Carmen Maria Machado, the new queen of terror | Culture

Carmen Maria Machado, the new queen of terror | Culture

He grew up in Allentown, Philadelphia, without having the faintest idea that he had the surname of a famous Castilian poet, Antonio Machado. He did it in the nineties. It devoured, equally, then, chapters of Law and order: Special victims unit, that fairy tales of the irreverent Jon Scieszka, and the metafiction of Louis Sachar, the terror of John Bellairs, the mysteries of Nancy Drew and the Gothic weird of V.C. Andrews Carmen Maria Machado, the new and decidedly spicy Shirley Jackson, actually a cross between Angela Carter and Helen Oyeyemi, with the playful spirit of Kelly Link, landed in the world of the authors published last year, and did so as a National nominee Book Award with its first collection of stories, the newcomer to Spain Your body and other parties (Anagram).

In Your body and other parties there is feminism encapsulated in quotations from Elisabeth Hewer, like the one that serves as a starting point to the anthology, "God should have made girls lethal when he made monsters to men"; disturbing newly married damsels, fervently sexually active, wearing a strange ribbon around their necks; couples of television detectives with couples of perfect doubles who share an apartment with the ghosts of the girls with bells for eyes whose deaths they investigate, and even tipas who are capable of hearing the thoughts of the actors and the porn actresses, determined to discover what they think his boy from her. His narrative, close to that of Mariana Enríquez and Samanta Schweblin, plays to expand the sinister side of the everyday, and to turn reality into a fairy tale with an amazing facility for becoming terrifying at the same time, at times, fun.

Like the stories of Samanta Schweblin and Mariana Enríquez, those of Machado depart from the real to move away towards a fantastic terrain in which the everyday becomes terrifying

Do you think it is a coincidence that there is a new narrative that points in that direction, in progress, or is it that reality is increasingly malleable? From the house that allows her the scholarship that she uses these days somewhere in the state of New York, and in her pajamas (she confesses: "I am that professional"), she replies that she has always had the feeling that reality " It's a little malleable. " "That's why my stories are based on reality, which allows me to show how the world is and how it has always been and make it clear that there is a part of it that we never see, that we put out," he says. Another curious thing about their stories that makes them unique is that, in all of them, men do not have a clear role, or are secondary or do not appear directly -because couples are often couples of girls, wife and wife-, has finally arrived the moment of action for the woman? "No doubt!" He answers.

"The truth is that I did not do it on purpose, it went like that, without more, because I'm not interested at all writing from a male point of view. It's all right with men in fiction, I'm fed up, "he says next. And he adds an anecdote about it: "I remember that once a magazine editor asked me if I was aware that the story I had sent him did not have a single man, and I realized that not only did I not care at all , but suddenly I felt proud. I love that men were so radically apart from what they did. And that's something that will not change. " Feminism in his work is not limited to giving the main role to women and everything from it, but there are also criticisms of the world in which we live as wild as that of Real women have a body, a story in which the world of fashion is related to the disappearance (ghostly) of women. "But I do not want to attack fashion! I love fashion as an art! ", He quickly points out.

He says he did not want to talk so much about what fashion may or may not be doing to women, but about the fact that there are women who disappear every day without anyone cares. The women in the story know they are condemned to disappear – they begin to notice that they can not touch things and that nothing can touch them – because there is no remedy for what happens to them. "It seems that society cares in a very superficial way, never enough to do anything about it," he says. Another of the key aspects of their stories is sex. It is everywhere. "I love reading sex scenes, and writing them, because it's a great way to delve into the story. The sex scenes are fascinatingly political! "He says.

Policies? In what sense? "A sex scene tells us what we want and what we allow ourselves as human beings, bodies are politically positioned, and the way in which desire is framed also has a political connotation. In addition, like death, sex is a kind of limit: it allows you to discover what the other person really is when you untie yourself, "the North American woman replies with the surname of a Spanish poet. In this regard, do you know who Antonio Machado is? "Sure, I've read it! But, as far as I know, I do not have any kind of relationship with him, he's not my ancestor or anything like that. Machado is the surname of my Cuban grandfather. But who knows? "He says. And, since you're compared to Shirley Jackson, do you have as many books on occultism as she does-about 500, he said-in your personal library? Laugh "No, not many, but everything will go."


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