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Pola Oloixarac

Teoksen Kesyttömät teoriat tekijä

4+ teosta 367 jäsentä 19 arvostelua 1 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Includes the name: Pola Oloixarac

Image credit: Pola Oloixarac (2011)

Tekijän teokset

Kesyttömät teoriat (2008) 146 kappaletta
Mona (2019) 142 kappaletta
Dark Constellations (2015) 78 kappaletta

Associated Works

Granta 113: The Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists (2011) — Avustaja — 156 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Maa (karttaa varten)



“But I do believe that contempt is the lingua franca of our era, and on that I’ll bet we can both agree.”

This slim novel opens with the titular Mona boarding a plane to Sweden, having woken up earlier that day at a Bay Area Caltrans station, bruised, bloodied, and confused. Hiding the bruises (how long do bruises last?), Mona attend the literati event, where they will award one of the handful "world-lit" authors a statue and 200,000 euros.

This isn’t really a story about a writing event—it’s a psychological exploration of the double consciousness of modern life. it’s a world where art has been fully infected by the milquetoast upper-middle class and whatever their current flavour of politics allows, where identity is a commodity above reproach regardless if it's merited; it’s academia, it’s torpid and soulless political correctness, it’s death-inducing stillness disguised as enlightenment.

But this is also a story of doldrums of womanhood, the perfidy of desire, and the potential of power within the female body: framed by CW: SA a horrific date rape by a fellow Stanford PhD student, Mona (Mona?) and the reader are blind to the memory, instead caught on the wave of easy sex and desire a woman can command at the hands of men. Oloixarac writes of sex in a disgusting and frankly unsexual way, leaving her metaphors of beauty to the vagina: "But pussies, no: they could drift, lunge, fill and empty themselves like voracious gluttons." The high point of the novel for me was the character of Lena, a whip-smart, obese children's author who is Mona's only mental rival—she eviscerates her (and the reader) of the performative nature of womanhood, with its false lashes and litheness:

"'Look at you. Yes, you. You’re a complete caricature of a woman. Have you looked at yourself? You’re completely ridiculous. Covering yourself with that towel, like anyone cares what you’re hiding underneath it. Tell me what kind of woman gets in the sauna wearing fake eyelashes. Or do you think that nobody can tell? With your makeup, your designer clothes, your hyper-feminine affect … you think that you’re letting everyone see that you’re a victim of machismo, of a chauvinist culture that—even with its little touches of sophistication, like the literary world!—punishes all things feminine. But that doesn’t annul the total absurdity of your appearance. Don’t kid yourself—you’re certainly not fooling me! Where I’m going with all this is: We can’t write except in drag. We convert ourselves into something absurd because the absurd is already living inside us.'”

Mona is raw, and has bitten me a new one. I somehow feel alive again. Make no mistake: this is book girl's book. It's for other maladaptive, former (can we ever really be former?) anorexia-ridden aesthetes, who will ape the role of women for the beautiful ease of sex and the self-inflicted tortures of forever being second-class within it. Do we even want to be better? Shove off.

I haven't even talked about the filthy, filthy (kidding, it's really boring, but it's kinda supposed to be) literary references, and the double-backing that make this novel so satirical and damn intelligent. I won't drone on any longer: This novel is brilliant.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Eavans | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 22, 2023 |
Bizarre, sexy, and smart. I appreciated the social and political commentary sprinkled throughout (especially regarding South America) and loved Oloixarac's subtle digs at contemporary writers and the literary community as a whole.

There's a lot going on in this this little book - flashbacks, trauma, literary awards, dinners, beach scenes, etc. - and up until chapter nine I think the book progresses extremely well. However, I think the pacing of the last two chapters did the book a disservice. While it definitely has its flaws (perhaps it's a literal lost-in-translation situation?), I really enjoyed Mona.

Probably more of a 3.5, but rounding it up to four stars because I just like books about smart, fucked-up women doing drugs and losing their shit. Also this cover is everything.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
cbwalsh | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 13, 2023 |
A lot of this book went over my head but I think that might be the point?

Most of the book seems to be commenting on world culture and writing and stuff and all of that mostly went over my head. Then you get to the end and realize the book wasn’t about that at all.

Honestly I really liked the ending and the general vibe. The writing reminds me of that of the Secret History or something though I wouldn’t categorize this as dark academia, more as like “deranged academia.”
Merkitty asiattomaksi
willowzz | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 27, 2023 |
Delightfully bitchy. I didn't really "get" the ending, but I liked the unexpectedness of it.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
BibliophageOnCoffee | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 12, 2022 |



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Adri Boon Translator
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Isabelle Gugnon Translator
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