Críticas en otras lenguas | Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Fri, 10 Jul 2020 21:09:25 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.2 Portrait of the artist as a samurai warrior Arturo Pérez-Reverte's claustrophobic meditation on art and violence, The Painter of Battles, impresses Steven Poole.

The Painter of Battles
by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
218pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99

A man lives alone, in a crumbling tower by the sea. On its interior wall, he is painting a vast circular mural of war, melding histories and landscapes into a singular nightmare. One day a stranger arrives, and announces that he intends to kill the painter. Instead of punching the man, fleeing or informing the police, the painter takes the news phlegmatically, continuing to work on his mural while receiving the visitor each day for a series of long, philosophical conversations on the nature of art and war.

Such is the curious setup of this novel. There is no point complaining of implausibility, since if the painter had reacted otherwise, this particular story wouldn't exist, and it is this story we have in front of us. Other fictions are based on similar theatrical conceits: perhaps Sandor Marai's Embers, in which two men converse in a castle to reveal one's betrayal, long ago, by the other; or the sly entertainment of another two-hander, Gilbert Adair's A Closed Book. But here Pérez-Reverte - the author of some delicious novels constructed around enigmas in chess or painting, and the series of elegant swashbucklers starring Captain Alatriste - is composing in a more minor and less ludic key.

The painter, Faulques, used to be a war photographer, and his memories of those times form the meat of the novel. (The publishers tell us that Pérez-Reverte drew on his own experience as a war correspondent.) These scenes - in Beirut, Croatia, Chad, Kuwait - are drawn with a terrible precision, beautifully rendered, and yet within them Pérez-Reverte manages to argue also that the beauty is a problem. Paying intense attention to light and colour, allowing Faulques to recall the exact technical details of the f-stops and shutter-speeds he used, he simultaneously draws the reader's gaze over the photographer's shoulder to the killers and victims who appeared to him more as material than as human beings.

The novelist implicates himself, too, in the callousness he depicts in Faulques, using suffering to make art, even as he also indicates what Faulques has to leave out of his work: "What there was no way to photograph was the buzzing of flies - they won all the battles." The strategy can result in moments of powerful, seductive nihilism. On one job, Faulques photographs a group of prisoners who are tied up by a river and left to be eaten by crocodiles. Later, safe in a restaurant, he thinks of all humanity as "rational meat lying in the sun".

But the novel, it seems, does not quite trust the texture of its own painting, and writes explicatory notes to the exhibition. The framing story - that of...

Sigue leyendo]]> Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:00:00 +0100 Sonate a trois temps Qu'il ne soit pas nécessaire de s'identifier aux héros d'un roman pour être entraîné dans la danse, le dernier livre de l'écrivain espagnol Arturo Pérez-Reverte en fournit la magistrale démonstration. Bien malin qui dénicherait dans la panoplie de personnages qui circulent dans les pages de cet épais roman des gens sympathiques, fréquentables, à citer en modèles aux jeunes filles de bonne famille.

La morale et la littérature, une fois de plus, attestent de leur divorce structurel. Dans le domaine des lettres, l'eau de rose a fait long feu. Le temps est aux cyniques, aux obsédé(e)s, aux manigances désespérées de la tragédie qui se résume souvent à une quête de l'impossible amour. Une quête faite de violences, de hasards impossibles, de destins se croisant et recroisant au gré de circonstances que nul ne maîtrise.

Tout autre que le talentueux Pérez-Reverte, maître du roman de cape et d'épée modernisé, nous perdrait aisément dans le fouillis des anecdotes et de la temporalité chahutée de son œuvre. Mais on retrouve dans ce gros roman la maestria phénoménale d'un des meilleurs raconteurs d'histoires de la littérature européenne. Un as du rebondissement, de l'énigme policière, des déroutantes sinuosités des amours et des haines qui agitent les esprits cabossés de son humanité sans repères ni, donc, entraves.

Esprits étroits, s'abstenir. Il y a dans ce livre des scènes choquantes, d'une brutalité, y compris sexuelle, qui pourraient relever de la pathologie la plus extravagante. Mais ce n'est pas pour cela qu'il faudrait fuir cette lecture, ni, au demeurant, y adhérer. C'est surtout la construction de l'histoire par un façonnier de récits qui constitue la plus belle surprise de l'œuvre d'un écrivain qui nous a déjà habitués aux virevoltes de ses héros.

De ses héros et de ses paysages. Car on change beaucoup d'horizons dans ce livre : des faubourgs de Buenos-Aires dans les années vingt à la baie de Sorrente dans les années soixante ou à celle de Nice à la fin des années trente. Des lieux, des drames pour les deux personnages principaux. L'un est un danseur mondain, payé pour sa beauté afin d'entraîner les dames qui s'ennuient dans les linéaments de tangos somptueux, sur les transatlantiques des années trente ou dans les cabarets, y compris parisiens, des temps d'après.

L'autre personnage principal, une dame bien sûr, mariée à un compositeur, tombe dans ses rets. Max et Mencha, lui célibataire, elle...

Sigue leyendo]]> Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Wed, 11 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0100 Colloquial Castigation of the French, the Russians, the Spaniards and Napoleon in Arturo ... Summary: In 1812, a Spanish battalion is part of Napoleon‟s army invading Russia. In a major battle, when the Spaniards intend to surrender to the Russians, the French cavalry „saves‟ the Spaniards. The Spaniards abandon their original plan and re-engage on the French side. They perform superbly well. In October, Napoleon‟s Grande Armée begins the retreat and crosses the river Beresina in late November 1812. Eleven Spaniards enter Spain in April 1814. The narrator, speaking on behalf of the battalion, describes the French as 'franchutes' and 'gabachos'. French commanders are mocked pitilessly. The Russian ('ruski') artillery and Cossack cavalry fight well, though their commander is a disaster. The French consider the Spaniards to be patriotic, violent -and unfit for modern government. Napoleon is to the Spaniards 'el Petit Cabrón', 'el Petit', 'el Enano', 'el Ilustre' and 'el Monstruo'. Pérez-Reverte develops an impressive variety of pejorative designations for individuals and social groups. He also delivers a great many examples of familiar speech. In other texts and in La sombra del águila Pérez-Reverte displays profound knowledge and mastery of colloquial and vulgar speech.

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Tue, 07 Sep 2010 23:00:00 +0100
The Spanish Empire and “los tercios” as seen in Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s El sol de Breda Pérez-Reverte‟s Alatriste novels seek to educate young Spaniards about their Golden Age. In El sol de Breda, set in 1624-1625, Spanish armies fight to suppress the Dutch Protestant revolt. Narrator Íñigo is a teenage page to the experienced soldier, Alatriste. Traditional commentators like Elliott already see imperial decline, whereas Kamen emphasises that the Spanish Crown could always raise loans and armies. Pérez-Reverte‟s series favours the traditional interpretation. The narrator accuses monarchy, aristocracy and clergy of major failures of leadership. American silver brought only extravagance, the conquistador‟s "get-rich-quick‟ mentality rejected honest work and aristocratic favourites as ministers failed to halt the widespread corruption and incompetence, while Spain persisted in seeing itself as crusading guardian of Catholicism. By 1624 Spain‟s crack regiments were a superb military machine. Soldiers mainly from Germany, Lombardy and Sicily fought brilliantly in Italy, France and Flanders in spite of appalling conditions - including the non-payment of wages, which triggered numerous campaign-weakening mutinies. Spanish military skill could not finally resist the humour and doggedness of the Dutch revolt: in 1648 the Provinces will gain independence from Spain. In 1634 the witness-narrator advises Velázquez on the huge court painting "The Surrender of Breda‟" also known as "Las lanzas".


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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Wed, 19 May 2010 23:00:00 +0100
El pintor de batallas, en Waterstone’s y la prensa italiana «Una trágica historia de amor, guerra y de la crueldad entre los hombres... en un estilo que recuerda a Milan Kundera, el autor se pregunta el sentido de la guerra, el uso de la violencia, y cómo ésta oscuridad de la humanidad se relaciona con nuestra capacidad para el arte y el amor. Este irresistible pas de deux es la obra más conmovedora de Arturo Pérez-Reverte hasta ahora»: así describe El pintor de batallas Mike Cooper, de la cadena de librerías Waterstone's.

Además, la prensa italiana ha acogido con buenas críticas la edición de esta novela, según puede comprobarse en las páginas que reproducimos.

Artículos publicados en Il Venerdi y 24 Hore

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Thu, 27 Sep 2007 23:00:00 +0100
La crítica anglosajona ensalza las aventuras de Alatriste «Arturo Pérez-Reverte confirma de nuevo su lugar como gran maestro del thriller histórico en esta magistral novela que conjuga secretos sepultados bajos las cenizas de un pasado funesto que no quiere pasar, reflexiones filosóficas y una endiablada intriga. ¡Apasionante!»

La crítica anglosajona ha recibido con numerosos elogios las ediciones en inglés de las tres primeras entregas de la saga de Arturo Pérez-Reverte, El capitán Alatriste, Limpieza de sangre y El sol de Breda. En el siguiente artículo reproducimos fragmentos de las principales críticas aparecidas.

‘Arturo Pérez-Reverte['s] Alatriste books have sold more than five million copies worldwide'. Sunday Telegraph

‘A thinking man's adventure novel, where sword fights and tales of derring-do are interwoven with wonderful passages of poetry and gems of historical and cultural information'. The Times

‘Pérez-Reverte is very good at evoking the atmosphere of a teeming, corrupt and jaded Madrid, unhappily enduring the reign of Philip the Fourth in the last decades of Spain's imperial glory. He is superb at the precisely choreographed sword fights'. Daily Telegraph

‘Equipped with a quick-witted, charismatic hero and much to provoke and goad him, Mr Pérez-Reverte has the makings of a flamboyantly entertaining series. Captain Alatriste ends with a wicked flourish, an evil laugh and a strong likelihood that the best is yet to come'. New York Times

‘From the 19th century on, readers searching for adventure have always loved tales of flashing steel, of duels to the death on moonlit parapets, of swashbucklers with ironic smiles and perfect manners . . . Arturo Pérez-Reverte now adds Captain Alatriste'. Washington Post

‘Splendidly paced and filled with a breathtaking but not overwhelming sense of the history and spirit of the age, this is popular entertainment at its best: the characters have weight and depth, the dialogue illuminates the action as it furthers the story and the film-worthy plot is believable throughout'. Publishers Weekly

‘Pérez-Reverte's moody, wounded semi-hero . . . is a whole-cloth invention out of 17th-century Madrid that has led to a 21st-century literary phenomenon . . . introduces a charismatic, complicated leading man . . . the clash and dash are thrilling; the swordplay is a bonus'. Entertainment Weekly

Purity of...

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Tue, 12 Jun 2007 23:00:00 +0100
El semanario canadiense Voir elogia El pintor de batallas de Arturo Pérez-Reverte «Arturo Pérez-Reverte confirma de nuevo su lugar como gran maestro del thriller histórico en esta magistral novela que conjuga secretos sepultados bajos las cenizas de un pasado funesto que no quiere pasar, reflexiones filosóficas y una endiablada intriga. ¡Apasionante!»

Sinopsis de la novela: En una torre junto al Mediterráneo, en busca de la foto que nunca pudo hacer, un antiguo fotógrafo pinta un gran fresco circular en la pared: el paisaje intemporal de una batalla. Lo acompañan en la tarea un rostro que regresa del pasado para cobrar una deuda mortal, y la sombra de una mujer desaparecida diez años atrás. En torno a esos tres personajes, Arturo Pérez-Reverte ha escrito la más intensa y turbadora historia de su larga carrera de novelista. Deslumbrante de principio a fin, El pintor de batallas arrastra al lector, subyugado, a través de la compleja geometría del caos del siglo XXI: el arte, la ciencia, la guerra, el amor, la lucidez y la soledad, se combinan en el vasto mural de un mundo que agoniza.

Crítica del semanario Voir (PDF)

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Thu, 07 Jun 2007 23:00:00 +0100
The Battle-Scarred Hero’s (Near) Legacy in Art (El Sol de Breda) In the midst of the Dutch and Spanish dignitaries in the foreground of Diego Velázquez's war tableau "The Surrender of Breda," there is a small open space beneath one soldier's horizontal weapon. It appears to depict the back of the soldier beside him. But it is the suggestion of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's latest installment in his grandly entertaining Captain Alatriste series that Alatriste, he of the cold gray-green eyes and dauntless courage, was once part of the picture - although his likeness has since been excised.

Was he painted by Velázquez? The claim that he was comes from no less an authority than Íñigo Balboa, Alatriste's hero-worshiping young companion. Íñigo also claims to have described to Velázquez the visual details of the surrender. Mr. Pérez-Reverte has shaped his third Alatriste book, "The Sun Over Breda," around this famous painting. In contrast to the more narrative-driven earlier books, "Captain Alatriste" and "Purity of Blood," this one unfolds on Flemish battlefields rather than in Spain.

So most of the series's usual, highly enjoyable villainy has been put aside. Enchanting characters like Angélica de Alquézar, she of the "blond corkscrew curls and eyes as blue as the sky over Madrid," with "a smile identical to the devil's when, through Eve's intercession, he tempted Adam to sink his teeth into the fabled apple," will have to wait until next time.

Although Íñigo's narration occasionally recapitulates earlier plots (and flashes forward to the time when he is much older, remembering these glory days), the present book's action is ferociously combative. Mr. Pérez-Reverte, who was once a war correspondent, pieces together the bloody events that led to the Breda surrender in 1625.

Beginning at a drawbridge in the strategically located city of Oudkerk and moving relentlessly, at one point even tunneling beneath a graveyard, an army - including Valencians, Andalusians, Castilians, Galicians, Basques, Aragonese and Portuguese soldiers - progresses toward the climactic siege of Breda. The sun in the book's title refers to a bitterly victorious Spain.

The Spanish have grown cynical and tired. Spanish fighters "had been waging war against the entire world for a long century and were beginning to not know precisely why, whether it was to defend indulgences or to enable the Court of Madrid to continue believing, amidst its balls and soirées, that it still ruled the world," writes Mr. Pérez-Reverte, who has deeply immersed himself in this period in Spanish history while remaining well aware of the present day.

As one character puts it concisely, "We Spanish have fewer tears than reasons to weep, for it is a vain labor to offer light to the blind, words to...

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Thu, 29 Mar 2007 23:00:00 +0100
The Pen And the Sword Spain's swashbuckling fictional hero, Captain Alatriste, is fighting his way to global glory.

In the 17th century reign of Spain's King Philip IV, a once-mighty empire was drowning in corruption, intrigue and lawlessness, while the Inquisition sowed terror throughout the land. If ever there was a man of honor and integrity who could bring justice to the wretched of this world ... it certainly wasn't Diego Alatriste y Tenorio. As an infantry captain, he had fought well against Spain's enemies. But now he was hacking out a squalid living in Madrid as a sword-for-hire.

Nevertheless, Captain Alatriste is poised to become fiction's hottest international swashbuckler since the Scarlet Pimpernel. Already a cult hero in Spain, Alatriste is the star of five novels by former journalist Arturo Pérez-Reverte that have sold more than 4 million copies in 50 countries since the first volume appeared a decade ago. That book, Captain Alatriste, was finally published in English last year, and the second, Purity of Blood, came out in January. The captain has his own website, comic strip, board games and, in Madrid, guided tours of his fictional haunts. Alatriste, a feature film based largely on the first book and starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings), will open in Europe and the U.S. later this year. With a $28 million budget, it's the most expensive Spanish-language film ever made in Spain.

The protagonist of this franchise is perhaps the least dashing, most enigmatic hero ever to rattle a rapier. Alatriste speaks little, drinks alone, dresses badly and blunders into traps set by more cunning adversaries. But he is fearless, deadly with a blade and, beneath his armored persona, stubbornly loyal. Those qualities animate the newly translated Purity of Blood. Alatriste is hired to help an aging father free his daughter, a nun, from the clutches of a well-connected priest who is using the convent as his private seraglio. The old man and his family have a secret: as Christian descendants of a converted Jew in anti-Semitic times, they lack "purity of blood" and soon become targets of the Inquisition. Alatriste too comes under suspicion, and the blood, pure and otherwise, begins to flow.

Like the other Alatriste books, Purity of Blood bristles with adventure and swordplay, but in this one the tone is darker, more political. Real-life figures stir the plot, including the poet Francisco de Quevedo and the Conde de Olivares, the powerful Philip IV Minister painted by Velázquez. The Inquisition, in all its appalling horror, is brought to life, as is Spain's wrenching decline. Laments Iñigo, Alatriste's young sidekick, who tells the story: "It seemed that to be lucid and Spanish would forever be coupled with great bitterness and little hope."

The new film is an ambitious attempt to capture Pérez-Reverte's mix of action, historical accuracy and literary ambition. Though the...

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Sun, 28 May 2006 23:00:00 +0100
Purity of blood (Limpieza de sangre) "He has been known to flirt with higher literary flights, notably in The Club Dumas, but in his hardboiled, mordantly funny, unapologetically entertaining Captain Alatriste series (of which this is the second volume), Pérez-Reverte firmly buckles on his swash and swaggers into the muddy, bloody streets of 17th century Madrid."
Time 16 de enero de 2006

"Intelligent exciting historical swashbucklers...With writing rich in the minutiae of 17th-century Madrid life and interspersed with poetry, the author is clearly having a ball and the reader can join with him."
Waterstones Quarterly

"Purity of Blood is the latest in a line of utterly unputdownable novels by Arturo Pérez-Reverte in which he has finessed a storytelling tradition stretching back to his great literary predecessors...This latest book is brimming with all the panache of previous novels by the writer and with even more confidence...This is glorious stuff, the kind of book to remind us how exhilarating old-fashioned adventure writing can be."
Daily Express

"What is impressive is how much of Spain the author manages to pack into a short novel...offers glimpses of artistic feuds and vivid sketches of street life. This is fiction that can be enjoyed on several levels: as a poignant evocation of doomed imperial splendour; as a clever literary game in which historical and invented figures rub shoulders; as a parable about racism past and present; or as a simple tale of swashbuckling derring-do."
The Times

"Vivid depictions of the Inquisition and its public theatre of auto de fe...Alatriste emerges as an existentialist, fighting not just for money but because "there is no choice but to fight". In other words, all against one, and one against all: a noir swordsman for our times"
Times Literary Supplement

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Web oficial de Arturo Pérez Reverte Mon, 16 Jan 2006 00:00:00 +0100