Thursday, December 29, 2016

Eduard Márquez - Brandes' Decision (Hispabooks, 2016) ***½

The narrator is a painter living in Nazi-occupied Paris and whose entire collection of paintings was confiscated by the Germans. He can only get his own work back in return for another painting by Lucas Cranach that he owns. Brandes' decision is about whether to keep the masterpiece and relinquish everything he ever painted, or to get his own paintings back, and to reliniquish the masterpiece. I will not tell you what decision gets finally made, but the true value of the story is in the telling itself, the narrator's reflections on his own life, his father, his lover. And at an even deeper level, it's a reflection on truth, value, honesty, authenticity. A precious book.

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