Libro de los días de Stanislaus Joyce
Libro de los días de Stanislaus Joyce

The Book of Days of Stanislaus Joyce

Libro de los días de Stanislaus Joyce

The diary of Stanislaus Joyce: a "portrait of an adolescent artist" written by the brother of the author of Ulysses.

Stanislaus, the second son in a destructive line of drunks, would like to believe that literature saves, much like his older brother. But perhaps it merely distracts or relieves. "All human beings," he notes on May 12th in his diary, or Book of days, "spend our lives creating fictions in our minds, and only a few manage to put them onto paper and feel more or less satisfied. I have that obsession without the capability. The more I write the more I have it." But at his side is Jim, likely either an idiot or a genius who makes the growing obsession of his younger brother, or "whetstone," pale.

What choice is left for Stanislaus, who is trapped in the ruins of the declining middle class that is his home? He doesn't want to be like Jim, who is irresponsible, completely senseless, and able to get excited about any stupid thing and renew his enthusiasm without feeling absurd; he wants to be even less like his father, a sort of violent Irish Abraham who was fond of singing and drowned himself in alcohol, "a Saturn with earmuffs." Or like his brother Charlie, a priest in the making and a drinker addicted to brothels; or like his many poor sisters, heirs to their mother's silence.

What is the way out for poor, rigid Stanislaus, who doesn't want to be one thing or another? Because, "It's so easy to embrace the extremes," he writes on March 15, "How difficult it is to find a middle point! The middle will always be associated with mediocrity and never with genius." 

His momentary refuge: silence and writing. His hope: a life far away from his country next to the person he loves, Kathleen Murray, a fourteen year old girl who lives half in the real world and half in her dark imagination.

"This work by Diego Garrido introduces us to Stanislaus Joyce not so much as his 'brother's guardian,' as he proclaimed to be, but as his nemesis, embodied in a character full of grace, lightness, and unexpected traces of humor, and whose internal fire lights the way to a brilliant investigation into the mysteries of genius." —Víctor Erice

"It has Joycean blood and guts. A bastard's tongue, a bibliophile's disease, an honest language, and a lyricism that doesn't shy away from passionate love but is also capable of killing his father (or in this case, his brother) run through its veins. I laughed until I puked at his literary judgments, and I fell completely in love with his longing verbiage." —Luna Miguel

"In order to inhabit Joyce's brother's head—no more, no less—recreate his life, and tell it to us day by day with complete verisimilitude, what is needed is not only resources and technique but enormous literary intuition. Garrido has more than enough." —Carlos Granés

SERIESNarrativas hispánicas
Diego Garrido

Diego Garrido

Diego Garrido (Madrid, 1997) was studying film at ECAM, but took the opportunity to translate some unpublished texts by James Joyce in quarantine and, unexpectedly, found himself in the publishing works. He has translated short stories, letters, short texts, and the first novel by James Joyce, as well as books by Laurence Sterne and Sir Richard Burton. He is currently working on a translation of Giacomo Leopardi and a second novel. 


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