Incredible but real

Three strange, surprising, or downright implausible things have happened lately: the magazine Nature reported that on a very small island in the North Sea, the sun rises in the west; Independent researchers discovered that on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, passing the Tuul River, already in the middle of the plain, the water does not boil at one hundred degrees; and Penguin Random House published two good novels. Incredible but real! Of the first two events I still do not have absolute confirmation of its veracity, but of the third I do, for a simple reason: I have just read both novels and it is true, they are very good.

The first is Waste, by Maria Sonia Cristoff. I don’t think I’m the only one who read all of Cristoff’s work, therefore I don’t think I’m the only one who perceives that Waste goes in a direction that, radicalized, was already present in his previous novels.

But if in Include me outside the story works by contraction, as a condensation of meaning that contains a certain restriction (not talking to anyone for a set time) until it ends, like a necessary spasm, in an ending in which the boycott breaks out as an act ethical-political, or perhaps even aesthetic; on Waste the narration operates by expansion, as a node in which discourses of different types and characteristics flow, in a increasing that, starting from a sober epistolary writing and, almost, without attributes, ends in a kind of controlled lack of control, in which anarchism is not only the theme on which the second half of the novel revolves, but also the way in which the Phrases are chained: challenging hierarchies, abolishing all authority, returning to the appointment subversive graft and no mandate to fulfill. The title itself already contains a programmatic dimension, and a political gesture.

the lineage It can also be read as a programmatic title, although Carla Maliandi’s novel –we are talking about her from here on– advances in other directions. Avanza is a problematic term and, for this reason, we must think of it in its critical dimension. because while in the german room, a kind of “non-learning” novel, the skill of the narration lies, among several other aspects, in the fact that each chapter closes something and opens something else, and that opening, albeit proliferating, always moves forward; on the lineage the future remains in the past. If the novel had an epigraph (neither of the two novels does, which speaks highly of them) it could be Ennio Flaiano’s phrase: “I only have plans for the past”.

The past is that of an involuntary memory, which is no longer present as a product of a taste or smell perception, but as a consequence of an absurd event: a mirror ball falls on the protagonist’s head. Absurd is also a category on which we must stop. It is this accident, somewhere between trivial and comic, that ends up becoming hyperrealistic and, instead, what we call “the real” becomes absurd. That inversion is the core of the novel; as if everything real dissolved not in the air, but in the floor full of little mirrors and Styrofoam balls, and that which would appear as absurd would reappear as war, battles for the language, memory of the oppressed, drums of an army of murderers . Maliandi is already, at this point, a master in the art of estrangement.

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