Toward the end I began to feel echoes of The Brothers Karamazov with the three men Lluis, Soleras, and Cruells as counterparts to Ivan, Dmitri, and Alyosha, but only one woman. One can say its set in Barcelona and the Republican front during the Spanish Civil War. The background of the tapestry is betrayal, both personal and political. Sales adeptly contrasts various types of political betrayal: failed (Cruells' brief foray), double and equivocal (Lamoneda and Solerás) and truly self-serving and evil (Llibert). For indeed among the hundred conclusions here is that the masses never know what is in the mind of the feudal castle (literal or figurative), or what people will do to stay there. The people in the castle know the people's memories and opinions can easily be manipulated; a dark patch in the tapestry will turn gray, then white, with a little judiciously applied bleach. Even Lluis asks himself in a respite from battle: If God exists, he must have become man. Early on we come to a truly obscene and macabre scene that combines attacks on Catholics, faith, using people, and nature to yield an image that shimmers underneath the surface for the rest of the novel. She sat in a low chair by the fire, for it gets cold at night; poor summer, your glory is uncertain too...Lluis You wont live twice, your seconds are ticking on towards the void like the saffron petals the Parral is sweeping away...and those seconds could be wonderful I would give anything for a moment of glory. Lluis Love and war, killing and its opposite!..Solerás What drives them the soldiers, as a rout drives the Republicans in ever-diminishing numbers back towards the Pyrenees? But what glory, O my God, what kind of glory, if nobody will every know the names of so many soldiers who have fallen in so many battles? Cruells At bottom, I think Sales asks what we should do as political animals. What was the point of all the years of pacifist, anti-miltary propaganda if at the moment of truth weve allowed ourselves to be dragged into fighting a war? While the novel is set during the Civil War, and much of it occurs near the front, there are very few battle scenes. There is instead investigation of lives lived in such intensity: love, sex, drink, memory, faith, betrayal, and confession.
Written by a former Republican officer, Uncertain Glory refuses to glorify any lost causes. More than anything, Uncertain Glory takes you into a state of mind that is unfamiliar for most of us. It takes us into a sense deprivation where the absurd and macabre are possible and immediate.
Magnífic l'estudi psicològic dels personatges, especialment el d'en Juli Soleràs com a consciència perversa que assetja els altres personatges amb veritats de les que molts cops preferirien no ser-ne conscients.
Spanish Civil War novel set in Barcelona We have just read the book published by Maclehose Press in the UK... Autumn 2014 Uncertain Glory is a major (if occasionally hard to follow) novel set in and around Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. It is highly unusual in that it is written from the point of view of the losing socialist / anarchist side in the War. The book was written by Joan Sales who fought in the war on the side of the Barcelona socialists. I have no doubt that Uncertain Glory is a major and significant work. I confess I struggled a little with the history of this part of the Spanish Civil War until I took time out to visit Wikipedia and I would urge anyone about to pick the book up to do the same unless they are familiar with the facts.
I finally formed the impression that the big engine driving the novel is love. I began to think it primarily a love story when I read what's perhaps the most powerful image of the novel, a female mantis devouring a male immediately after mating. (It's a novel much more beautiful than that shuddering vision.) And finally maybe it can be thought to be primarily a love novel because though taking place during the Spanish Civil War there's little fighting until the end.
La segona part el vent de la nit es narra els fets de la postguerra des de l'òptica d'en Cruells i narra la corrupció dels ideals per acabar amb un bri d'esperança.