Book Review: The Valley of the Fallen by Carlos Rojas

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About:
The Valley of the Fallen (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) by Carlos Rojas  (translated by Edith Grossman) is a historical novel taking in different time periods in Spain. Mr. Rojas is an award-winning novelist and art historian.

  • 312 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030021796X

My rating for The Valley of the Fallen – 4
Buy The Valley of the Fallen from Amazon.com*

More Books by Carlos Rojas

Thoughts:
The Valley of the Fallen (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) by Carlos Rojas  (translated by Edith Grossman) is a very dense book, written in a postmodernist narrative which shifts between the court of King Charles IV of Spain (around the late 1700s) and the last days of Francisco Franco’s reign (mid 1970s).

The narrative merges fact and fiction, to tell two stories that even though are worlds apart, are still connected through a common language, ideology, politics, and art.

This is a dense read, I am not as familiar with Goya’s paintings Mr. Rojas is, so my reading was slowed down by looking them up on the Internet whenever they were mentioned. On the bright side, I could look up Goya’s paintings on the Internet at any time I wanted to.
We live in a wonderful age.

There is a helpful timeline at the end of the book, which I actually skimmed after I read a few chapters just to help me understand the narrative. My only complaint is about myself for not being able to read it in the original Spanish.

As usual, Ms. Grossman did a fantastic job with the translation, the prose is stylish, energetic and somewhat intimate.

Synopsis:
Artist Francisco de Goya is at the most successful time of his career. He is the painter, and sounding board, of King Fernando VI who is dedicated to establish a cruel regime after Spain’s War of Independence.

Buy The Valley of the Fallen from Amazon.com*
More Books by Carlos Rojas

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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