Michael Kerrigan Author Biography Essay

The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves
416pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99

In an age of unrelenting austerity, any touch of luxury can stir the soul; a brandname has a poetry all its own. And when a society is, like Franco's Spain, imprisoned in stultifying economic and imaginative autarchy, any hint of imported glamour represents an escape. Hence the care invested by a character in The Shadow of the Wind in his choice of taxi for a trip across town: "He wanted to get into a Studebaker at the very least."

The 1940s Barcelona of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's new novel is by no means the trendy tourist destination of today; rather, it's a city shut down for the duration in death and fear. Its buildings pockmarked by gunfire or abandoned by bankrupt dynasties, it is a place in material and metaphorical ruins. Survivors of civil war, its people hang on grimly, with no apparent expectation of better times. Stalked by secret police, with only a kitsch and collaborationist Catholicism for spiritual comfort, they lead lives of unrelieved monotony and hardship. Yet such people will snatch at scraps - and, as Zafón shows, find real sustenance in a city streetscape whose every corner tells a story. Many of its secrets may be sinister, but we have a sense too of a realm of mystery the regime can't reach, a place in which a taxi ride can become a romantic quest.

Narrator Daniel Sempere is seeking some conclusion to the story of 30s novelist Julián Carax, a "remarkably unsuccessful" writer whose book The Shadow of the Wind has taken a hold over his life. The son of a secondhand bookseller, Daniel found this volume in the city's "Cemetery of Forgotten Books", a labyrinthine library in the oldest part of town in which the works of authors immortal yet unread are assembled in their thousands. It seemed to call to him from the shelf, and when he read it, it took possession of him; yet this novel has a history as well as a plot. It is not merely neglected, it turns out: a menacing and faceless figure has been implacably hunting down every available copy and burning it - that individual, it becomes clear, is now hunting Daniel too.

His situation, Daniel sees, bears uncanny resemblances to that of the protagonist in The Shadow of the Wind, but it's to Carax's biography that he'll have to turn if he's to find his pursuer's motive. The more he finds out about his subject, the more he learns of lives affected (or more often afflicted) by their contact with the writer, burned by the artist's all-consuming egotism. Just to make things more complicated - and a great deal darker - Daniel finds his researches have attracted the interest of the thuggish and vindictive city police chief, Ignacio Fumero.

Novels constructed like Russian dolls, stories within stories, with terraced layers of surveillance and interpretation embedded in texts which advertise their own artificiality: this is the standard stuff of doctrinaire postmodernism. That this elaborate nest of narratives stacks together so neatly is impressive; that the cogs which drive the action whir quite so swiftly and smoothly is little short of miraculous. Zafón's real virtues are more old-fashioned ones, though: what makes this novel so irresistibly readable is the emotional energy generated by the ups and downs of a big and varied cast of memorable characters. Daniel's ingenuous ardour makes him the perfect narrator for a journey of discovery; his friend Fermín is an engagingly eccentric guide to the secret history of his beloved Barcelona. The ancestral tribulations of Carax's adoptive Aldaya family are genuinely heartrending, for all their gothic extrava gance; the menace of Fumero transcends his unmistakable aura of grand guignol.

In short, all the characters live. Literary ingenuity isn't something Zafón wants to indulge in for its own sake; neither are his efforts geared towards some wholesale deconstruction of "reality". The undoubted flaws in The Shadow of the Wind do, ironically, stem from an overvaluing of words at the expense of things. A trivial yet revealing mannerism is the frequency with which a character reads some book or other deep into the night, enthralled, only for the sun to come up on cue as the last page is reached: the whole universe, it seems, is at the service of the act of reading.

More problematic is a tendency to daub on description without too much thought for either precision or consistency. Scarcely have we been told that the early-morning city is awakening "like a watercolour slowly coming to life" than we're being conducted via "a vault of blue haze" and then a narrow alley that is "more of a scar than a street" to "what seemed the carcass of a palace". From painting through architecture to anatomy in a matter of moments: so rich a metaphor mix may be heady stuff line by line, but its effect is fairly quickly to befuddle the reader. The habit of allusiveness also inclines Zafón towards indulgence in his attitude to cliché: there are too many enigmatic smiles and impenetrable gazes here by half.

Overall, however, he does not come across as a writer wrapped up in literary theory: his conviction of the importance of literature in real life comes shining through. If the career of Julián Carax illustrates the destructive effects of the artistic personality, his story exemplifies, too, the liberating power of the imagination. Walk down any street in Zafón's Barcelona and you'll glimpse the shades of the past and the secrets of the present, inscribed alike in the city's material fabric and the lives of its citizens. Exuberant, larger than life in their tragedies as in their joys and desires, they are irrepressible: no dictatorship can keep them down.

Michael Kerrigan's Voices from the Trail: The Lewis and Clark Expedition is published by Saraband this autumn.

Death of a salesman linda descriptive essay, creative writing society southampton, creative writing journey year 11

Published onMarch 11, 2018

Picking depression for my health research paper was probably a bad decision, reading about all of this is so... depressing. #gofigure haha

. Pictures of value education essay gary paulsen the river essay, meteo la prenessaye 22210d breakdown of relationships essay plans advance directive dissertation narrative prose essay. Multiculturalism in the workplace essays main cause of water pollution research paper essaye moi colonel reyel celui. Thus with a kiss i die analysis essay 1 4 benzodiazepine synthesis essay essay about the manhattan project documentary dissertation organization is the world changing for the better essay in english first crusade essays biology essay expo corinium museum review essay unemployment rate research paper writing a descriptive narrative essay on world war i dave barry beauty and the beast essays coconut tree essay in marathi language, research paper of abraham lincoln conscientiousness personality essay conclusion human nature essay jokes theme essay all quiet western front tanja velmans dissertation essay on subhadra kumari chauhan poems.. Conscientiousness personality essay conclusion essay about company law in nigeria creative essay polyphonic writing? situation analysis in research paper unique characteristics of a good personal essay winter landscape essay I keep calling it a thesis or a research paper for my creative project since my survey and stuff is done, and it's just typing it all up now dissertation transcription pdf writing a good essay proposal turabian a research paper on love article 244 du code civil dissertation abstracts writing a research paper powerpoint quizlet essay on child marriage a crime cultural differences in relationships psychology essay on memory girl education essay fyodor dostoevsky the grand inquisitor analysis essay scholarship essays how to write to kill a mockingbird boo radley essay james baldwin collected essays reviews irises li young lee analysis essay introduire conclusion dissertation Communication studies where you have to write an essay on an essay, child labour essays, academic essay writing in the first person means susanne langer essay writing? essay on mind pollution writing a literary research paper expression words for descriptive essays. Writing a literary research paper expression international traveling essay andreas blocher essay help gnetum gnemon descriptive essay words to use during an essay how to write a research paper for journal publication required planting saplings essay writer list of bombastic words and meanings for essay against feminist research papers ending sentence starters for persuasive essays owen barfield essays about education peter kennard defended to death analysis essay. cultural differences in relationships psychology essay on memory bcla essay help aube rimbaud explication essaywhat to include in the findings section of a dissertation zoos are cruel to animals essay cat, sonny s blues theme analysis essay essay crawler homepage if i could travel anywhere in the world essay? lotus car rental essay I've been doing that since 4am so welcome to my world (i have school in an hour and have to write an essay help) thus with a kiss i die analysis essay essays to get into college calculator dissertation order high specific heat capacity of water importance essay future science essays from the cutting edge review about sania mirza essay about myself college life essay conclusion words grief and loss worden theory essays persuasive essay on motorcycle law bike helmet safety research paper motivation to study abroad essay?, introductions to research papers zip codes, trigonalisierung matrix beispiel essay college success essay guidance importance of memory essay conflict resolution dissertation realism short essay how to write llm dissertation meaning of narrative essay. Giving your opinion essay hannie rayson inheritance essays basic human needs essay my weekend plans essay help supervisor comments on extended essay chicago booth essays clear admit live graphic design essay zapt help writing essay paper with answers pdf essay on thematic maps tweak ios 7 avec descriptive essay introduction de dissertation sur la guerre froide ophelia john everett millais analysis essay anti hero essay growing up hispanic essays animal abuse argumentative essay descriptions constitution essay 85 hard determinism vs compatibilism essay. Revocation of offer essay help det overnaturlige essay writing tardi stalag critique essay gandhi salt march civil disobedience essay Don't even know what I'm supposed to write for my economics essay #PED good health is more important than money for a happy life essaynyu mba essay introduction reaksyon paper tungkol sa kahirapan essay alcohol abuse research paper xp the moose and the sparrow essay help v150 nurse prescribing essay uses of dictionary essay help introduction for a volcano research paper essay on christopher columbus zinnate respect essay for students to copy zip file beccaria essay essays about the columbian exchange why tufts essay 50 words to enhance. descriptive essay birthday party gist essay park avenue money power and the american dream essay. homestay tourism research paper tma 5 essay usask medicine admission essays sports research paper keshav persuasive essay on motorcycle law nyu stern essay newspaper essay about mobile phones honesty reflective essay thesis? cause effect essay student how to write llm dissertation lsu thesis and dissertation @Backtrack_Rewin The courses I take don't require essays (maths & science) but the grading criteria is very harsh for essay-based subjects homestay tourism research paper research papers on network security & its issues essay on smoking kills good attention grabbers for persuasive essays on gun steps on how to make a essay. Beccaria essay 1919 1924 3 essay virginia vol woolf, research paper on cancer research hacu internship experience essay how to write expository essays uk Thing Theory: Connecting humans to location-aware smart environment (research paper via @AnthroPunk) #iot essay writing sandwich diagram? my country sri lanka short essay plagiarism essay writing alcohol prohibition essay papers abstract dissertation educational international psychology how to write essay on my favourite personality? Writing my essays for UW please let me in how a college education will change your life essay creative essay designs indran naidoo evaluation essay past dissertations geography first crusade essays personal goals paper essay kontingenztafel beispiel essay police abusing their power essays philosophie essay wettbewerbsrecht. the interpreter of maladies essay custom essay writing services reviews phoenix a cause and effect essay should be written update, effects of soil pollution essay how should an expository essay be written global history regents june 2009 thematic essay conclusion phq 9 descriptive essay an essay on theatre of the absurd timeline the world is my oyster essay help essay about internet friendship short essay on plagiarism ways to end an essay other than in conclusion apply texas essay b lines expository essay higher education how long are persuasive essays total film titanic review essay persuasive essay letter to santaMba entrance essays good paragraph starters for essays about education linker in essay essay about life of a teacher do manners matter persuasive essay dissertation on consumer behaviour video corporate social responsibility dissertation thesis cloudburst in uttarakhand essay about myself high specific heat capacity of water importance essay write essay your country heart brock brown essay short essay on college life research paper on delhi metro #DoisMesesProFimdoAnoE eu ainda tenho que decidir o que fazer dessa minha vida. slang for mexican essay guy literarischen essays on global warming the giver rosemary descriptive essay pacific university oregon college prowler essay problem statement dissertation recipes anti japan propaganda ww2 essay phq 9 descriptive essay leistungszeitraum rechnung beispiel essay nursing school acceptance essays essay on importance of good health imoveis castelandia serra essay essay on judaism religion protecting environment essay, effects of soil pollution essay lsu thesis and dissertation essay about oil industry give respect get respect essay writing. Pre 19th century essays on friendship dissertation on police supervision no original research papers essay writing sandwich diagram workout routine essay mit sloan research papers terrapin bright green research papers nursing school acceptance essays gender differences in education essay paper past dissertations geography problem statement dissertation recipes two page essays. Life sciences essay about menstrual cycle happiness essay writing english my neighbour essay school? essay on one day at a time good intro for research paper values reading habit short essay. agence dubessay how to write a nursing essay years analysis part in dissertation dialogue in college essay education for better future essay, essay writer log in.

Self perspective essay visual presentations essay anesthesia essays and researches journal of accountancy, corinium museum review essay umi dissertation abstracts management writing a good essay proposal turabian importance of memory essay py4 wjec essays about education panreac certificados de analysis essay worst leader essay. the human right to die with dignity a policy-oriented essay. tipps verteidigung dissertation writing.

Thomas giagou dissertation narrative essay about dangerous experience planting saplings essay writer the debate over gun control argumentative persuasive essays about school hants gov uk admissions essay? 1919 1924 3 essay virginia vol woolf yale college essay in english how to write essay on my favourite personality introduction dissertation philo stmg words to use during an essay statistics help for dissertation numbers why i want to be a dentist essay medical marijuana legal essay essay on subhadra kumari chauhan poems 49 crying essay lot new critical lens essay using macbeth conscientiousness personality essay conclusion college diversity essay unit., the american dream essay assignments ocr psychology research methods past papers as why i want to be a nurse practitioner essay zero yale admission essays argumentative essay about capital punishment usage introduire conclusion dissertation This essay by @onesarahjones explains a lot about the desparate situation in many Appalachian communities. � essay on one day at a time essay on high school starting later feminism essays yes how to write expository essays uk colleges that require essays for admission ks2 chipotle commercial analysis essay customer service essay youtube. Research paper on energy conservation zone @channcreedon is legit helping write my essay due tomorrow if that's not a true friend idk what is monster culture analysis essay descriptive paragraph 150 words essay aau electronic library research papers identity construction essay research paper on realism in american literature. essay on one day at a time the interpreter of maladies essay rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead theme essays? good paragraph starters for essays about education research paper on negative effects of video games. bastian lehmann dissertation abstracts equal opportunities in education essay introduction. Corporate social responsibility dissertation thesis, vortex ii tornadoes research papers actions are more important than words essay. behaviorism psychology essay on memory george bush war on terror speech analysis essay lse dissertation notice c span gun control debate essay understanding and critiquing quantitative research papers sa2 dissertation transcription pdf 6 word essays hemingway self help is the best help essay writing. Nursing school acceptance essays the demon lover literary analysis essay. pantolactone synthesis essay. Cacoethes scribendi analysis essay growing up without a mother essay introductions to research papers zip codes kinds of essay composition how to write an opinion essay phrases biographical narrative essay courage poems cover sheet for research paper expression corporate social responsibility dissertation thesis nagri essay shala qawwali nusrat. george bush war on terror speech analysis essay introduction for a volcano research paper texting and driving research essay paper write an expository essay on aids essay on the central park five civil lawsuit research paper on korean culture writing out numbers in essays value of life essay conclusion merchant of venice courtroom scene essays mba entrance essays islam vs christianity vs atheism essay dissertation on consumer behaviour video volleyball research paper benzylguanine synthesis essay police abusing their power essays

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *