The third and final installment of Ariana Harwicz's Involuntary Trilogy finds us on familiar, disquieting ground. Under the spell of a mother's madness, the French countryside transforms into a dreamscape of interconnected imagery: animals, desire, the functions of the body. Most troublingly: the comfort of a teenage son. Scorning the bourgeois mores and conventionality of their small town, she withdraws him from school and the two embark on ever more antisocial and dangerous behavior. Harwicz is at her best here, building an interior world so robust, and so grotesque, that it eclipses our shared reality. Savage, and savagely funny, she leaves us singed, if not scorched.
Compared to Nathalie Sarraute and Virginia Woolf, Ariana Harwicz is one of the most radical figures in contemporary Argentinian literature. Her prose is characterised by its violence, eroticism, irony and criticism of the clichés surrounding the notions of the family and conventional relationships. Born in Buenos Aires in 1977, Harwicz studied screenwriting and drama in Argentina, and earned a degree in Performing Arts from the University of Paris VII as well as a Master's in comparative literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught screenwriting and written plays, which have been staged in Buenos Aires. Feebleminded (which has also been adapted for the stage in Argentina and Spain) is her second novel and a sequel in an 'involuntary' trilogy, preceded by Die, My Love (Charco Press, 2017) and followed by Precocious. Her fourth novel, Degenerate comes out in June 2019. Die, My Love was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (2018) and shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize (2018). It has been translated into more than ten languages.
Translated by Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott.