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Juan Goytisolo Spain    PWF 2012

Spain’s greatest living writer, Juan Goytisolo was born in 1931 in Barcelona. His deep-seated hatred of the Franco regime drove him to Paris in the fifties. “For decades, my name was more popular in police stations than bookshops.”


Goytisolo’s long-term political judgment is legendary—his moral compass aligned with his mentor Jean Genet. Mario Vargas Llosa and Carlos Fuentes place him in the pantheon of sainted subversives—to which Goytisolo replies: “I don’t like ghettos.”


Until Franco’s death, Goytisolo’s novels—composed in a daredevil, stream of consciousness—were banned in Spain, He shrugs: “We are educated animals, but animals—repeating the same atrocities with minor variations.”


For the past twenty-five years, Goytisolo has lived in an old house in Marrakesh’s medina where he has been able to indulge his passion for Muslim culture—“taking the side of those who have been marginalized even by the marginal.”


Goytisolo dazzles us with a wild prose—like a snake: cunning, sly, sinuous. His work includes: Marks of Identity, Count Julian, Juan the Landless, Makbara, The Garden of Secrets, Quarantine, Stage of Siege, and Exiled from Almost Everywhere.


Juan Goytisolo lives in Marrakesh.

Juan Goytisolo

Juan Goytisolo | Third Dream

22.01.2012 Texts

You roam the district from the end to the other, in the grip of a feeling of helplessness and torment, aware that its ruin is imminent, that its irremediable devastation is approaching, its fury held in check.

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