In the 1940s, the great pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott became a regular at a small London bookshop. Biographies were his chief interest. It didn’t matter whose; he read them all — books about soldiers, scientists, actors. Amazed, the bookseller once asked him how he kept up such a pace.
“Oh, I’m only interested up to the age of 5,” Winnicott reportedly replied.
Childhood, and its contusions, are also the governing preoccupations of the Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin. Her stories are obsessed with notions of purity and danger; with the ways people can be deformed, very early on, in the name of tenderness, teaching and care.
All this without a whisper of sentimentality. Schweblin is among the most acclaimed Spanish-language writers of her generation. She has said her love of literature came from American writers like John Cheever and Raymond Carver. (You might also detect the influence of her contemporaries Kelly Link and Jesse Ball.) But, to me, her true ancestor could only be David Lynch; her tales are woven out of dread, doubles and confident loose ends.
“Mouthful of Birds,” a collection of 20 stories, has just been published in English. It follows the success of “Fever Dream” (2017) (both seamlessly translated by Megan McDowell), a dialogue between a poisoned woman and a young boy who has information about what is killing her. It’s a mournful, terrifying book — classic horror meets eco-thriller, a story about the ferocity of maternal love and its inadequacies in the face of a world we have destroyed. The original title of the novel was “Distancia de Rescate” — “Rescue Distance” — after the dying woman’s term for how far she would allow her child to roam.
The new collection is impressive, but it lacks the finish of “Fever Dream.” It contains three perfect stories (“Headlights,” “Mouthful of Birds,” “Toward Happy Civilization”), three stinkers and a handful of exploratory sketches. There’s a feeling of peeking into Schweblin’s notebook, of watching her early experiments with technique (this book was originally published before the novel). She can be oblique, as in “Slowing Down,” a story about aging (I think?), then blunt, as in “Heads Against Concrete,” with its opening line: “If you pound a person’s head against concrete — even if you’re doing it only so they’ll come to their senses — you will very likely end up hurting them.”
Schweblin herself stopped talking when she was 12 years old. She has said she was overwhelmed by the gulf between what she wanted to say and what she thought people could understand. The school principal required a doctor’s note testifying that she was normal in order for her to continue with classes. A psychotherapist complied, stating that she was extremely normal but had a “complete disinterest” in the world around her.
That diagnosis of aristocratic disdain must have been a gift to a precocious 12-year-old. What makes Schweblin so startling as a writer, however, what makes her rare and important, is that she is impelled not by mere talent or ambition but by vision, and that vision emerges from intense concern with the world, with the hidden cruelties in our relationships with all that is vulnerable — children, rivers, language, one another.
Look again at any of her stories — about these bizarre rituals and stupid jobs, the baroque torture of animals, the asphyxiation of children — strip away all that seems fantastic, keep only that mirror-smooth prose, and what do you see? Schweblin’s dark farces just might awaken you to some of your own.B:
高手平特尾发财网【谢】【钰】【和】【顾】【行】【之】，【他】【们】【二】【人】【都】【是】【武】【将】，【当】【真】【动】【起】【手】【来】，【那】【是】【谁】【也】【拦】【不】【下】【的】。 【几】【个】【家】【丁】【围】【上】【前】，【却】【纷】【纷】【不】【敢】【靠】【近】。 【赵】【氏】【因】【为】【沈】【容】【的】【死】【讯】，【本】【就】【身】【形】【拂】【柳】【憔】【悴】，【看】【到】【谢】【钰】【和】【顾】【行】【之】【二】【人】【拳】**【加】，【整】【个】【人】【身】【形】【一】【顿】，【晕】【了】【过】【去】。 “【不】【好】，【夫】【人】【晕】【了】。”【婢】【子】【大】【喊】【一】【声】，【将】【赵】【氏】【扶】【住】。 【以】【侍】【卫】【出】【现】【的】【沈】【容】，【神】【色】
【不】，【郝】【公】【子】【那】【里】【什】【么】【也】【不】【会】【得】【到】。 【南】【悠】【儿】【往】【来】【时】【的】【方】【向】【跑】【去】，【等】【她】【走】【到】【府】【衙】【门】【口】【时】，【守】【门】【的】【侍】【卫】【欣】【喜】【道】： “【五】【姑】【娘】【你】【来】【的】【正】【好】，【这】【里】【有】【一】【封】【给】【你】【的】【信】。” 【信】？ 【那】【人】【知】【道】【自】【己】【会】【回】【来】【这】【里】？ 【南】【悠】【儿】【一】【边】【颤】【着】【手】【拆】【开】【信】【一】【边】【问】【道】： “【什】【么】【人】【来】【送】【的】【信】？【什】【么】【时】【候】【来】【送】【的】？” “【就】【是】【信】【站】【里】【经】【常】
【孔】【晴】【心】【中】【一】【甜】，【压】【下】【了】【寒】【意】，【柔】【柔】【道】：“【晴】【儿】【没】【什】【么】，【对】【了】【尚】【哥】【哥】，【是】【不】【是】【快】【到】【了】？” “【还】【早】【呢】，【晴】【儿】【妹】【妹】【多】【睡】【一】【会】【儿】。” “【嗯】，【尚】【哥】【哥】……”【孔】【晴】【又】【将】【身】【子】【朝】【公】【子】【尚】【怀】【里】【挤】【了】【挤】，“【越】【朝】【前】【走】【越】【冷】，【真】【是】【奇】【怪】【啊】，【也】【不】【知】【前】【方】【到】【底】【是】【什】【么】……” 【公】【子】【尚】【呵】【呵】【笑】【道】：“【我】【也】【是】【觉】【得】【奇】【怪】，【所】【以】【才】【想】【探】【一】【探】，
【温】【若】【水】【瘪】【了】【瘪】【嘴】，【只】【好】【乖】【乖】【的】【坐】【着】【等】。 【好】【在】【慕】【寒】【速】【度】【很】【快】，【不】【一】【会】【儿】【就】【又】【拎】【着】【几】【个】【购】【物】【袋】【回】【来】【了】。 【这】【次】【两】【人】【都】【没】【有】【再】【说】【话】，【很】【快】【回】【了】【慕】【寒】【的】【住】【处】。 【到】【了】【住】【处】，【慕】【寒】【去】【停】【车】，【温】【若】【水】【默】【默】【的】【结】【果】【东】【西】【进】【了】【屋】。 【慕】【寒】【在】【后】【头】【喊】【道】，“【你】【先】【去】【屋】【里】【把】【东】【西】【洗】【一】【下】。”【温】【若】【水】【很】【自】【然】【地】【应】【了】，【应】【了】【之】【后】【才】【反】【应】【过】高手平特尾发财网【资】【料】【柜】【的】【资】【料】【被】【收】【拾】【得】【相】【当】【整】【齐】，【不】【得】【不】【佩】【服】。 【萧】【小】【强】【虽】【然】【平】【日】【里】【看】【起】【来】【不】【修】【边】【幅】，【一】【副】【吊】【儿】【郎】【当】【的】【样】【子】，【但】【是】【萧】【小】【强】【对】【于】【这】【些】【资】【料】【的】【整】【理】【还】【是】【很】【上】【心】【的】。 “【啊】，【有】【了】……【应】【该】【是】【这】【个】……”【萧】【小】【强】【从】【里】【面】【抽】【出】【一】【份】【资】【料】，【又】【走】【回】【来】。 “【我】【这】【里】【确】【实】【知】【道】【一】【些】……【那】【个】【建】【筑】【曾】【经】【是】【被】【某】【个】【药】【店】【持】【有】【的】。”
【看】【着】【夏】【知】【若】【真】【诚】【的】【眼】【神】【也】【不】【像】【作】【假】，【女】【子】【点】【点】【头】，“【没】【事】。” 【说】【完】，【她】【重】【新】【回】【到】【超】【市】【门】【口】，【等】【自】【己】【的】【朋】【友】【出】【来】。 【夏】【知】【若】【压】【了】【压】【帽】【子】，【快】【步】【朝】【停】【车】【的】【方】【向】【走】【去】。【那】【两】【人】【也】【是】【警】【觉】，【在】【等】【了】【很】【久】【没】【看】【到】【她】【从】【里】【面】【出】【来】，【立】【马】【派】【一】【人】【去】【停】【车】【的】【地】【方】【守】【着】。 【夏】【知】【若】【走】【过】【去】【的】【时】【候】，【刚】【好】【迎】【面】【碰】【上】。 【她】【恍】【若】【未】【觉】，
【迁】【都】【北】【城】，【福】【康】【帝】【让】【孙】【豹】【留】【在】【南】【都】，【孙】【虎】【作】【为】【孙】【豹】【的】【部】【下】【也】【留】【在】【南】【都】，【其】【余】【孙】【府】【的】【将】【领】【全】【部】【随】【着】【五】【军】【迁】【往】【北】【都】。 【福】【康】【帝】【本】【来】【是】【想】【把】【周】【大】【清】【的】【爹】【调】【往】【南】【都】，【但】【是】【他】【改】【变】【了】【主】【意】，【他】【不】【能】【让】【一】【个】【大】【臣】【老】【是】【跟】【着】【太】【子】【的】【后】【面】，【那】【样】【以】【后】【太】【子】【做】【了】【皇】【上】，【容】【易】【听】【信】【一】【直】【追】【随】【自】【己】【的】【大】【臣】，【这】【就】【可】【能】【早】【就】【这】【个】【大】【臣】【专】【权】！ 【福】