“A love”, from Sara Mesa: Camille Laurens’ literary soap opera

At the beginning, it is believed that a love, novel by the Spanish writer Sara Mesa, will explore the theme of return to the countryside that in recent years carry out a good number of city dwellers in search of country renaissance. Indeed, Nat, her thirties heroine, left the city and her use as a commercial translator to come and settle in La Escapa, a lost village in the Rioja, north of the peninsula, in a comfortable shack and which takes ‘Water, alone with a half -wild dog that she baptized Chienlit.

But, in addition to she seems to flee something, the young woman is quickly struggling with the distrust of the villagers, rurality seems always more oppressive and, among the inhabitants she meets, we wonder which will be able to be able to Justify the title of the novel: its intrusive and violent owner, Piter, a glass craftsman creator of soulless stained glass, sometimes embodies to caricature the man who knows everything and explains life to you, and the smile of another n ‘is that “the grimace of lies”. She also looks at them all “from the outside”, with the decline of irony, such as this married neighbor who flirts with it – “the male in search of a new prey ready to switch to admiration, the look penetrating who seeks to seduce, but also the vaulted back, flat feet and ridiculous tonsure on the skull when she sees it from back. Some men are really absurd, she said, amused. “

It is in an extraordinary form that love, however, will pulverize this distant coldness. Andréas, baptized without reason “German”, an insignificant man who lives from the product of his garden, one day offers him a market: against small repairs in his house, he asks Nat to “let him in her a moment “. She is hesitating. This sexual barter, “as if he lived in a primitive town”, can we also see it as “something beautiful. Something essential and human”? Finally she accepts, “she lets him in. She lets him be inside.” Now, it is the end of her impassiveness.

All the novel develops a poignant meditation on the outside and inside, served by the beautiful translation of Delphine Valentin, attentive to follow this thread which also makes in an incredibly subtle way the departure between the masculine and the feminine in their link to sex. As soon as she is penetrated, and despite the lack of tenderness of her partner, he takes possession of her, he “imposes himself”. “She doesn’t really understand why she wants to prolong this film (…). It is a rap, a radical metamorphosis of the predictable picture. What was outside, far away in the landscape, which was invisible and without interest , is now in her, haunts her, shakes her. “From day to day, her desire exacerbates,” he extracts a completely unprecedented thing from her, an inexhaustible and obsessive thing “. She observes Andréas, suffers from the slightest negative sign, interprets until her silence after sex, which she suspects to be “from another substance” than her silence to her.

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/Media reports.