A few of Juan Marse’s books are available in the UK, but all the U.S. versions appear to be out of print. Which is a shame—based on the report below, The Fallen sounds spectacular:
Official Censorship Report of 1973 on Si te dicen que cai (The Fallen)
Author: Juan Marse
Title: Si te dicen que cai [The Fallen]
Does it attack the Dogman? YES. Pages 277-27
Franco’s Regime or its institutions? YES. Pages 252-274-291-309
The Catholic Church or its ministers? YES. Pages 17-21-75-155-178-202
The morals? YES. Pages 177-178-225-292-304-305-335
Those who collaborate with or have collaborated with the regime? YES.
REPORT AND OTHER OBSERVATIONS:
We consider this novel to be simply impossible to sanction. We have marked insults to the yoke and arrows [Falangist symbols], which are referred to as “the black spider” on pages 17-21-75-155-178-202-252-274-291-309. Scenes of torture by the Civil Guard or by Falangists on pages 177-178-225-292-304-305-335. Inadmissible allusions to the Civil Guard on pages 277-278. Obscenities and pornographic scenes on pages 19-21-25-26-27-28-29. Political scenes on 29-80 and grave irreverence on 107.
But even once all that is taken out, the novel is still pure garbage. It is the story of some boys in the period after the Civil War who live in deplorable conditions, they end up becoming Commie gunmen, stick-up artists, and then dying . . . all that mixed with whores, faggots, people of ill repute . . . Perhaps it is very realistic but it gives a very distorted, almost calumnious image of post-war Spain. Even if we just blacked out every reference to jerking off and hand-job whores in the movie theaters we’d be left with less than half the novel.
Therefore, we recommend its REJECTION
Madrid, October 20th, 1973
Reader No, 6
The specific reference to “hand-job whores in the movie theaters” is classic—and makes a perfect blurb for the book . . . (Thanks to the Gloria and the Carmen Balcells Agency for letting us run this.)
Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .