(Argentina, 1977) writes fiction and essays and is a translator and blogger. She studied philosophy at the university in Buenos Aires and was selected in 2010 as one of the best young Spanish-language authors by Granta magazine. Her books often tackle themes such as fear and violence, war, sex, eroticism, drug use and philosophy. Her debut, Las teorías salvajes (2008; English translation Savage Theories), is an extreme and satirical portrait of the Buenos Aires university bubble in which complex personalities wrangle with a mess of visionary theories, seeking their place in the fragmented digital world. Las constelaciones oscuras (Dark Constellations, 2015) is a novel that races from the era of 19th-century science to an ultra-surveilled near future. In Mona (2019), success takes a dark turn for a young Latin American woman during a literary festival in Sweden. The novel employs gothic elements to deal with sexuality, sensuality and violence against women, with dead animals and mysterious men in black making appearances.(WN 2022)
Archive available for: Pola Oloixarac
The spirits visited us during this afternoon at PIP! Were you there too? A literary haunted house in bright daylight, where you could enjoy poetry, literature and music to your heart's content. During this Winternachten event, you saw and heard the complete spectrum of modern, feminist horror, haunted stories and poetry in one Saturday afternoon. You heard poetry by Yentl van Stokkum (from her spooky volume Ik zeg Emily); Corinne Heyrman performed the experience of psychosis via music and text; and Argentinian writer Pola Oloixarac, whose novel Mona delightfully satirizes the literary world, read some wonderfully gruesome literature. The Dutch/Flemish band Vampire Boyfriend joined sweetness and darkness in self-assured, frayed songs.
Ticket: €11, including a spooky cocktail
Or a combination ticket (€17,50) for this event and When did it all go terribly wrong?, the film discussion with Pola Oloixarac.
English and Dutch spoken.
Mona, by Argentinian author Pola Oloixarac, reads almost like a film. The book pokes fun at the literary in-crowd, is both feminist and violent, and at times deeply weird... Festival programmer and film editor Gerlinda Heywegen did a deep dive into Mona and sought out film clips that connect, challenge and clash. By watching and discussing these clips with Oloixarac, the funny, cynical universe of protagonist Mona came to life. Was this at all comfortable? Not likely! But certainly it was exciting. Did you come to PIP then you got to know Mona in word and image!
Magnificent literary nightmares from Latin America - with Pola Oloixarac, Agustina Bazterrica, Yentl van Stokkum & Elfie Tromp (moderator)
Dreamy jungle villages, the mysterious mazes of Borges and the tender poetry of Pablo Neruda - that is how we know "traditional" Latin-American literature. But in recent years a new generation of (primarily) female writers has emerged that requires a different, darker imagery to describe its (political) realities. In the new, encroaching magic realism of these authors, you won't find dreamy mazes but ghosts, voodoo, blood and horror. Gothic and horror elements are used by these writeres to strengthen stories and drag readers into the depths. What does this genre offer writers, and how does it affect readers?
During this event, we talked to writers who bring nightmares to life in brilliant, literary ways. Argentinian authors Pola Oloixarac and Agustina Bazterrica are invited. Oloixarac's work sketches a reality that doesn't quite make sense with subtle, eerie imagery, and in her book Tender Is the Flesh, Bazterrica depicts a blood-curdling world in which cannibalism has become the norm. Writer and poet Yentl van Stokkum wrote a haunted summer poem especially for this event and performed it live. Author and enthusiastic horror fan Elfie Tromp moderated the event. Walid Ben Selim, half of the musical duo N3rdistan, was also there: he and Pola Oloixarac brought a musical performance.
Not familiar with the work of these two Argentinian literary sharpshooters? Some reading tips for those who want to familiarize themselves:
- Mona by Pola Oloixarac
- Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac
- Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac
- Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
A literary relay with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Neske Beks, Aafke Romeijn, Rebecca Solnit (online), Robin Block, Pola Oloixarac et al.
Whose House is This? is Winternachten 2022's festival theme. In this event, we presented an exciting relay of readings and music, in which our festival authors put their own spin on the theme. Together they breathed new life into the house of family, society and literature.
All angles of the four-day Winternachten Festival were covered in Whose House is This? during a colourful parade of authors and performers. Various voices gave completely different answers to the great question underlying the festival. We listened to stories about being at home, to critical stories about the institutions to which we are subject, to cozy stories built on a solid foundation, and much more.
Author and artist Neske Beks got her teeth into our theme (and the question is what was left over); author Pola Oloixarac let us in on the fun of Mona, a parody of the literary world; multitalent Aafke Romeijn treated us to music; and writer and activist Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me) came home to us on the podium all the way from the United States.