Malraux can. No wonder he has written some of the most beautiful pages about adventure and adventurers, Mayrena, self-proclaimed king of the sedans (his inspiration for the Perken of La Voie Royale) to T. E. Lawrence, to whom he dedicated the rapturous essay Le démon de l'absolu. Without forgetting, of course, his admiration for Lord Jim -which led him to paraphrase Sandokán without knowing it in the Antimémoires: "Il n'y a plus de Lord Jim parce que tout le monde a des fusils". It is true however that the also adventurous, writer, explorer of the old domains of the Queen of Sheba, fighter, fellow traveler, air paladin of the Spanish Republic, resistant and Gaullist minister André Malraux, whose prose inflamed by so much touching the stars Sometimes it is burdensome, I had a ghostly vein from here I wait for you. On a visit to Oxford he only wanted to see the plaque on the door of the room where Lawrence lived, and in another protocol to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo he asked for a chair and the uncle spent the entire time contemplating one of the portraits of El Fayum while the perplexed authorities did not know how to get him out of there. That is why I have loved to observe how they are with Malraux ("vain cantamañanas", is described by one of his characters) Arturo Pérez-Reverte in his latest novel Sabotage (Alfaguara), with which I have had a great time.
Unconditional fan of the stories of the father of Alatriste and Falcó, that I always hope as water of May, this third installment of the great adventures of the amoral spy of the Browning and the cafiaspirina, that take place in a Paris with echoes of White House and among writers, artists and intellectuals, I have enjoyed it especially because Pérez-Reverte has made him do things to his creature that he gives me that he wanted to make them. And I do not mean, of course, to kill two Italian anarchists (in an operation in Barcelona like, motorcycle included, which my uncle did grandfather infiltrated in the SIM), talk to Canaris or ride a trio with two American volunteers, but to lower the fumes to Malraux, so self-satisfied, kick Hemingway in the shallows, stand up to Picasso (and give him some idea), flirt with Lee Miller (Eddie Mayo), which he likes so much (I hope he has You could go see the exhibition that you dedicate in the Miró Foundation), or kiss Marlene Dietrich. Privileges of literature.
Pérez-Reverte always emphasizes that he is not his characters. That Falcó is not like Alatriste was not. But in Sabotage I would say that Falcó has given him the opportunity to fulfill a few wishes, a bit like Woody Allen in Midnight in Paris, although in its own way. The encounter with Malraux – which appears in the novel barely concealed under the name of Leo Bayard, is just as fun as Hemingway is Gatewood-. Falco teases the condescending and presumptuous Malraux as, I swear, he would have liked to do it to Perez-Reverte, and let him portray himself with his display of self-esteem and ridiculous eagerness to grandeur and of glory. "That they contradict him was not his habit," he notes. The professional, amoral and unbelieving view of Falcó, insensitive to cultural and intellectual blackmail, is the perfect antidote to the mythomania of the other and his petulant gospel of action. Let's see, it is not that it is not true that Malraux fought with his own squadron in Spain (although he did not even have the idea to fly and was a machine gunner) and that his aviators, mercenaries and idealists, according to the dates, left their lives flirtatiously in his old Potez and Bréguet. But it is no less true that all personalist adventurous rhetoric and the arrogant self-righteousness of Colonel Malraux are sometimes unnerving and irritate someone like Pérez-Reverte and his Falcó, which moves in the silence and discretion of the effective agent. When Bayard / Malraux explains that he is preparing a film about the war in Spain and that it will be based "on my personal experience, of course", it almost seems to hear you mutter the wolf teeth of Falcó / Pérez-Reverte and hear him mutter: "It will be an asshole" .
The professional, amoral and unbelieving look of Falcó, insensitive to cultural and intellectual blackmail, is the perfect antidote to Malraux's mythomania.
Ultimately, however, the novelist shows some sympathy for the character, with whom he shares, among other things, the appreciation above all of loyalty. "Loyalty is one of the few feelings that do not seem rotten to me," he reflects on. La Voie Royale the alter ego of Malraux, Claude Vannec; whereas of Falcó we are told in Sabotage that substitutes the affections for loyalty, "that is cold and easier to manage".
There is no sympathy, however, in the merciless portrait of Hemingway as a drunken brute and a despicable macho pimp, a megalomaniac swollen with ridiculous pride and platitudes. It provokes Falcó not knowing with whom he gets-a true expert of violence-and ends up receiving a host of wafers from here I wait for you and a knee in the eggs that Perez-Reverte gives him for himself, take bells Ernest ! I told the novelist the other night, leaving a dinner in Barcelona, and he stared at me in silence wrapped in his raincoat, with a recognizable shark smile under the brim of his hat, which might conceal a sharp razor blade, just in case, although in the street of Enrique Granados you will hardly find murderers of the NKVD or La Cagoule, luckily for them …