the song of Sarah Mesa

The acerbic painter of male-female relationships, the Spaniard Sara Mesa refers in this third novel as a new blow, poetic and heartbreaking, to the patriarch of love.

To celebrate her surprise entry into the Grasset catalog and the prestigious foreign collection “En lettres d’ancre”, 46-year-old Spanish novelist and poet Sara Mesa confirms all the hopes placed on her.

That, in 2017, is disturbing Scar (recently released) he shares the romantic relationships of the days on social networks with a violent clarity and a bitter, heavy laugh, sometimes reminiscent of the black magic of anti- modern druid Michel Houellebecq.

With A lovea devastating work, one of the greatest literary slaps of the year, he confirmed his status as the figurehead of a new generation of Iberian writers and this time walked in the footsteps of Virginie Despentes.

sore hug

In murky and mysterious circumstances, because she has committed a serious sin, Natalia must suddenly leave the city and flee her former life. He found refuge in La Escapa, a lost village in La Rioja, at the mercy of the scorching heat. In a dilapidated house he rented from a bad owner, along with a barking and wild dog he named Chienlit, he tried to rebuild himself and threw himself into his job as a you are an interpreter.

But the climate is not good, the people are cruel and suspicious, the loneliness digs even the deepest spirit. So, to find a little warmth and comfort in man, to feel alive in this country that is crushing and wiping out, Nat gives a suggestion as crazy as it gets sick.

He accepted the request of a neighbor, Andrew, who asked him, in exchange for repairing his roof, “let him in for a moment”. From this unexpected and violent embrace was born an unfathomable attraction, one that swallows up the feelings that consume creatures rather than subdue them; as he succeeded in entering his soul.

Every moment, he was observing her and spying on her, watching the little signal he could interpret. Next page, his security cracks-like the house he occupies-and anxiety rises that he has no control over it.

The devil in the body

The title may suggest the emergence of a sweet romance and invite happiness: it is not. It sometimes feels like a story à la Perrault, dark and magnetic, where a defenseless princess, the victim of a bad love potion, falls in love with the bad Prince Charming. Not bad because he’s dangerous, but just because he’s not the one for him, because, unlike him, he remains inaccessible.

Michelangelo from the mud, the novelist thrives on chaos and filth. With a writing to the bone and dry sentences striking and echoing far away in these desert lands, he used this vague material to point out, with a dull, crushing rage, the place of women in society.

Tired, in search of meaning, an eroticized celibate at the heart of gossip in a rude community, Nat signs it acting out a painful pact with the devil. The evil twin of American novelist Chris Kraus, Sara Mesa prefers dark and chaotic novels to satirical playfulness. A lovemao ni I like dick (Chris Kraus, 1997) soaked in arsenic, a sticky rural drama that casts doubt on the weight of sexuality and the carnal relationship of male domination, a western twilight with no gunshots, but touching the heart.

A love, by Sara Mesa. In bookstores since May 4, 2022.

A love, by Sara Mesa, Grasset, 208 pages, € 19.50. In bookstores since May 4, 2022.

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