Indeterminacy band

Indeterminacy band

Literary reception in the twenty-first century is characterized by dynamics that are difficult to understand. An example of this is the case of the work of the Neapolitan writer Valeria Barilla (Torre del Greco, 1974), is almost unknown in Catalonia and throughout the state, showing that sometimes it is countries that are geographically and culturally closer that turn their backs more than others. In 2008, Barilla published White spaceIt is his first novel after publishing several collections of short stories. The novel was immediately recognized by critics and the public, was awarded the Basilicata Prize and over time became a book for those with a life of their own, it is republished and translated, it becomes a film adaptation and continues to be read and read. Quoted from their country. Today Valeria Barela is an award-winning author with twenty works published. She writes novels, short stories and dramatic scripts, adapts classics from theater and opera, collaborates in the media, and is a committed activist known to have even had successes in politics.

Valeria Barilla © Provided by the publisher

Now finally White space It reaches us in Catalan thanks to the Manresa seal Needle dUrada And the enthusiasm of the Sarah SerranoWho translated it before knowing whether it would be published or not. Let's celebrate it After reading it, it is difficult to understand that no publisher has ever bet on this work which, in addition to its literary quality and its desire for style, deals with themes that have been central in the literature of recent years, such as relationships. Between motherhood and identity, a subjectivity that escapes conventionality and melodrama. Parrilla has been called a post-feminist author who approaches motherhood from divergent positions. Today we would certainly no longer define it as “divergent.” This is what happens when books arrive too late to fit into the discussions of the moment. We should celebrate that White space It reaches us in Catalan, yes, but it is a pity at the same time that it did not reach us fifteen years ago, when it was still difficult to find a diversity of views on such an extreme circumstance that confronts us at birth and death.

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White space It begins with the voice of Maria, a 42-year-old woman, explaining that she is unable to read fiction and has taken up reading essays because the essay does not allow the pain to pass. It is the distinctive beginning of Barilla's writing, intense and profound. The center of Maria's painful present lies within the hospital walls, in the neonatal ward where her premature daughter spends her days in an incubator wrangling life and death. The birth of a baby in the sixth month of pregnancy is not only an unexpected and shocking event for which Maria was not prepared, but she is also faced with an unknown form, a reality that she cannot explain. “If it had been a miscarriage I would have waited for the curettage. If I had been a girl I would have held him in my arms. I had no other categories at my disposal.” Maria cannot even miss her daughter because she never knew she existed and could not even imagine her. “It was a form without a form, a living act behind which there was no Platonic idea that surprised him, the individual who did not arrive at any form.”

Barilla is never a stranger to the place or historical and social moment of her characters: Maria is from Naples, she has a job, friends, family, and an ancient language.

From this attempt to understand and give meaning to the white space in which Maria landed, the novel takes shape. The certainties accumulated over the years are questioned and each new situation raises ideas and situations that relate to the personal history of the protagonist. However, this is not a personal story folded in on itself about individual trauma. Parrilla is never a stranger to the place or historical and social moment of his characters. Maria is from Naples, with a job, friends, family, and an ancient language. She is an Italian night school teacher where she helps adults earn their school diplomas, the daughter of a Communist cannery worker and lives in complex, contradictory turn-of-the-century Naples. A vibrant, chaotic, tragic and unequal city. She also faces shortcomings in the health system, desperate bureaucracy in hospitals, violence at birth, and the stories of other mothers with whom she shares the long and uncertain waiting time.

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In life there is always a strip of indeterminacy, an empty space with infinite possibilities, some of which we cannot even imagine. Valeria Parrilla navigates this idea back and forth through the novel's formal proposal, which centers around a rhetorical game around the concept of informed consent between doctor and patient. Maria's first conversation with the doctor after the premature birth of her daughter becomes an obsession for the hero. It needs answers, confirmations and speculation. Just look for the possibilities. Meanwhile he waits. Waiting for the woman who did not know how to wait.

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