Legend has it that Count Julian opened the gates of Spain to the Moorish invaders and introduced eight hundred years of Islamic influence.
The narrator dreams of another invasion of his fatherland. Destruction will be total - myths central to the Hispanic psyche will crumble: the myth of the Christian knight always ready to do battle to defend the faith, the myth of the macho male and its inverse the virgin female, and the myth of the heroic Spanish personality forged in the rout of Islam. The hatred of Spain is intense but it is a hatred that recognizes the debt the exile owes to his homeland.
Born in Barcelona in 1931, Juan Goytisolo is Spain's greatest living writer. A bitter opponent of the Franco regime, his early novels were banned in Spain. In 1956 he moved to Paris. Since then he has written extensively on the city as melting-pot, the expulsion of the Moors from Europe and the art of reading. In 2004 Goytisolo was awarded the Juan Rulfo International Latin American and Caribbean Prize for Literature. He lived in Morocco until his death in 2017.
This wicked, passionate and extremely funny book can be read as Goytisolo's farewell to the priests, generals and sanctimonious moralizers who ruled his native land ... though difficult and allusive, it is worth the effort, since Goytisolo is Spain's greatest modern novelist
Daily Telegraph - John Butt
Juan Goytisolo has spent the past thirty-five years in exile doing to the Spanish novel what Bunuel did to the cinema, Picasso, Miro and Dali to painting and Lorca to the theatre and in poetry
Count Julian is the Finnegan's Wake of the south, but shorter, hotter, crosser and a bit more readable