Ariana Harwicz: the problem of evil

7

Sunday,
28
July
2019

01:16

The monologue of a man accused of pedophilia is the epicenter of the novel 'Degenerated', which in its development blurs the foreground of the suspect to try to raise a universal memory of violence

The writer Ariana Harwicz.
JOS MARA PLAZA

In order to verify to what extent the evil of men can reach, it is enough to allow the biempensante and justifiable mob to deal with the one to whom, rightly or not, they attribute some especially colorful or singular variant of that same evil. That's where cruelty, inclemency, savory will be seen … sa is one of the theses that support the new novel of Ariana Harwicz, in which the speech of a cloistered man is exposed (first in his house, protected from the crowd that accuses him of pedophilia, and then in the jail and in court), a monologue that from the first page is flexible and blur the foreground of the suspect protagonist to accommodate a whole polyphon that, in turn, transcends the particular issue and tries to raise a universal memory of violence, from Vietnam to bullfights, from intifadas to Stalin …

If, apart from that sort of deliberately disordered taxonomy, Harwicz proposed some kind of theory about evil, Degenerate It will be more interesting. The novel is based exclusively on an idea, not a story, but it is of course sufficient as pure narration, and it comes to certify the narrative ability of the Argentine author. It is true that he has chosen a theme, say, winner, almost a joker (after returning to this), but he approaches it from an uncomfortable and demanding place both for the reader and, above all, for her, who has to strive for the book does not get out of hand and so that continuous tone of melopea does not fatigue the one who reads.

Also in the excesses there can be illumination, no doubt, but in the same way that the accused abuses the patience of the judges with their supposed argumentative subtleties ("Desire is desire: how it will be legislated" …), with its counterexamples, with its own accusations of hypocrisy (or, at a particularly unpleasant moment – p. 45 -, insinuating that pedophilia is also anti-capitalist: it is tremendous that it is enough to release something like this so that your literature is described as political, and, worse, automatically admired for it …), Ariana Harwicz takes a risk before the reader displaying the logorheic insolence of her protagonist, its provocative intensity, its deranged ideology, its pedantic speech. The author seems to have proposed to draw someone hateful to the extreme … though innocent. it is perhaps the greatest success of the novel: allowing us to witness how someone who is accused of something terrible can immolate themselves by deciding to defend themselves by taking the debate on the origin and nature of the dark to the extreme, wondering aloud where are the borders, proposing paradoxes or inconsistencies, increasing the judges and society, and thus multiplying the outrage and the desire to lynch him: "Good can be terrifying, and evil can be redeeming. Good can be harmful, guilty and evil help us survive".

That last is accurate: there are many authors (and some really good) to whom the dark side of reality has come out very profitable. And here is where we want to go: maybe this book, literaryly acceptable, can serve as a pretext to start thinking why in our literary system that what is known today as "the dodgy" is something like a shortcut to prestige, Almost a guarantee of success.

For some time now, the anguished authors (who do not necessarily anguish) can look over the shoulder at those of us who work with a kinder view of things, because it will be said that a book that does not start from the elementary budget that the life is disgusting, it doesn't deserve to be considered (it also happens in poetry, and in rehearsal, and of course in cinema or theater, where conflict – the more rugged the better – constitutes the very heart of the matter).

In order to dig into reality and think about the world, those who declare a raw or disengaged vision, who seem to be in contact with secrets and truths that others, naive and candid, cannot access … Now we " weird "it's us.

Any intelligent reader, or anyone who has read a hundred books, knows that fashion, because it is fashion, is a hoax, but at the same time there is something worrying that such disapproval has gained solidity. One thinks rather that true intelligence is almost always kind, that there can be no real wisdom if one does not look at the world with a certain background joviality – or at least without that stark disgust – and, of course, with philanthropy. The love of life is not only a good starting point for creation, but, returning to it, also for the literature of political intentions. I think of the now centenary Iris Murdoch, and his extraordinary The Book and the Brotherhood, as an example of incisive, smiling, sharp, effective, convincing, talented and true left literature, without any need to overtake in the flap photo.

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. (tagsToTranslate) culture / paper sphere (t) literature (t) Books

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