javier marias

In memory of Javier Marias

In memory of Javier Marias

Javier Marías, during his years, Colegio Estudio was formed in the classrooms of the International Institute, “el Boston” as we called it in Estudio.

The first time I traveled to the United States I was only one month old, and I spent the next eleven of my life there. Then, at the age of four, I was taken away again, and many of my earliest memories come from that stay in New Haven, Connecticut. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, my contact with Americans was permanent: I went to a school, the Study, frowned upon by the Francoist authorities -as heir to the Institución Libre de Enseñanza- and therefore housed in the Madrid building of the Instituto from Boston, so that it shared corridors and classrooms with students from Middlebury, Mary Baldwin, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Tulane and other universities in the United States. For some of them my father, who was prevented from teaching at the Spanish University, and occasionally my mother also gave classes for five years.[1].

That first trip to the US was also largely the result of a meeting at the International Institute between Julián Marías and the North American Hispanist Edith Helmann, director of the Institute in 1951[2]. In those years Javier's parents, Julián Marías and Dolores Franco, had begun to teach classes in the North American university programs that since 1930 had begun to reach the International Institute.

The library of the International Institute pays tribute to Javier Marías these days. It houses the complete production of him as a novelist and reflects the interest of North American university students, many of his novels are also preserved in their English edition.

See you always Javier Marias.

Pilar Piñon Varela


[1] Javier Marías, “The unrecognizable countries" The weekly country, no. 1.487, March 27, 2005

[2] Julián Marías, A present life. v.1, Memoirs (1914-1951), Second ed., 3 vols., vol. 1 Madrid, Alianza Editorial 1989. Pages. 385-386.

Image: Library of the International Institute