consistently overlook the development of the scholars themselves. A conscious reflection on a colleague's scholarship during the course of a career likewise reveals stages of growth that can indicate increasing maturity along a professional academic path.

Alexis Grohmann staked his claim as one of the primary scholars on the work of Javier Marías with a series of publications that charted the career of this important contemporary Spanish novelist. The title of Grohmann's 2002 book Coming into One's Own: The Novelistic Development of Javier Marías explicitly announced that it would track a literary path from the writer's early days. But neither author nor scholar have rested since then, and nearly a decade later, Grohmann shows how he has grown as a scholar, effectively coming into his own with Literatura y errabundia (Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina y Rosa Montero). This excellent book extends the analysis on Marías and his writing, expanding it to two more authors who have been fundamental in Spanish literature of the last three decades.

This well-documented study is based on Marías's 1998 novel Negra espalda del tiempo, in which Grohmann observes a digressive nature that was a change in direction for the author. He proposes that it also signalled a new trend in Spanish literature, referencing a series of contemporary narrative works in Spain and Europe that were published around the same time. Grohmann maps the extended digressions in these works, which he eventually calls 'errant texts' (hence, the book's title) that were characterized by a wandering narrative style. …

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