The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights

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  • Title: The Garden of Earthly Delights
  • Author: Francisco Ayala
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Edition: Stories Seix Barral (1972)
  • First edition (1971)


The title of the book and the painting of El Bosco reproduced on the cover lead us to a very obvious assumption: Ayala is taking it as a point of reference. So I am ecstatic in front of a good reproduction of that magnificent triptych - "Garden of Earthly Delights" - so full of life. The learned commentaries say that the aims of the painter are to moralize by means of acid criticisms that recall the medieval tradition with its deformations, caricatures and malice; moralize, I say, so that humans reflect on their sins. But El Bosch, as with the greats, overcomes that medieval crudeness through drawing, chiaroscuro and perspective that, although unreal, immerse the painting in a poetic, lyrical world ... And although in its appearance the whole space is chaotic , without order, there are organizing axes that give it an admirable coherence. Well, all this also contains the pages that Ayala has written: newspaper news that jump like sparks, scraps of memories, broken passions, pain and some happiness without hope of eternities. Stories apparently without cohesion, but full of invisible threads that seem to make, with those scraps, a great mantle where everything fits. "The book is already composed," says Ayala on its last page. "I have gathered various pieces from yesterday and who knows how many years ago; I have combined them like the pieces of a broken mirror, and now I must contemplate them as a whole. Yes, when I look at them, despite their diversity they throw a unique image in my face where I can't help but recognize myself: it's mine. " And then he reproaches himself: "Why am I writing? ... Sarcasm, black grief, crazy hope, love, happiness, sarcasm again ... isn't it enough to have suffered it? Was it wise to preserve it in an ark of words? Isn't it a perverse attempt to want to oppose the transience of life? "

His words and the correct way of expressing his thoughts are irreplaceable. That is why I have turned to him, so that the reader who is looking for his book, has a true approach.

I never usually tell the arguments, rarely. That is up to the reader. I only intend to prepare the ground. The seed must germinate by itself, in solitude, coming from darkness to clarity. Have a very good and fruitful reading. Oh, and I hope they don't forget the famous Dutchman Hieronymus Bosch. While I was reading the stories of the also famous Francisco Ayala, neither one nor the other could I get out of my head.

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Biographical information of Francisco Ayalaalso written by our colleague


Other Works by Francisco Ayala:

- Tragicomedy of a man without a spirit (1925)
- Story of a sunrise (1926)
- The Boxer and an Angel (1929)
- The Bewitched (1944)
- Dog Deaths (1958)
- The bottom of the glass (1962) - History of freedom (1943)
- The evasion of the intellectuals (1963)
- Cinema, art and entertainment (1969)
- Reflections on the narrative structure (1970)
- The Writer and the Cinema (1975)
- Me and time. The Garden of Delicacies (1978)
- The writer in his century (1990)

He is a translator for T. Mann, R.M.Rilke, A. Moravia among many others.

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