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Mein Herz so weiß

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,028 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Eine junge Frau erhebt sich vom Tisch, geht ins Bad, knöpft ihre Bluse auf und erschießt sich. Diese dunkle Szene, von der der Ich-Erzähler nur gehört hat, läßt ihm keine Ruhe mehr. Die junge Frau war seine Tante, die Schwester seiner Mutter, die Frau, die sein Vater vor seiner Mutter geheiratet hatte. Vierzig Jahre später ist der Erzähler selbst verheiratet. Dunkle Vorahn ...more
Hardcover, Spiegel-Edition, #1, 384 pages
Published August 14th 2006 by Spiegel-Verlag (first published 1991)
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Jeffrey Keeten
May 31, 2014 Jeffrey Keeten rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Kris
”Listening is the most dangerous thing of all, listening means knowing, finding out about something and knowing what’s going on, our ears don’t have lids that can instinctively close against the words uttered, they can’t hide from what they sense they’re about to hear, it’s always too late.”

Juan is trained to listen to people. He is a professional translator, so when he is listening to conversations it comes in his ears in one language and comes out his mouth in another language. He is the only

My hands are of your color; but I shame
To wear a heart so white.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Time keeps on moving at an indifferent pace and yet it keeps on changing; every second, every day, and every year. Since we all are busy living, we attach little importance to the things happened and the words spoken in the past as most of the times we are under the impression that it doesn’t hold the power to change our present or affect our future (not devastatingly at least). Certainly there are poeti
There are so many layers to this book. You have to be willing to give it time, especially in the first third or so, when Marías writes long, intricate, sentences that fold back on themselves, with parentheses within parentheses. Through this style, Marías presents the thoughts and interpretations of the protagonist, Juan, a translator who describes himself as committed, almost addicted, to understanding all he hears, all he sees, everything around him. Juan has recently married another translato ...more
Stephen P
Dec 28, 2013 Stephen P rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of both eloquence and surprise
Recommended to Stephen by: Anything Marias Is Sent by M.Puma

A book about boundaries, both protected and invaded as well as about time. What is present already is diffused into the past and therefore cannot be known. One cannot know anything! At some point it will be long enough ago that it can be laughed at as though those laughing and remembering were not participants. There are secrets. He lives in a world of suspicions, trying to interpret, translate, so he is well defended, everything is in its place as when he returns from a trip and unpacks each th
Over beers with a friend, I was trying to articulate what it is about Graham Swift, one of his favorite novelists, that I didn't like. I meant to be gentle, not wanting to bruise his feelings, but he doubtlessly was prepared for another rant. After 30 years of friendship he well knows my attempts at persuasion and my underlying insistence on being right. (We spent a similar evening arguing with voices raised but without consequence over who was the most musically influential Beatle). But skills ...more
“I did not want to know but I have since come to know that one of the girls, when she wasn’t a girl any more and hadn’t long been back from her honeymoon, went into the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror, unbuttoned her blouse, took off her bra and aimed her own father’s gun at her heart, her father at the time was in the living room with other members of the family and three guests.”

And so with the first sentence we dive into unknown depths.

The title of the book is from Macbeth, in the sce
Ode agli stoici genitori dell’infante Javier.

Certo è, che Marìas da piccolo, non l’avrei voluto conoscere.

Mettiamo il caso che sia possibile usufruire di 5 minuti e prendere la macchina del tempo per tornare all’infanzia del piccolo Javier.

Eccolo lì, coi calzoncini corti, che vi aspetta sulla porta di casa perché voi lo portiate al parco.

Osservatelo mentre fiducioso vi dà la mano e vi incamminate assieme. Il tragitto scorre lento e sereno (il piccolo Javier è taciturno, ma questo vi assicuro, no
"Listening is the most dangerous thing of all."

One of the benefits of a summer birthday is the marginalized chance of being ill on said day. Of course, as we age, the day becomes ever ambivalent. Today I found myself sick beyond preparation. It has been a rough week w/ viruses making rounds at work and my own sinuses self-immolating. That said, I was hoping for a reprieve today. It didn't happen.

Instead my wife and I perched in our living room and read. Art Tatum and Eric Dolphy contributed grea
“My hands are of your color; but I shame to wear a heart so white.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Uma mulher mata-se com um tiro no coração. Eu queria muito saber porquê. No entanto, ao longo das páginas, sou enredada e enfeitiçada por histórias, pensamentos, divagações, com conteúdo e apresentação, de tal forma hipnotizantes, que se me torna irrelevante saber porque se matou Teresa.
Segredos. O que se deve dizer e o que se não deve; o que queremos saber e o que não queremos. O que não sabemos mant
Marías scrive senza regole, senza attenersi a nessun copione, abbandonandosi ad una fiume di pensieri vagando apparentemente senza una metà precisa. Sembra non conoscere il punto d’arrivo e neppure il peso che i personaggi hanno nella narrazione. I personaggi, nella loro ambiguità, si sovrappongono, si identificano, fino a confondersi, i fatti accaduti in momenti differenti si incastrano con tempismo perfetto. La costruzione del romanzo è perfetta, niente è lasciato al caso.

“Le mie mani sono del
Ben Loory
liked it, didn't love it, didn't really "really like it," found myself often sighing loudly towards the end-- JUST FRIGGIN SAY WHAT YOU'RE GONNA SAY ALREADY AND STOP SAYING IT EIGHTY TIMES IN A ROW-- but there's no doubt marias is an extremely talented writer, above all a great writer of scenes... there are scenes in this book-- many, many scenes-- that i will probably remember my whole life (bathroom, balcony, meeting of interpreters, post office, museum guard, wow there are a lot)... it's just ...more
Camille Stein
A veces tengo la sensación de que nada de lo que sucede sucede, de que todo ocurrió y a la vez no ha ocurrido, porque nada sucede sin interrupción, nada perdura ni persevera ni se recuerda incesantemente, y hasta la más monótona y rutinaria de las existencias se va anulando y negando a sí misma en su aparente repetición hasta que nada es nada ni nadie es nadie que fueran antes, y la débil rueda del mundo es empujada por desmemoriados que oyen y ven y saben lo que no se dice ni tiene lugar ni es ...more
Stephen Ford
Oct 08, 2007 Stephen Ford rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Where shall I start? Its banal insights may just about justify a short story by a teenager; the dialogue is stilted, pretentious and postured; and no interesting events occur - nothing actually happens.

Most importantly, the style is pedestrian, repetitive, circumlocutary. For instance: "Carefully, very carefully (but not that carefully) I crossed the room." So which is it, Marias? Carefully, very carefully or not that carefully? And why should I c
M. Sarki

The number of pages of made-time that it takes for Javier Marías to get anywhere is simultaneously relaxing in its pace and frustrating in its ramble. But what better activities does one have to do with one's time than to sit still with a book written by a master-observer regarding the human condition? There are few topics the author fails to elaborate on within his process, the hours of contemplation required in finding and eventually knowing his subjects
This, I believe, is my fourth Marias' book. I do consider him one of the best contemporary novelists and always find his books interesting. But he can be hard going, and I found this work particularly so. Marias' books are in some ways meditations. "A Heart So White" concerns a marriage between two interpreters, and one could, I suppose, regard this as a book about interpreting. We wait, often outside the realm of action, then words are finally spoken, we become obliged, trapped . . . or words a ...more
[Note: Italian translation]
While reading this I was trying to figure out 2 things: 1) what was it that I didn't like about it, and 2) why I liked it so much. And that, in a nutshell, is a description of Marías's paradoxical style (and method).
One of the things that bothered me was the way all the characters seemed to talk in the same way, with the same style. In his other books, I found good excuses (see my other reviews of Marías) , and in this one the narrator out-and-out says it: This is the
Simona Bartolotta
In Marìas ho trovato uno scrittore eccellente, con la rara capacità di ipnotizzare il suo lettore sin dalle prime pagine, di convogliarne tutta l'attenzione solo sulla sua storia, e su nient'altro. Nel periodo in cui leggevo Un cuore così bianco non avevo davvero testa per pensare a nulla, solo al libro. E ci pensavo e ripensavo, ci ragionavo, ci riflettevo, non so neanch'io bene su cosa. E' anche un libro che lascia senza parole, infatti ad ogni parola che scrivo mi viene da prendermi a cazzott ...more
This novel by acclaimed-Spaniard-who-has-yet-to-be-recognized-in-the-US was given to me by my boyfriend, who strongly prefers books that tell you a story and let you make your own judgment, rather than stories that are too morally guided. Reading a story for the story is all well and good, but when you buy your girlfriend a book, expect her to read into things and to take things at least a tad personally (especially if it involves a man thrice widowed and a stranger threatening to kill his wife) ...more
Justin Evans
What do love and democracy have in common? The unnamed English politician in HSW suggests that in a democracy politicians "have to do it in a way which [the people] believe they've chosen, just as couples get together believing that both have chosen to do so, with their eyes wide open." (65) But in fact, one party always obliges the other--the unstated suggestion here is that politicians always oblige the electorate to act as those politicians want us to, while making us think that we've chosen ...more
I guess this must be how people who read mysteries feel. Open this book as cynically as you please but if you give it a sentence to hook you, you are in for the long haul, my friend. The opening sequence is so perfectly rendered and moves with such a natural rhythm that it is all you can ask of your eyes to try and keep pace. I probably read a little TOO quickly toward the end (when I was encountering long passages for the second or third time) but when I think back on this book it is with a rea ...more
Marías finds patterns in the most unexpected places. There's something reassuring about reading his novels... perhaps it comes from the repetition of certain thoughts, symbols, and ideas throughout the book. It creates a sort of dream-like continuity. I found the meditations on permanence/impermanence to be similar to those in Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me , with new insights on guilt and responsibility, on memory, on action/inaction, on waiting.
Chiara Pagliochini
Jul 11, 2011 Chiara Pagliochini rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Persone interessate all'aspetto tecnico della scrittura
Recommended to Chiara by: La mia prof di inglese
Un cuore così bianco è la storia del matrimonio di Juan e Luisa o forse la storia di quello di Ranz e delle sue due (tre?) mogli o forse la storia di tutti i matrimoni. E' anche la storia di cosa si fa o non si fa per amore; è la storia delle cose che si pensano e che si dicono e delle cose che si dicono senza pensarle. E' una storia sui segreti, su chi li custodisce e chi li rivela e sulle loro conseguenze; una storia sul sospetto, sul voler sapere e allo stesso tempo non volerlo.


Ok, s
In the first chapter the reader discovers a mystery. There is a death, but the circumstances behind it are completely hidden from the reader. This first chapter, however, sets the stage for everything which follows. It's dark and beautifully written, despite the horror of the occasion.

The story continues from there and picks up with Juan who has just gotten married. Juan understands there's a story in his family that he has not heard yet, and isn't sure he wants to hear. His wife, Luisa, becomes
Oscar Calva
Empezar a leer a un gran autor siempre genera un cierto sentimiento de vacilación sobre por cuál de sus libros empezar a conocerlo, ¿cronológicamente para ir viendo como evoluciona?, ¿empezar por sus obra más ambiciosa y lograda con el riesgo de que después, inevitablemente, se convierta en la vara contra las que se miden todas las restantes?, en mi caso decidí abordar a Marías por Corazón tan Blanco, pues sin necesariamente ser, creo yo y sin conocer las demás, su obra más pulida o su obra más ...more
It is wonderful, but I find it really hard to explain why. Plotwise, nothing really happens. Maybe at the end of the book, because some family secrets get unveiled, but there's no (apparent) progression of a clear plot. The genius of this book is its prose, which grasps you and makes you go from one sentence to the next with an inexplicable intensity. Marías relies on repetitions and circumventions and long stream-of-consciousness paragraphs which may or may not make you forget about the main su ...more
'Non ho voluto sapere, ma ho saputo'.

L'inizio. E, nell'inizio, la facile comprensione di quanto evocativo ed efficace sia lo stile di Marías, autore spagnolo che ha conquistato la critica e visto il proprio nome accompagnato ai maggiori premi assegnati alla letteratura mondiale.

Segnai questo titolo in una lista risalente a quattro anni fa, attratta dalla semplicità di un cuore descritto come bianco e, dopo aver scoperto che sia la connessione con 'Macbeth' di Shakespeare, non ho potuto fare a m
Feb 16, 2009 Iris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Iris by: downtown Minneapolis library
Shelves: novels
Just after her honeymoon, a young woman kills herself at a family dinner in Madrid; 45 years later, the late woman's nephew - the narrator - wonders why. He's just had a honeymoon, too, and is wondering what it was about this time in life that disturbed her so much.

That's a big mystery; other, smaller questions keep the reader hanging on every word...literally. In the latter half, Marias repeats words and phrases used earlier in the novel; they didn't seem particularly salient at first, yet you
¨No he querido saber, pero he sabido que una de las niñas, cuando ya no era niña y no hacía mucho que había regresado de su viaje de bodas, entró en el cuarto de baño, se puso frente al espejo, se abrió la blusa, se quitó el sostén y se busco el corazón con la punta de la pistola¨.

Así comienza esta novela de Marías y a raíz de este hecho se desencadena una trama basada en los secretos no contados y los misterios y coincidencias que amenazan el Matrimonio de Juan Ranz, el protagonista. Este es el
Some books seem to slide effortlessly under the skin, they become for the time you are reading them part of your flesh and blood, they course through your veins and become the very air that you inhale and exhale, wrapping themselves so finely around the ganglia and neurons of your brain that they begin to supplant reality, rather than enhance it or change it they become more real than reality itself, so that one finally comes up for air, so to speak, that is, when one puts the book down to go to ...more

"Mis manos son de tu color/pero me averguenzo de llevar un corazón tan blanco"

"Corazón tan blanco" foi a minha estreia com Javier Marías. Encantaram-me os temas centrais: o casamento, a importância dos segredos, a força da persuasão, às vezes, involuntária, as suspeitas que nos invadem e o poder das palavras e dos seus desencontros.

Javier Marías escreve, fazendo puzzles de palavras, de acordo com uma escrita simples, no entanto muito rica. O leitor sente-se como que flutuando sobre ondas suaves,
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 4 20 May 17, 2013 09:25AM  
  • Soldados de Salamina
  • Bartleby & Co.
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • El jinete polaco
  • Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women
  • El corazón helado
  • Lands of Memory
  • El cuarto de atrás
  • La ciudad de los prodigios
  • All Souls' Day
  • Marks of Identity
  • El embrujo de Shanghai
  • Senselessness
  • How I Became a Nun
  • L'isola di Arturo
  • Los pazos de Ulloa
  • Maurice Guest
  • Nada
Javier Marías was born in Madrid. His father was the philosopher Julián Marías, who was briefly imprisoned and then banned from teaching for opposing Franco. Parts of his childhood were spent in the United States, where his father taught at various institutions, including Yale University and Wellesley College. His mother died when Javier was 26 years old. He was educated at the Colegio Estudio in ...more
More about Javier Marías...
Los enamoramientos Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me Your Face Tomorrow, Vol. 1: Fever and Spear All Souls Your Face Tomorrow, Vol. 2: Dance and Dream

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“It's always the chest of the other person we lean back against for support, we only really feel supported or backed up when, as the latter verb itself indicates, there's someone behind us, someone we perhaps cannot even see and who covers our back with their chest, so close it almost brushes our back and in the end always does, and at times, that someone places a hand on our shoulder, a hand to calm us and also to hold us. That's how most married people and most couples sleep or think they sleep, the two turn to the same side when they say goodnight, so that one has his or her back to the other throughout the whole night, when he or she wakes up startled from a nightmare, or is unable to get to sleep, or is suffering from a fever or feels alone and abandoned in the darkness, they have only to turn round and see before them the face of the person protecting them, the person who will let themselves be kissed on any part of the face that is kissable (nose, eyes and mouth; chin, forehead and cheeks, the whole face) or perhaps, half-asleep, will place a hand on their shoulder to calm them, or to hold them, or even to cling to them.” 25 likes
“Listening is the most dangerous thing of all, listening means knowing, finding out about something and knowing what’s going on, our ears don’t have lids that can instinctively close against the words uttered, they can’t hide from what they sense they’re about to hear, it’s always too late.” 19 likes
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