Recounting: Antagony, Book I surveys the social history of Barcelona and Catalonia, primarily since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The novel follows the youth and education of Raúl Ferrer Gaminde, son of a well-connected, middle-class Catalan family that embraces Franco and Spanish Nationalism. The novel’s potent drama plays out through Goytisolo’s crisp, forceful presentation of youth, humor, optimism, rebellion, violence, sexual awakening, indulgence, punishment, and the realization of one’s artistic vocation. Alternately modern and historical, Recounting displays intelligent realism, emotional gravity, profane beauty, brute vulgarity, sweeping rhetorical scope, and seamless transitions through long, streaming passages of narrative and introspection.
Luis Goytisolo is a Spanish writer, born in 1935. He is widely known for his tetralogy Antagonía, which was published between 1973 and 1981. Recounting is the first book of the tetralogy translated into English. He is a member of the Real Academia Española and has won many awards and distinctions in his native Spain.