This potent drama, a collected volume of Goytisolo’s famed tetralogy following a Catalan family, is widely regarded as one of the most profound inquiries ever undertaken on literary creation.
Antagony surveys the social history of Barcelona and Catalonia, primarily since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The work, originally published as a tetralogy and now collected into one volume, follows the youth and education of Raúl Ferrer Gaminde, son of a well-connected, middle-class Catalan family that embraces Franco and Spanish Nationalism. Its 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, Antagony displays intelligent realism, emotional gravity, profane beauty, brute vulgarity, sweeping rhetorical scope, and seamless transitions through long, streaming passages of narrative and introspection.