The Young Man without Soul. A Romantic Novel

El joven sin alma

El joven sin alma. Novela romántica is the story of a sexual and artistic sentimental education, and of a search for identity with the backdrop of Spain–and Europe– in the 50s and 60s, when the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War still lingered. The story is located in the most important cities of the protagonist’s journey of discovery: Alicante, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, where he spends his childhood, adolescence and first experiences as an adult. 

Experiences like a first crush on his nanny, a meeting with Camilo José Cela, who signs books for the aspiring author, as well as giving him his first lessons and advice, the first books he reads and the later ones that mixed Marxism and surrealism and a passion for cinema. And these pages contain a lot of cinema –by Naná and Godard, Hitchcock and his heroines, the Mabuses by Fritz Lang–, not just descriptions of great or «alien» films, but also of movie houses where the protagonist has some decisive experiences. And through his relationship with film and the legendary magazine Film Ideal, he forms some important relationships: with Ramón –who invites him to Barcelona and introduces him to his sister Ana María who initiates him into the world of sexuality– and with a group of young poets: Pedro, Guillermo, Leopoldo... with whom he forges a fervent friendship of crossed and often unrequited love and a shared vision of the transcendental nature of art. They form a group which tries to bring a romantic novel to life in their neurotic and exasperated way, as impertinent as they are naive, embracing new beliefs and a militancy across the different fronts being fought at the time.  

 


Vicente Molina Foix


Vicente Molina Foix was born in Elche and studied Philosophy in Madrid. He lived in England for eight years, where he graduated in Art History from the University of London after which he became a Spanish teacher at Oxford. Dramatic author, critic and  director  (his film Sagitario premiered in 2001), his literary work has developed principally—after his inclusion in Castellet’s legendary anthology Nine new Spanish poets—in the field of the novel. Among his works are: Museo provincial de los horrores, Busto (Premio Barral 1973), La comunión de los atletas, Los padres viudos (Premio Azorín 1983), La Quincena Soviética (Premio Herralde 1988), La misa de Baroja, La mujer si cabezas and El vampiro de la calle Méjico (Premio Alfonso García Ramos 2002). His  extraordinary versions of Shakespeare's Hamlet, King Lear and The Merchant of Venice, and as his film criticism collected in El cine estilográfico, have also been widely celebrated.



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