HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Your Face Tomorrow, Volume 2: Dance and…
Loading...

Your Face Tomorrow, Volume 2: Dance and Dream (2002)

by Javier Marías

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3051136,648 (4.13)17
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

English (7)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Javier María’s Your Face Tomorrow, Volume 2 is good but it doesn’t match the brilliance of Volume 1. Volume 1 might be a masterpiece. Our narrator Jaime Dezas, a Spanish expat who lives in London, does intelligence work, probably for the state but who really knows? We start with him talking (or thinking) about how terrible it is to be obligated to others. He starts with the example of a hypothetical beggar. Better not to give the beggar anything, he says, since once you do you’re tied to that person and his fate forever.

Coming right off the bat as it does, this statement strikes one as overly dramatic, if not lugubrious. But then we must remember back to Volume 1 that Jamie Dezas is suffering. His wife, Luisa, prior to the start of that volume, kindly asked Dezas to clear out of the Madrid house so that he wouldn't cramp her style as she road tests other men. Dezas obliges by moving to London. He goes too far, but that's because he's in such pain....

We have been raised, especially in the US, to believe in this old chestnut of rugged individualism. Think Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. From a distance all blades of grass seem the same, but on closer inspection we discover that each is entirely individuated, singular. Well, you can throw that mindset out the window with the intelligence unit for which Jaime Dezas works. They believe the world is reducible to types. It is a view that bases itself flagrantly on surfaces and does not bother to plumb the depths of people. Dezas sees the "whole group as devoted to fictions." He is alone in this view.

I took about six weeks off between Volumes 1 and 2 to read other things. Please don’t do that. It’s best to read all three volumes straight through. Your Face Tomorrow provides the kind of dense reading experience that I’ve only experienced with Faulkner, though Marías's prose is without the intense rhythmic drive of that southern US writer. María’s writerly gifts, if we can call them that, for he overuses them so much that they become mannerisms, are for digression and delay. He will go on and on delaying getting to the point, digressing digressing digressing ad infinitum or so it seems.

The entire book essentially consists of one night at a London disco where something untoward happens. Jaime and his boss, Bertrand Tupra, in his alias as Mr. Reresby, are hosting an Italian mafioso type and his wife. Dezas is asked to dance by the bored wife and they go onto the dance floor where he is accosted by an idiot countryman, one De la Garza, who is crude and libidinous though high ranking at the Spanish embassy. There is this interval on the dance floor when Tupra calls Jaime back to the table to translate something. What Jaime does next makes no sense but the action of the novel depends on it. Despite knowing the idiocy of this Spaniard he puts the mafioso’s wife in the man’s hands. Go figure? Isn’t he asking for trouble? He is. Is it purposeful? Good question. See Volume 3.

The pace at which the story moves here is reminiscent of late Henry James. This is not a compliment. Please, the reader exclaims (mentally) from time to time, do move this plot along. Most of the story plays out in the handicapped stall of the disco’s men’s room. A scene whose digressions goes on and on to mind-numbing length. I wondered if Marías here wasn’t gleefully dragging everything out to such positively excruciating lengths. I have this image of him sitting before the keyboard giggling and rubbing his hands together. So fed up did I become with the digressions that I began to skip them in order to get to the next plot point. This is something I never do. I am a disciplined reader, but it was either skip the weary digression or throw the book against the wall. I had no desire to skip the digressions in Volume 1. In Volume 1 the digressions were always interesting. They held you. Not so here.

In this second volume the reader is, as Martin Amis once said, stretched like a guitar string and made to twang. Yet one foolishly reads on. And nothing really happens! Everything that is threatened to happen is averted. The story is less important than the mental states of our very articulate narrator. He sees a lot. He sees it from all perspectives. His mind is a whirring circular saw tearing through great meaty chucks of -- perception. He builds up and deconstructs.

My final comment is about Marías's humorlessness. He could use some humor to lighten his prose. But he seems incapable of it. It might be that he sees humor in any form as working against the deep gravitas he seeks to project. This is one way he achieves his distinctive voice. For one thing I will say about him, he doesn't sound like anyone else I've ever read. Moreover, Marías has a downright Proustian gift for parenthesis.

In case you were wondering, I will try to read Volume 3. Let us hope it’s not as problematic as Volume 2.

Recommended with reservations. ( )
1 vote William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
I'm mostly ready for part three. This is an incredibly dense series and I'll write a review on book three. ( )
  veranasi | Jan 17, 2014 |
Writing a review for this book is pretty silly; it really is the middle of a novel. You get the thrill neither of a beginning, nor of an ending; there's no cliffhanger as there was at the end of Fever and Spear. You can't read this without having read the first volume.

That said, it retains all the strengths of that first volume: intelligent, funny, witty, affecting, and beautifully translated. The drawbacks here: the character this volume focuses on - Tupra, in the main - isn't as much fun as the Oxford dons that the first volume featured; and the thinking here is a little less original. Whereas the first volume seemed to be more of a critique of pomo nonsense, this volume sometimes indulges in it. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
The second part of what may well be the slowest-moving action thriller in modern literature describes the first few minutes of the conversation between the narrator and the lady who rang his doorbell at the end of part one (for the remainder we will have to wait for part three) and takes us through about twenty minutes of a night on the town with an Italian couple.

Of course, it's not really the foreground story that's important here, but the opportunity it gives the narrator to develop further his ideas about loyalty and betrayal, and to reflect on the meaning of violence and the different ways we respond to it, as perpetrators, victims, witnesses, or merely those who hear or see a report of it. Beautifully written and — apparently — seamlessly translated into English, but I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to read this without having first read part one. ( )
  thorold | Nov 4, 2013 |
I can't quite put into words why I like these books so much. Not a lot happens, there's a huge amount of impersonal comment ('we all hope no one will ever do such and such') and the sentences are very long. But I really like them. It's intelligent and well written. Where the first one was about trust and betrayal this one is about requests and obligation. I am going to read the third one now. ( )
  annesadleir | Feb 22, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
As accomplished and sui generis as all his mature work.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Für Carmen López M., die mir hoffentlich weiter zuören will
And for Sir Peter Russell, to whom this book is indebted for his long shadow, and the author, for his far-reaching friendship
First words
Man sollte niemals etwas erzählen noch Angaben machen oder Geschichten beisteuern oder Anlass dazu geben, dass die Leute sich an Menschen erinnern, die niemals existiert, die niemals ihren Fuß auf die Erde gesetzt oder die Welt durchschritten haben oder wohl gewesen sind, aber sich bereits halbwegs in Sicherheit befanden im unvollkommenen, ungewissen Vergessen.
Quotations
Erzählen ist fast immer ein Geschenk, sogar wenn die Erzählung Gift enthält und einträufelt, es ist auch ein Band und ein Vertrauensbeweis, und selten ist das Vertrauen, das nicht früher oder später verraten wird, selten das Band, das sich nicht verwickelt oder verknotet, und so drückt es am Ende, und man man muss das Messer oder die Schneide ziehen, um es zu durchtrennen.
[...] es scheint unausweichlich zu sein, dass man das, was man weiß oder gesehen hat, am Ende gegen den geliebten Menschen oder Ehepartner benutzt [...]
Die Leute gehen hin und erzählen unweigerlich, sie erzählen alles früher oder später, das Interessante und das Flüchtige, das Private und das Öffentliche, das Intime und das Überflüssige, das, was verborgen bleiben sollte, und das, was verbreitet werden soll, den Schmerz und die Freuden und das Ressentiment, die Beleidigungen und die Anbetung und die Rachepläne, das, was uns mit Stolz, und das, was uns mit Scham erfüllt, das, was ein Geheimnis zu sein schien, und das, was es sein wollte, das allseits Bekannte und das Uneingestehbare, das Entsetzliche und das Offenkundige, das Wesentliche - die Verliebtheit - und das Bedeutungslose - die Verliebtheit.
[...] im Leben, das sehr viel enger mit dem Kino und der Literatur verknüpft ist als man gemeinhin zugibt und glaubt. Das heißt nicht, dass das eine das andere oder das andere das eine nachahmt, wie behauptet wird, sondern dass unsere zahllosen Einbildungen ebenfalls zum Leben gehören und dazu beitragen, es zu erweitern und zu komplizieren und es trüber und zugleich annehmbarer zu machen, wenn auch nicht erklärbarer (oder doch, sehr selten). Sie ist sehr dünn, die Linie, die die Tatsachen von den Einbildungen trennt und die Wünsche von ihrer Erfüllung und das Fiktive vom Geschehenen, denn in Wirklichkeit sind die Einbildungen schon Tatsache und die Wünsche ihre Erfüllung [...]
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is only volume 2 of Your Face Tomorrow.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811217493, Paperback)

A book unlike any other, a daring experiential unfolding Spanish masterpiece, Your Face Tomorrow now leaps into uncharted new territory in Volume Two: Dance and Dream.

Your Face Tomorrow, Javier Marias's dazzling unfolding magnum opus, is a novel in three parts, which began with Volume One: Fever and Spear. Described as a "brilliant dark novel" (Scotland on Sunday), the book now takes a wild swerve in its new volume. Skillfully constructed around a central perplexing and mesmerizing scene in a nightclub, Volume Two: Dance and Dream again features Jacques Deza. In Volume One he was hired by MI6 as a person of extraordinarily sophisticated powers of perception. In Volume Two Deza discovers the dark side of his new employer when Tupra, his spy-master boss, brings out a sword and uses it in a way that appalls Deza: You can't just go around hurting and killing people like that. Why not? asks Tupra.

Searching meditations on favors and jealousy, knowledge and the deep human desire not to know, violence and death play against memories of the Spanish Civil War as Deza's world becomes increasingly murky.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:54 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Jacques Deza isn't at all sure whether he likes some of the characters he is meeting in London. Having left Spain after the break-up of his marriage, he has allowed a friend to talk him into working for an MI6-like organisation run by the enigmatic Bertram Tupra. Deza's role is a seemingly innocuous one: he is to observe and comment on the behaviour of certain people. But watching and listening are not necessarily innocent occupations. If the first volume of this trilogy saw Deza questioning the morality of his new job, the surprising events of the second leave him shaken to the core. In a nightclub scene that is a tour de force - both hilarious and utterly chilling - Deza is forced by his spy-master boss Tupra to witness an act of shocking brutality. Is Deza somehow implicated in Tupra's unexpected behaviour? And will he be able to disentangle himself from a situation that is becoming increasingly disturbing?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
88 wanted3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.13)
0.5
1
1.5
2 6
2.5 1
3 1
3.5 2
4 19
4.5 5
5 20

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,635,392 books! | Top bar: Always visible