‘Theory of touch’, by Fernanda García Lao: the disorder

‘Theory of touch’, by Fernanda García Lao: the disorder
‘Theory of touch’, by Fernanda García Lao: the disorder

That Fernanda García Lao (Mendoza, Argentina, 1964) weaves and unweaves the body is undeniable, as it is undeniable that his novels ‘Vaccine Nation’ (2020) and ‘Sulfide‘ (2022) or that his collection of poems ‘Carnivore‘ (2022) are raw books that sharpen the stiletto with which a writing endowed with a surprising oracular force capable of stating that “reading and writing so as not to feel the body is a form of suicide” is used. or wondering what “it will be like to live without awareness of time.” And all of this is something that can be said. But if there is a relevant question for current literature, it is no longer which characters swarm through which plots or which plots reflect which characters, but rather what type of life forms can be imagined here and now, which genres to dynamite and which voices muted incorporate. And in the case of García Lao, the imagined life is a hybrid map in which transgression, madness, family, motherhood, eroticism, sex, guilt, redemption, illness, violence and death with a more than notable aphoristic cadence.

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The stories grouped under the title ‘Theory of touch They begin brilliantly (“Seeing is calculation. The sound, suggestion. The words are raw. If I try them, will I be poisoned?”) as if wanting to show that the body continues to be at the center of a poetics that digs into the mountain of other people’s pain as if it were its own and in the dissolution of identities who join together in anonymity. Hence, many of the characters in these stories are nameless beings, inhabitants of a nameless space who fight to exist despite a past that torments and hurts: “The past is a device that damages when it remains still. “Repetition does not deactivate grief.” The weight they bear in this book is not assigned to any genre because here the voice that speaks has the cadence, sometimes, of a poem (“There is a rainy wind that lasts in every language”), sometimes from a minimal narrative dominated by a fading that hurts (“Since I am alone, the flesh accompanies me differently, and whoever says flesh says a word”), and if We look up, it also plays an important role in the overall structure of the book, a theater of cruelty where the fate of a story gets its echo chamber three stories away. That moment of “I will be a person without history, I tell myself. I’m going to make it all up. I am founded and I govern myself” is updated in this “How do you get out of life, where is the wisdom that I did not learn.”

Assume the body, touch and skin of others, whether the masculine or the feminineand showing the paradox of naming something to turn it into a wound most of the time or a pure contradiction (“I practice contradiction as a method of resistance”) is at the center of gravity of these stories that formalize the torment of disordered thinking and that in the last and splendid “My two hemispheres” suddenly becomes autobiographical without palliatives, as if what had no name or barely had a name, as if what had no place or barely had a place now had the name and the place, thus showing the paternal focus from which it emerges. writing and displacements as the dissolving and dismantling power of strong identities.

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