Forbidden Territory and Realms of Strife: The Memoirs of Juan Goytisolo

Overview

For forty-five years, the expatriate Juan Goytisolo has been widely acknowledged as both Spain’s greatest living writer and its most scabrous critic. In some thirty books of fiction, autobiography, essays and journalism, he has turned the Spanish language against what he derides as ‘Sunnyspain’, flaying the ‘Hispanos’ while excavating their culture’s Moorish and Jewish roots.

This, his masterful two-volume autobiography first published in the mid-1980s, broke new ground in ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (36) from $2.50   
  • New (15) from $4.90   
  • Used (21) from $2.50   
Sending request ...

Overview

For forty-five years, the expatriate Juan Goytisolo has been widely acknowledged as both Spain’s greatest living writer and its most scabrous critic. In some thirty books of fiction, autobiography, essays and journalism, he has turned the Spanish language against what he derides as ‘Sunnyspain’, flaying the ‘Hispanos’ while excavating their culture’s Moorish and Jewish roots.

This, his masterful two-volume autobiography first published in the mid-1980s, broke new ground in Spanish letters with its introspective sexual and emotional honesty. It charts the writer’s unique journey from a Barcelona childhood violently disrupted by the Spanish civil war to student rebellion against the Francoist dictatorship and exile as a ‘self-banished Spaniard’ to Paris in 1956.

In Paris, Goytisolo fell in love with Monique Lange, befriended Jean Genet, and discovered his own homosexuality as he supported the struggles for Algerian independence. His passionate, iconoclastic pen spares no one, least of all himself, in this striking portrayal of politics and sexuality in twentieth-century France and Spain.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Edmund White
“Goytisolo made sacrifices for both his literature and his politics. In a culture that now is evolved and permissive, but was then full of macho uptightness, his autobiography brought a note of total frankness.

Neil Bartlett
“Goytisolo writes like no-one else, except maybe Genet.

Guillermo Cabrera Infante
“… a frank and solitary writer on a crusade for truth. He’s pugnaciously honest about his personal life, which is not easy in Spain.… He’s an outsider … his own man.

From the Publisher
“Goytisolo made sacrifices for both his literature and his politics. In a culture that now is evolved and permissive, but was then full of macho uptightness, his autobiography brought a note of total frankness.”—Edmund White

“Goytisolo writes like no-one else, except maybe Genet.”—Neil Bartlett

“... a frank and solitary writer on a crusade for truth. He’s pugnaciously honest about his personal life, which is not easy in Spain ... . He’s an outsider ... his own man.”—Guillermo Cabrera Infante

Publishers Weekly
In exile since the Franco regime vilified him for his frank mixture of leftist and bisexual politics, Goytisolo (The Garden of Secrets) is a Spanish writer who left for Paris in 1956. His books, some 30 of them by now, are rife with historical metafiction, plays on his literary status and denunciations of Spain's colonizing past. This beautifully written memoir, first published in Spanish as two volumes in the 1980s, covers the first 30 or so years of Goytisolo's turbulent, cafe-centered life, stretching from the Barcelona of Fascist bombardments during the Spanish civil war to the '60s, encountering cultural heroes like Genet, Che, Castro and Cort zar along the way. Under a hail of Franco's bombs, Juan and his brother Luis, also a writer, plunge into literary activity, reveling in the contradiction that only censorious regimes, it seems, truly value literature. From then on it's all Faulkner, illicit sex and a French girlfriend. Lucking into a Parisian fashion for peninsular writers in the '50s, Goytisolo is published by Gallimard and starts hanging out on the Left Bank. This is literary history up close: from Genet's drug of choice (Nembutal) to Raymond Queneau's housekeeper or running a literary magazine (Libre) in what later became a couscous shop. Mixed in with the usual Euro-scribe's predilection for petitions and fellow-traveling are Goytisolo's adventures in what he calls the "Sotadic zone," or the world of macho Arabs who swing both ways. But style is king here, and it is wonderful, infiltrating Goytisolo's chronological narrative like one of his own characters. (June 26) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Goytisolo, the controversial author of 30 books of fiction and journalism (e.g., Duel in Paradise, Landscapes After the Battle), is considered by many to be Spain's greatest living author. Now in his late sixties, he lives exiled in France, a life he has willingly chosen because he sees his homeland as a narrow-minded, obsessively chaste, and sensually and intellectually stunted country shaped by ancient Christian fanaticism and the persecution of Jews and Moors. His writing, collected in this autobiography, exposes this oppression and how it affected his own intellectual and sexual development. His keen perceptions are startling, especially regarding the Spanish Civil War, during which his father was imprisoned by one side and his mother bombed by the other. He also scrutinizes family mythmaking, citing one progenitor who amassed a fortune by trafficking in slaves even as he bravely acknowledges his own sexual dichotomy. The rich, thought-provoking narrative is interspersed with introspection that combines stream of consciousness with self-analysis. Goytisolo takes the role of autobiographer very seriously, and the key element throughout is honesty. The writing is powerful but never crude; many passages are, quite simply, beautiful. The absence of an index is the only drawback, for the reader may wish to delve into the history of a particular relative, lover, or friend. But perhaps Goytisolo wished it so to lure us into the complex telara a woven with his words. Highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.-Nedra Crowe Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859845554
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 7/17/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1931, Juan Goytisolo went into voluntary exile in 1956 and has never returned to live in Spain. A bitter opponent of the Franco regime, his early novels were banned in his native country. He divided his time between Paris and Marrakesh until the death of his wife, Monique Lange, at which time he moved permanently to Marrakesh.

Peter Bush has translated nine books by Juan Goytisolo, including Exiled from Almost Everywhere and Juan the Landless, as well as novels by other prominent Spanish and Latin American writers.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)