By Luis Goytisolo
Translated by Brendan Riley
Publication Date: 5/24/2022
This potent drama, a collected volume of Goytisolo's famed tetralogy following a Catalan family, is widely regarded as one of the most profound inquiries ever undertaken on literary creation.
Antagony surveys the social history of Barcelona and Catalonia, primarily since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The work, originally published as a tetralogy and now collected into one volume, follows the youth and education of Raúl Ferrer Gaminde, son of a well-connected, middle-class Catalan family that embraces Franco and Spanish Nationalism. Its potent drama plays out through Goytisolo’s crisp, forceful presentation of youth, humor, optimism, rebellion, violence, sexual awakening, indulgence, punishment, and the realization of one’s artistic vocation.
Alternately modern and historical, Antagony displays intelligent realism, emotional gravity, profane beauty, brute vulgarity, sweeping rhetorical scope, and seamless transitions through long, streaming passages of narrative and introspection.
"The story is long but engaging as the novel morphs into a memorial to a humanist civilization under siege, its icons not just Joyce, but also other modernists such as Proust and Hermann Broch. It holds up just fine in such company."—Kirkus Reviews
Luis Goytisolo is a Spanish writer, born in 1935. He is widely known for his tetralogy Antagonía, which was published between 1973 and 1981. He is a member of the Real Academia Española and has won many awards and distinctions in his native Spain.
Brendan Riley is an English teacher, writer, and Spanish to English translator. His book-length translations include Massacre of the Dreamers by Juan Velasco Moreno; Hypothermia by Álvaro Enrigue (a Times Literary Supplement 2013 best book); Sunrise in Southeast Asia by Carmen Grau; The Bible: Living Dialogue by Pope Francis, Abraham Skorka, and Marcelo Figueroa; Caterva by Juan Filloy; The Great Latin American Novel by Carlos Fuentes; and Antagony–Book I: Recounting by Luis Goytisolo. Riley’s shorter translations and book reviews have appeared in ANMLY, Asymptote, The Believer, Best European Fiction, BOMBLOG, Bookslut, Drunken Boat, Little Star Journal, n+1, The New York Times, Numéro Cinq, Publishers Weekly, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Three Percent, and The White Review.