Download e-book for kindle: The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and by Javier Cercas

By Javier Cercas

ISBN-10: 1608194914

ISBN-13: 9781608194919

In February 1981, Spain was once nonetheless rising from Franco's shadow, preserving a democratic vote for the hot best minister. at the day of the vote in Parliament, whereas the consultation was once being filmed through television cameras, a band of right-wing squaddies burst in with computerized guns, ordering every person to get down. in simple terms 3 males defied the order. For thirty-five mins, because the cameras rolled, they stayed of their seats.

Critically cherished novelist Javier Cercas initially got down to write a unique approximately this pivotal second, yet decided it had already won an air of fantasy, or, during the annual broadcast of videos, had not less than obtained the fictitious taint of fact tv. Cercas became to nonfiction, and his bright descriptions of the archival pictures body a story that traverses the road among heritage and artwork, making a bold new account of this watershed second in smooth Spanish history.

The Anatomy of a Moment triggered a sensation upon its booklet in Spain, promoting millions of copies. the tale can be new to many American readers, however the ebook stands resolutely by itself as a compelling literary inquest of nationwide fable, own reminiscence, political spectacle, and fact itself.

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Additional resources for The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination

Sample text

It’s true that Winston Churchill died more than forty years ago, that General Gutiérrez Mellado died less than fifteen years ago and as I write Adolfo Suárez, Santiago Carrillo and Lieutenant Colonel Tejero are still alive, but it’s also true that Churchill is a top-ranking historical figure and, if Suárez might share that position, at least in Spain, General Gutiérrez Mellado and Santiago Carrillo, not to mention Lieutenant Colonel Tejero, do not; furthermore, in Churchill’s time television was not yet the main fabricator of reality as well as the main fabricator of unreality on the planet, while one of the characteristics that defines the 23 February coup is that it was recorded by television cameras and broadcast all over the world.

The angle changes, but not the silence: the lieutenant colonel has vanished because the first camera focuses on the right wing of the chamber, where all the parliamentarians who had stood up have taken their seats again, and the only one still on his feet is General Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, Deputy Prime Minister of the acting government; beside him, Adolfo Suárez remains seated on the Prime Minister’s bench, leaning forward, a hand gripping the armrest of his seat, as if he is about to stand up too.

This double question did not leave me over the days that followed, and to try to answer it – or rather: to try to express it precisely – I decided to write a novel. I got straight down to work. I don’t know whether I need to clarify that the aim of my novel was not to vindicate the figure of Suárez, or to denigrate him, or even to evaluate him, but only to explore the significance of a gesture. I would be lying, however, if I were to say that Suárez aroused much sympathy in me: I was a teenager when he was in power and I never considered him anything other than a Francoist on the make who had prospered through back-breaking bowing, an opportunistic, reactionary, pious, superficial and smooth politician who embodied what I most detested about my country and whom, I’m very much afraid, I identified with my father, an obstinate supporter of Suárez; over time my opinion of my father had improved, but not my opinion of Suárez, or not much: now, a quarter of a century later, I had him down as a short-sighted politician whose principal merit consisted in having been in the place where he had to be and at the moment when he had to be there, something that had granted him a fortuitous prominence during a change, the one from dictatorship to democracy, which the country was going to undertake with or without him, and this reticence is the reason I watched with more sarcasm than astonishment the celebration of his consecration in his own lifetime as the great statesman of democracy – celebrations in which I always thought I recognized the scent of an even greater hypocrisy than is customary in these cases, as if no one believed it at all or as if, more than celebrating Suárez, the celebrants were celebrating themselves.

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The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination by Javier Cercas

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