Before Zeus gave birth to Athena, with a creak of his skull, his wife Metis carried her in his belly. But, when an oracle prophesied that the second of his sons, male, would dethrone Zeus, he devoured Metis. The day she had left the accounts, a terrible headache afflicted the god. And Athena emerged, javelin in hand. Teresa López-Pellisa uses this classic myth in the prologue of Unusual. Narrators of the fantastic in Latin America and Spain (Pages of Foam, 2019) to draw a metaphor between the little-known crime of gender of Zeus and this collection of stories, which has just been published.
God would come to be the expression of patriarchy that, in fear of losing his command, devours the woman and silence your memory. And the anthologist argues that the 28 authors from Spain and Latin America who sign stories in this volume (and the dozens and dozens that are not) have been silenced by literature. The prologue, which he wrote with the other anthologist, Ricard Ruiz Garzón, is titled The daughters of Metis. It is written in feminine and plural.
"The idea came to me through the poet María Mercè Marçal, who claimed that Athena was the daughter of Metis, whom we do not know. What's more, he was born with warrior attributes that only project the image of his father, "explains López-Pellisa, professor of literature at the University of the Balearic Islands and member of the Fantastic Studies group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. "If you type Metis on Google, you hardly find anything. Mercè Marçal argues that the Greco-Roman culture, cradle of our western culture, is born of a matricide ". In fact, the entry in Wikipedia of Metis is terse to the extreme. As it is the presence of authors of the fantastic in literature in Spanish, with such notable exceptions as Rosa Montero, Ana María Matute and Emilia Pardo Bazán.
Actually, the conflict escalates. Insolites it also stages the belligerence between realism and fantastic in literature. Mariana Enríquez (The things we lost in the fire), one of the authors of the anthology (among which are also Cristina Fernández Cubas or Laura Gallego), choose a memory of una master of the fantastic, able to overcome the resistance even of Harold Bloom, who included it in his The Western canon. "When Ursula K. Le Guin picks up the National Book Award, says: 'I want to dedicate this prize to my colleagues of the fantastic, of science fiction, writers of the imaginary, who for half a century have seen these beautiful rewards pass at the hands of the so-called realists. For the coming times, we will need realists from another reality, creators who can think about new futures. ' I think he's right".
Although Enriquez thinks, and Unusual it would be proof of that, that the future is luminous for the imaginary in Castilian: "I am optimistic, everything that can be speaking about literature. And I am mainly by the authors. We have a generation that has not only read its classics, but we grew up with the fantastic cinema of the eighties, with Stephen King, with the comics of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. None of us believe that the graphic novel is less than nothing. There is a generation that is somewhat freer from bondage. " She also points out that she has seen an explosion of authors in what she knows best, the fantastic River Plate, of which Samanta Schweblin is spearhead.
It is a question of authors, but also of public. Ruiz Garzón -Premio Edebé de Literatura Infantil 2017 por The immortal– believes that, in the near future, this debate will disappear: "What are we going to tell a general public after Netflix, the series and video games? What should we not pay attention to the fantastic? They are going to laugh. Several claims are made at the same time in this book: women, the literature of the unusual and the new generations ".
What if the forgetfulness that the daughters of Metis say gathered in Unusual Is it because his literature does not measure up? Pelliza responds with a challenge: "Let the stories be read".
Forgotten King Gudú by Ana María Matute (Destino, 1996). The favorite book of its author and the first of a woman to be deposited in the Cervantes Institute. A fusion between cavalry novel and anti-war fable that the author defined as: "the book that I want to be remembered for."
Pascual López Autobiography of a medical student by Emilia Pardo Bazán (Nínive Editorial, 1879). The first novel by the Galician author was a science fiction story that focused on obtaining an artificial diamond.
Rescue distance by Samanta Schweblin (RandomHouse, 2015). Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award 2018 for the Best Horror Novel, the first novel by the star of Argentine literature is the agonizing confession of a mother on her deathbed. It will be adapted by Netflix in full-length format.
Natural consequences by Elia Barceló (Crononauta, 1994). The meeting between humans and the aliens Xhollsirve the author to give free rein to an acid humor about gender roles in a sci-fi comedy that is reissued this 2019
The snake's jewelry of Pilar Pedraza (Tusquets, 1984). Debut of Toledo Pilar Pedraza, one of the most prominent Spanish terror firms of recent decades. The academic world, the classical culture, the eroticism and the pagan are intermingled in its plot.