The Anatomy of a Moment

Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination

By Javier Cercas; Anne McLean (Translator)
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Paperback, 9781608194919, 403pp.)

Publication Date: February 15, 2011

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Description

In February 1981, Spain was still emerging from Franco's shadow, holding a democratic vote for the new prime minister. On the day of the vote in Parliament, while the session was being filmed by TV cameras, a band of right-wing soldiers burst in with automatic weapons, ordering everyone to get down. Only three men defied the order. For thirty-five minutes, as the cameras rolled, they stayed in their seats.

Critically adored novelist Javier Cercas originally set out to write a novel about this pivotal moment, but determined it had already gained an air of myth, or, through the annual broadcast of video clips, had at least acquired the fictional taint of reality television. Cercas turned to nonfiction, and his vivid descriptions of the archival footage frame a narrative that traverses the line between history and art, creating a daring new account of this watershed moment in modern Spanish history.

"The Anatomy of a Moment" caused a sensation upon its publication in Spain, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. The story will be new to many American readers, but the book stands resolutely on its own as a compelling literary inquest of national myth, personal memory, political spectacle, and reality itself.




About the Author
Javier Cercas is a lecturer in Spanish Literature at the University of Gerona. "Soldiers of Salamis" has been published in fifteen languages.

Anne McLean has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize twice, as well as the Premio Valle Incla n. She has translated the works of Javier Cercas, Julio Cort zar, Carmen Mart n Gaite, Ignacio Padilla, and Evelio Rosero.
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