Acclaimed translator Edith Grossman brings to English-language readers Rojas’s imaginative vision of Francisco de Goya and the reverberations of his art in Fascist Spain This historical novel by one of Spain’s most celebrated authors weaves a tale of disparate time periods: the early years of the nineteenth century, when Francisco de Goya was at the height of his artistic career, and the final years of Generalissimo Franco’s Fascist rule in the 1970s. Rojas re-creates the nineteenth-century corridors of power and portrays the relationship between Goya and King Fernando VII, a despot bent on establishing a cruel regime after Spain’s War of Independence. Goya obliges the king’s request for a portrait, but his depiction not only fails to flatter but reflects a terrible darkness and grotesqueness. More than a century later, transcending conventional time, Goya observes Franco’s body lying in state and experiences again a dark and monstrous despair. Rojas’s work is a dazzling tour de force, a unique combination of narrative invention and art historical expertise that only he could have brought to the page.
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