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Eva Baltasar

Teoksen Permafrost tekijä

12+ teosta 484 jäsentä 16 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Sisältää nimen: Eva Baltasar i Sardà

Tekijän teokset

Permafrost (2018) 223 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Boulder (2020) 179 kappaletta, 10 arvostelua
Mamut (2022) 54 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Ocàs i fascinació (2024) 10 kappaletta
De vrouw op de berg (2024) 3 kappaletta
Nus Schiele (2021) 2 kappaletta
Ocaso y fascinación (2024) 2 kappaletta
Animals d'hivern (2016) 1 kappale
Vida Limitada (2014) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Granta 154: I've Been Away For a While (2021) — Avustaja — 34 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu

Merkitty avainsanalla




I talk about women without counting myself among them. I'm not a woman. I am the cook on an old merchant ship, sharpening knives one edge at a time.

This was powerful. A very interesting portrait of a relationship changed by motherhood from the "other mother" perspective. I didn't necessarily like the protagonist, but it didn't make me enjoy this less. Great style, very sharp prose (and translation).
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ZeljanaMaricFerli | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 4, 2024 |
Another ok if underwhelming for me International Booker shortlister, we have here a novella that supports the old truth of “don’t agree to have a child just to save a relationship.” Samsa from Iceland feels a strong desire to have a child. Her long term partner, a Chilean woman she nicknames Boulder for her solidity in standing apart, feels a strong desire not to. Samsa, as a well-read person can foresee, changes greatly after the baby enters the scene, at least from Boulder’s point of view, and the relationship ends.

I don’t see how a reader could feel anything much about the troubles in and finally the ending of this relationship, as Baltasar puts scant effort into bringing it to life despite putting us there from its beginning. With little apparent in common, all that seems to hold them together on these pages is lust, which I wouldn’t think is often sufficient glue for a decade long relationship in which one partner leaves their home continent and reluctantly agrees to have a child together.

It’s not really about the relationship, then, it’s about the effect of motherhood on women. And it’s not the same for everyone, naturally. Boulder, who guards her personal freedom fiercely, often losing jobs for not working well with others, sees it very negatively:

The moment she was inseminated, Samsa changed. The feeling I had was one of unfamiliarity - an anxious, nomadic unfamiliarity that came from Samsa. It took over her while at the same time soaking through her and turning her radioactive… motherhood is the tattoo that defines you, brands life on your arm, the mark that impedes freedom.

You know what they say… when you’re associating pregnancy with being turned into a cockroach, you aren’t a fan. And of Samsa’s motherly love for the child, rather than being something positive, to Boulder “it’s more like a parasite that has usurped her and now rides her in victory.” Boulder sees Samsa’s personal freedom as something being taken away by this love and connection.

Samsa on the other hand seems to be pretty happy with motherhood. She enjoys being a mother, breastfeeding, going to infant swim classes, meeting up with other new mothers, co-sleeping with the baby, spending her days with her. Her career meanwhile seems to have lost its appeal, as has having sex with Boulder.

This all leads Boulder at the novel’s end to think in regards to Samsa that “I look at her and see a woman who has sacrificed her own self-worth for the well-being of a child”. Which seems entirely unkind and wrong to me: Samsa seems rather to have increased her sense of self-worth, as she’s found more personal meaning in raising a child than in a career or the freedom of being child-free. Boulder is unable to comprehend such a choice improving one’s sense of self-worth; she completely fails to understand Samsa.

In contrast to Samsa’s happiness, Boulder informs us that “I don’t believe in this island and I don’t believe in happiness, or in relationships, or in children, or in God.” I can believe that her character has that dispiriting outlook; I have a harder time believing these two characters stayed together for so many years to get to the events of this story!
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lelandleslie | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 24, 2024 |
this was hard for me. there were parts that weren't, and that i enjoyed, but overall it was a quick but rough read. rough as in i couldn't get a hold of the narrator and felt like what i was learning about her was often inconsistent with what i thought i already knew. rough as in i couldn't relate at all and so was searching for something to keep me drawn in. there were definitely moments but that almost was worse because i kept getting tugged in just a bit, and then spit back out. there are definitely a number of bright spots here, though, even as the whole didn't work for me. (i say for me, i think i was just the wrong audience for this.)

my favorite part was the translator's note. i've read translations by her before and i love her engagement with the text and how she shows us what she's thinking as she's making her choices. she raises a question that interested me more than the book itself, actually, in talking about how language changes and how translations make the original more complete, and so if it's really possible to understand a book when you only read it in one language. she is such an interesting person, from what her translator's notes show of her.

"Self-medication is a permanent temporary solution, like the low-watt bulb hanging the hall. Twenty years with a dimly lit hall - how little it takes to become used to seeing so little."

from julia sanches' translator's note: "I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of the original text as a fraction of a whole. Picture a sphere. Picture the moon, even. When the reader directs their attention to a text as it exists in a single language, they are seeing only one face(t) of it, much like we only ever see one side of the moon from our singular viewpoint. The rest exists behind it, in darkness. Perhaps we can only participate in the full potential of any literary text once we have read it in every language and across all time. Maybe it's not translation that is impossible but rather a compete understanding of any piece of literature."
… (lisätietoja)
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overlycriticalelisa | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 19, 2024 |
Boulder by the Catalan writer Eva Baltasar is exciting prose. It is written for this time. Within just over 100 pages there are so many changes of scene, different countries, different environments, but love transcends, against the odds one might say. The book seems to tell us that no matter where, no matter how, love and motherhood are driving, elemental forces of nature.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
edwinbcn | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 25, 2023 |



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