The Anatomy of a Moment by Javier Cercas
Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination

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Synopsis

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 Javier Cercas

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Javier Cercas is a lecturer in Spanish Literature at the University of Gerona. Soldiers of Salamis has been published in fifteen languages.
 
Published February 20, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 417 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The day of the coup, the deputies were voting to approve a new prime minister, after the resignation of Adolfo Suárez, whose crisis-plagued five-year term had followed Franco’s death in 1975.

| Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

Publishers Weekly

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Originally conceived as a novel to contain all the mythic dimensions of a fascist coup given additional life via the media (TV cameras captured the spectacle), this account's most striking aspect is the group portrait of the politicians and military personnel involved.

Dec 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

The Telegraph

Instead he superimposes layers of context – layers of “truth” – in order to evoke the complex reasons for individual actions.

Mar 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

The Telegraph

The essential gift book for any pet lover - real-life tales of devoted dogs, .

Feb 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

Scotsman.com

Tejero did not receive the military support he had been promised, and, most importantly, later that evening, the king, Juan Carlos - Franco's anointed heir - went on television to denounce the coup as an attack on Spain's young democracy and to command the army to remain in barracks.

Jan 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

The New Yorker

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Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Anatomy of a Moment: Thir...

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