The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Julián Carax Character Analysis

Julián Carax is a brilliant but little-known author whose work Daniel discovers by chance in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. While he’s a native of Barcelona, he’s left no trace of his life in the city; as Daniel becomes fascinated with him and digs into his past, he realizes that Julian’s life was shaped by his illicit love for his wealthy friend’s sister, Penélope Aldaya, and that he’s spent most of his life hiding from the Aldaya family and from Inspector Fumero, who was also in love with Penélope. More disconcertingly, Daniel finds that his own life starts to parallel Carax’s, from his upbringing above a Barcelona shop to his enmity with Inspector Fumero to his forbidden love for a girl from a different social class. One of the novel’s major questions is whether these parallels are the result of fate or arise from Daniel’s growing obsession with the author. After Carax discovers Penélope’s death, he adopts the alias Laín Coubert, the name of the devil in one of his books. As Laín, he can express the hatred and violent impulses he can’t in his ordinary life; it’s never clear to what extent Coubert is part of Carax’s persona, and to what extent he becomes his own entity.

Julián Carax Quotes in The Shadow of the Wind

The The Shadow of the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Julián Carax or refer to Julián Carax. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Shadow of the Wind published in 2005.
City of Shadows: Chapter 16 Quotes

Sophie refused to reveal the identity of the child’s father…Antoni Fortuny decided that it must be the devil, for that child was the child of sin, and sin had only one father: the One. Convinced in this manner that it had sneaked into his home and also between his wife’s thighs, the hatter took to hanging crucifixes everywhere…

Related Symbols: Angels and Devils
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
City of Shadows: Chapter 17 Quotes

I imagined Julián Carax at that age, holding that image in his hands…and for a moment I thought there were no more ghosts there than those of absence and loss, and that the light that smiled on me was borrowed light, real only as long as I could hold it in my eyes, second by second.

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker), Julián Carax
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
City of Shadows: Chapter 20 Quotes

Julián lived in his books. The body that ended up in the morgue was only a part of him. His soul is in his stories. I once asked him who inspired him to create his characters, and his answer was no one. That all his characters were himself.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Daniel Sempere, Julián Carax
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
City of Shadows: Chapter 31 Quotes

Nobody had noticed, nobody had paid attention, but as usual, the essential part of the matter had been settled before the story had begun, and by then it was too late.

Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 4 Quotes

It didn’t occur to him for an instant that Julián secretly despised him, that his affection was a sham, only a pretext to be close to Penélope. To possess her wholly and utterly. They did resemble each other in that.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Julián Carax, Ricardo Aldaya (Mr. Aldaya)
Page Number: 383
Explanation and Analysis:
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 8 Quotes

The hatter…had no doubt that Penélope was that love in his son’s life. Without realizing it, he thought that if he helped him recover her, perhaps he, too, would recover some part of what he had lost, that void that weighed on his bones like a curse.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Julián Carax, Penélope Aldaya, Antonio Fortuny
Page Number: 407
Explanation and Analysis:
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 11 Quotes

He hated the man who had caused this calamity, this trail of death and misery: himself. He hated those filthy books to which he had devoted his life and about which nobody cared. He hated every stolen second and every breath.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Julián Carax
Page Number: 420
Explanation and Analysis:
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 13 Quotes

I discovered that Laín Coubert, impersonating Julián, had been roaming through the city and visiting the Aldaya mansion.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Julián Carax, Laín Coubert / The Stranger
Page Number: 440
Explanation and Analysis:

I was afraid of listening to Julián and starting to believe, as he did, that we were all bound together in a strange chain of destiny, afraid of recognizing in you the Julián I had lost.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Daniel Sempere, Julián Carax
Page Number: 445
Explanation and Analysis:

Of all the things that Julián wrote, the one I have always felt closest to my heart is that so long as we are being remembered, we remain alive…Remember me, Daniel, even if it’s only in a corner and secretly. Don’t let me go.

Related Characters: Nuria Monfort (speaker), Daniel Sempere, Julián Carax
Page Number: 446
Explanation and Analysis:
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4 Quotes

It was Laín Coubert, just as I’d learned to fear him reading the pages of a book, so many years ago…I saw how the hand of the angel pierced [Fumero’s] chest, spearing him, how the accursed soul was driven out like black vapor, falling like frozen tears over the mirror of water.

Related Symbols: Angels and Devils
Page Number: 465
Explanation and Analysis:
Postmortem Quotes

I can’t remember his exact words, or the sound of his voice. I do know that he held my hand and I felt as if he were asking me to live for him, telling me I would never see him again. What I have not forgotten is what I told him. I told him to take that pen, which had always been his, and write again.

Related Characters: Daniel Sempere (speaker), Julián Carax
Related Symbols: The Fountain Pen
Page Number: 471
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Shadow of the Wind PDF

Julián Carax Character Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Julián Carax appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...relative, destiny,” Daniel notices an unfamiliar title called The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax. He selects this book and leaves the cemetery, feeling that the book has been waiting... (full context)
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...believes this is true, and that the “enchanted” themes and images he first encounters in Carax’s novel accompany him through the rest of his life. (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 1
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...who spends his free time thinking up eccentric inventions. Instead, Daniel asks his father about Carax’s life and bibliography, planning to read his other novels as soon as possible. However, he... (full context)
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...declines the offer, even when Barceló raises his price. Daniel asks to know more about Carax’s past, and Barceló says that if he visits him the next day and brings the... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 2
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...Barceló begins to examine the book, telling Daniel that The Shadow of the Wind is Carax’s last novel. Moreover, this is the only copy remaining, since the rest have been burned. (full context)
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Barceló introduces the woman as his niece, Clara, who is an “expert” on Carax. He scuttles into another room with the book, leaving Daniel to talk to Clara. She... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 3
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Clara explains that she became acquainted with Carax as a child in Provence, where her father sent her and her mother to wait... (full context)
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...a mediocre tutor, Monsieur Roquefort, who pretended to have high literary taste. He stumbled upon Carax’s novel The Red House during a trip to Paris; the biographical notes stated that Carax... (full context)
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Immediately hooked, Roquefort read the entire thriller on the train ride home. He called Carax’s publisher for more information, but the receptionist didn’t even know his address. However, she told... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 4
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Clara spent years looking for Carax’s work in shops and libraries, without success. Later, Roquefort heard a rumor about a strange... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 6
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...gradually relaxing and becoming subsumed in the narrative. Clara says the novel reminds her of Carax’s other works, and Daniel volunteers to return the next day and read again. Soon, he’s... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 7
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Daniel asks the stranger if he’s a collector. The stranger responds that Carax is his “specialty” and that he collects the books to burn them. When he strikes... (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 9
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...clean off his cuts. He says if Daniel behaves, he’ll give him some information on Julian Carax. (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 10
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In his office, Isaac says that he first heard of Carax from his friend Toni Cabestany, a Spanish publisher who bought the rights to Carax’s books... (full context)
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Daniel asks about Carax’s family, and Isaac says that the parents were separated for unknown reasons. His mother moved... (full context)
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Daniel suggests that if he wasn’t close to his family Carax might have visited Nuria when he returned to Barcelona, but Isaac says he wouldn’t know.... (full context)
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...the books without telling anyone where they were, intending to retrieve them once she located Carax. However, she has never come back for them. (full context)
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...personally or invited him to the wedding. Daniel wonders aloud if Nuria still thinks about Carax, and Isaac says that while he doesn’t know, he himself often thinks of his first... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 12
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...heavy workload at the bookstore by the arrival of Fermín, Daniel devotes himself to investigating Julian Carax and spending time with his old friend Tomás Aguilar. Although Tomás is thoughtful and... (full context)
True to Character: Chapter 13
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...A shop window behind the couple says “Sons of Antonio Fortuny.” Daniel immediately remembers that Carax’s father’s surname was Fortuny, and that he ran a hat shop. Daniel knows that the... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 15
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...shop, which is abandoned and dusty. The building caretaker, Doña Aurora, knows a lot about Carax. She tells him that Carax went to Paris between 1918 and 1919 to escape his... (full context)
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...beat his wife regularly, and that the wife, Sophie, told one of her neighbors that Julian wasn’t Fortuny’s biological son. She says Fortuny was a “mean old bastard.” (full context)
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Doña Aurora isn’t sure if the man in the photo is Carax, and she doesn’t recognize the woman. But she does remark that during school Julian fell... (full context)
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...old dusty possessions and infested with birds. They find a pile of childhood photos of Carax, which reminds Doña Aurora that Carax used to tell her daughter he had a secret... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 16
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Carax’s room is “infested with crucifixes” which hang all over the room and are even scratched... (full context)
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As they leave, Daniel remembers the letter that came for Carax and secretly pockets it, taking it from the cabinet where Doña Aurora left it many... (full context)
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...young woman and his own erstwhile sexual prowess. He gives Daniel the name of Sophie Carax’s lawyer, José María Requejo, as well as his office address and the PO box where... (full context)
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...because he declined the administrator’s invitation to “go whoring.” He also repeats the rumor that Carax wasn’t Fortuny’s biological son. Daniel convinces him to explain everything he knows about the family,... (full context)
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According to Mr. Molins, Fortuny met Sophie Carax when he was getting old and impatient to be married. He chose Sophie, a poor... (full context)
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...did. Although he tried to interest the boy in his own pursuits—religion and hat-making—the young Carax was unreceptive and uninterested in anything except making up fantastic stories. Fortuny interpreted his son’s... (full context)
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At the age of twelve, Carax began working his way through the local library’s stock of fiction and poetry. Fortuny was... (full context)
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...apartment. It’s from 1919, and the sender is Penélope Aldaya. In the letter, she tells Carax that she knows he’s left Barcelona and that he probably thinks she betrayed him, since... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 17
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...last look at the house, imagining Penélope having her picture taken in the courtyard and Carax looking at the photograph, “contemplating a future as wide and luminous as that avenue.” (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 19
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...a careworn face. Daniel says he was sent by her father to find out about Carax, but she is immediately suspicious and only reluctantly invites him inside. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 20
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Nuria tells Daniel that she met Carax when she was working for Cabestany’s publishing house in Paris. She says that although Isaac... (full context)
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...he once told her “he had no right to love anyone.” She had heard that Carax was supposed to marry a wealthy woman before his involvement in a duel, but doesn’t... (full context)
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Nuria doesn’t know why Carax returned to Barcelona. She only knows that his body turned up at the morgue in... (full context)
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...the alias of Jorge Aldaya, whom she believes once called her anonymously to ask for Carax’s Paris address, but which she didn’t give. She never saw Laín Coubert, but she heard... (full context)
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Nuria tells Daniel he reminds her of Carax, and strokes his hand while he covertly examines her body and fantasizes about kissing her.... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 21
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...potatoes while Daniel tells Bea the entire story of his obsession with and investigation into Carax. Bea demands that he take her to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, so they walk... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 22
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...Nuria lied about one thing, she probably lied about everything. He suggests that they visit Carax’s alma mater, San Gabriel’s School, and ask about his relationship to the Aldayas. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 24
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...Daniel and Fermín meet at a café to plan their day’s investigations. Fermín theorizes that Carax and Jorge were best friends, like Daniel and Tomás, until a problem arose—in the form... (full context)
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Fermín points out that all they know after this is that Carax probably died in Barcelona in 1936, and that shortly afterwards a mysterious figure with some... (full context)
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...War. Only the sons of old and prestigious families were admitted, which would have made Carax an anomalous scholarship student. (full context)
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...is Father Fernando Ramos, who just happens to have been the classmate and friend of Carax and Jorge. Fermín asks for any information he might have about their school days. Father... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 25
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Father Fernando says he first became friends with Carax because they were both from poor families. Fernando’s father worked in the kitchens, and Carax... (full context)
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Carax’s other early friend was Miquel Moliner, a wealthy, gifted, and extravagant boy. After graduating, Father... (full context)
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As Father Fernando relates the story of Carax meeting the Aldayas, another nested narrative begins, with Father Fernando narrating. In 1914, Don Ricardo... (full context)
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...he will secure him a place at San Gabriel’s and pay his tuition. He whisks Carax away to show him his fancy car and library full of rare editions. Although he... (full context)
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Carax is astonished by his sudden change of fortunes, by the palatial Aldaya compound, and by... (full context)
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As Jorge is showing him around the house, Carax glimpses the thirteen-year-old Penélope, the most beautiful “vision” he’s ever seen, although Jorge dismisses her... (full context)
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At his new school, Carax is an outcast among the wealthy boys, who disdain him, with the exception of Miquel,... (full context)
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...deny knowing him to Father Fernando. Father Fernando says that he has read all of Carax’s novels, but that one night someone entered his house and burned them. (full context)
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Father Fernando believes the culprit is Fumero, since Fumero also tried to kill Carax during their last year of school after spying on him and observing him kiss Penélope... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 26
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...Daniel can’t recollect anything about his own mother. Fermín suggests that Daniel’s quest to “rescue [Carax] from oblivion” is really a way to prevent his mother’s memory from slipping into obscurity. (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 31
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When Penélope became a beautiful teenager, she met Carax, and Jacinta noticed their immediate connection. Even though she recognized that Carax might be dangerous... (full context)
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In order to see Penélope and be around her in the house, Carax began to feign an interest in banking and to behave exactly as Mr. Aldaya wanted... (full context)
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...Jacinta a disturbing carved figure of Penélope as a gift. Jacinta became close with young Carax, chatting with him when she picked Jorge up from school and even telling him that... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Sophie disliked Carax’s increasing absorption into the Aldaya family and growing distance from his own. Fortuny was deeply... (full context)
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Mr. Aldaya organized a huge party for Jorge’s eighteenth birthday, to which Carax insisted Javier be invited. Javier declined the invitation, feeling he would be out of place... (full context)
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The next day, Javier brought a gun to school and attempted to shoot Carax, who was only saved because Miquel jumped on Javier and took away the gun. (full context)
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By this time, graduation was approaching. Mr. Aldaya planned to initiate Carax into his firm, while Fortuny plotted to send him to the military out of spite.... (full context)
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Miquel encouraged Carax to elope with Penélope and offered to finance the venture, planning a detailed escape to... (full context)
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Afterwards, Penélope and Carax had sex on the floor of Jacinta’s room, only to be discovered by Mrs. Aldaya.... (full context)
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Inside, Sophie told him that now Mr. Aldaya was cooperating with Fortuny to dispatch Carax to the army, and that he must flee immediately. On Saturday, Carax went to the... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 33
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...is involved in the story at so many points, as well as the fact that Carax apparently spent a month in Barcelona before his death and no one knew anything about... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 38
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...mansion disguised as Laín Coubert, and accuses Nuria of lying to protect his role in Carax’s murder. Then he walks out of the apartment. Fermín is standing on the street nearby,... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 39
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...Fonseca, an employee at the city morgue who was on duty when the police brought Carax’s body in, claiming it had been found on the street, identified by a passport and... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 41
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...Mr. Sempere questions Daniel about Nuria, and Daniel admits that she was a friend of Carax and he’d been to visit her. Mr. Sempere says that Daniel shouldn’t be looking into... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 43
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...words. In a sudden epiphany, he realizes that Nuria wasn’t speaking to him but to Carax, whom she must have loved for years even though he only loved Penélope. (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 1
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...her narrative in 1933, when she’s working as a secretary for Toni Cabestany and meets Carax for the first time. Carax had published several novels in Paris, as the owner of... (full context)
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...puzzled that the same person, using different aliases, calls every few weeks to ask for Carax’s address. Assuming him to be up to no good, Nuria never gives it and eventually... (full context)
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While working on Cabestany’s accounting, Nuria discovers that the unprofitable editions of Carax’s books are financed completely by someone named Miquel Moliner, and that Cabestany is charging Moliner... (full context)
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Nuria and Miquel quickly become friends, sharing their interest in books, music, and the enigmatic Carax. Miquel tells Nuria everything about their shared childhood experiences. Eventually, Miquel confesses his love to... (full context)
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In the summer, Cabestany sends Nuria to Paris on business, where she meets Carax, who lets her stay in his spartan garret apartment. He tells her many fantastic stories... (full context)
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Carax also tells Nuria about his life in Paris. In 1921, homeless and ill on the... (full context)
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After talking to her all night about his lonely night, Carax and Nuria finally have sex. She spends two weeks in Paris as his lover, but... (full context)
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Carax covets a fountain pen he sees in a pawnshop, which is said to have belonged... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 2
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...returns to Barcelona and sees Miquel, he knows immediately that she’s hopelessly in love with Carax. Meanwhile, he’s in the process of being disinherited by his worldlier brothers, who want to... (full context)
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...become lovers. Miquel drinks more and more, and sometimes they fight over Nuria’s passion for Carax. (full context)
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One day after a fight, Miquel tells Nuria that in 1919, when Carax and Penélope’s affair was discovered, Mr. Aldaya locked Penélope in her room and forbade anyone... (full context)
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...night, Jorge tracks Miquel down and hands him an obviously fake letter from Penélope to Carax, announcing her marriage and claiming she has never loved him. Knowing that it would devastate... (full context)
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...her the fake letter from Penélope. Sophie begins to cry and whispers to him that Carax and Penélope are brother and sister. (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 4
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Mr. Aldaya doesn’t arrive at the hat shop and meet Carax by chance, but rather because he has started to think more about the son he... (full context)
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...that they’ve tricked him and horrified that they’ve committed incest. He feels such hatred for Carax that he conspires to have him killed once he’s in the army and locks Penélope... (full context)
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...creditors. During the voyage, Mr. Aldaya forces Jorge to promise he will one day kill Carax, then throws himself overboard and is eaten by sharks. (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 5
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...and returns to Barcelona ten years later almost a beggar. He tries to track down Carax but instead meets Javier Fumero, who has risen from his humble origins to be an... (full context)
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...for mistreating him when they were children. Fumero wants to use Jorge to track down Carax, whom he also hates. He has been to Carax’s publisher to obtain his address, and... (full context)
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...Jorge just like villains use stooges in the movies, in order to lead him to Carax. (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 6
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...him home and marries him. One day Jorge shows up at their apartment asking where Carax is, and they lie and say that he’s in Italy. Jorge reveals that he’s fallen... (full context)
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...Nuria comes home from work to find that Fumero has visited Miquel and announced that Carax is getting married to Irene Marceau, which Miquel assumes is an arrangement so that she... (full context)
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Eventually, Fumero prods Jorge into going to Paris and challenging Carax to a duel. Just as Fumero predicts, Jorge tells Carax all about Penélope’s imprisonment, without... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 7
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...assassinated in broad daylight. Irene Marceau writes Miquel to inform them of the duel and Carax’s flight from the city, and they wait anxiously for his arrival. When he doesn’t appear,... (full context)
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...she wakes up, she finds a note saying that Miquel has gone to look for Julian and she should wait in the apartment. She notices that Miquel has cleaned out his... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 8
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...Mist, having received a call from one of the neighboring caretakers that a man of Carax’s description has been wandering around. He immediately recognizes his old friend and follows him into... (full context)
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Meanwhile the waiter of the café, who’s in Fumero’s pay, calls the police. Miquel and Carax don’t realize they’ve been trapped until they see a car outside. Carax produces a gun... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 9
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...in a seedy neighborhood, and when it eventually arrives at the morgue, he’s identified as Julian Carax based on the papers he carries. Fortuny is devastated to hear that his son... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Nuria hasn’t heard from either Carax or Miquel and is sick with worry. When Don Fonseca calls from the morgue to... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 10
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Nuria knows that Penélope is dead, but can’t bear to tell Carax, so she just insists on accompanying him when he returns to the Aldaya mansion. Carax... (full context)
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Carax notices a bricked-up door at the end of the hall and knocks it down with... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 11
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Carax has finally solved the dreadful mystery of his lost love. Nuria drags him out of... (full context)
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...that someone named Laín Coubert has already been there asking to buy all the company’s Carax stock. That night, Nuria hides copies of all Carax’s works in the Cemetery of Forgotten... (full context)
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Nuria finds a badly burned Carax at the hospital and identifies him (falsely) as Miquel Moliner. She takes care of him... (full context)
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When Nuria has depleted most of their financial reserves, Carax takes to going out at night, disguised as Laín Coubert and stealing to support them.... (full context)
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Nuria runs into Fortuny, who believes that Carax is alive somewhere and hiding from Fumero, who is the only person in Barcelona who... (full context)
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Nuria and Carax desperately need money, so Nuria uses a strategy that Carax once wrote about in a... (full context)
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Nuria and Carax survive for several years this way, until one day an informer posing as a journalism... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 12
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When Nuria gets home, upset and exhausted, Carax comforts her. He leaves the apartment all night, and in the morning Nuria hears on... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 13
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Carax’s casual murder of Sanmartí makes Nuria realize he’s a much different man from the one... (full context)
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Nuria rushes to the Fortuny apartment, but Julian isn’t there and she knows he’s gone forever. From that point on, she only sees... (full context)
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Nuria sometimes visits Carax at the Aldaya house, where he now squats. He thinks he’s going insane, but Nuria... (full context)
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...the past without resolving them. She’s also anxious because Daniel inadvertently leads Fumero back to Carax. (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 1
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At dawn, Daniel finishes Nuria’s manuscript, which he calls “our story.” He identifies himself with Carax and says that in his “lost footsteps, I now recognized my own, irretrievable.” He gets... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 3
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...Daniel quickly finds Bea, who is huddled in Penélope’s old room. She has also met Carax, who knew who she was and provided her with food and blankets. Now, Bea says,... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4
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Daniel tells Bea to stay in the room and steals out to warn Carax. Fumero catches him in the foyer, and Daniel lies and says that Carax has run... (full context)
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...wall. Palacios wants to let Daniel leave, but Fumero grabs his gun and turns on Carax. Daniel jumps on Fumero, and Fumero shoots Daniel through the ribs. Dazed, Daniel sees Carax... (full context)
Postmortem
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Later, Daniel wakes up to find the room empty except for Carax. Carax doesn’t say anything, but Daniel looks into his eyes for a long time and... (full context)
The Waters of March
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...they ask after Jacinta, who they learn died two weeks ago, after being visited by Carax. (full context)
Dramatis Personae
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Barceló has sold his own bookshop and now devotes himself to reprinting editions of Carax’s work, which still don’t sell many copies. Meanwhile, Clara got married and quickly divorced. Now... (full context)