Javier Cercas (1962) is a Spanish writer and translator. Although young Cercas was noticed by several notable authors, including Roberto Bolaño, it was some time until his major literary breakthrough. It arrived in 2001 with his fourth novel Soldados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis). It is not difficult to see why the book was a success – Cercas addresses the key issues of Spain’s complicated and violent recent history, using the, mildly put, colourful life of poet Rafael Sánchez Mazas. In addition to writing poetry, Mazas was one of the leaders of the right-wing falangists in the Spanish Civil War, and in January 1939, he managed to literally escape a firing squad. The character of Mazas allows Cercas to contemplate on the ambivalence of heroism, but also the complicated relationship between politics and creativity – artistic talent does not always overlap with talent for humanity. Soldiers of Salamis is an excellent example of Cercas’ artistic style that combines fact and fiction and thus blur the lines between the two. Translations into Estonian also include his seventh novel Las leyes de frontera (Outlaws), published in 2012. Its plot begins in the end of the Franco regime and deals with the long-term effects of the relationships of youth.
|Thursday, 25 May at 17:00||Javier Cercas and Mari Laan||Estonian Writers’ Union|