Before the Fierce Encounter

Agustina Bazterrica


"Ferocity is the running theme of these stories; a ferocity of tooth, nail, style and energy. The fluid corrosiveness of each text evokes the knife-edge trodden by the characters: psychopaths acting like anthropologists who've decided to commence their fieldwork on themselves. And yet their apparently hyperbolic pathologies are always related to everyday passions. Agustina Maria Bazterrica works in a territory of desire where monstrosity and anomalies flourish but that still seems to hold up a mirror to our society.

These anti-fables, not-at-all exemplary case studies and all-too-human bestiaries tend towards a kind of compassionate cruelty (the oxymoron might be seen as another form of introspection). They concentrate on the sinister; a violent carnival that exposes ‘the precariousness of the body'. Their perverse reasoning is riddled with a humour expressed as a rictus. Possessed of a childlike imagination with a heavy dose of ambiguity, an efficient driver of conflicts, this collection is hardly suitable for all audiences.

With their spontaneous, almost brazen use of the fantastic, these stories set out to explore the greatest speculative mystery of the present day: human relationships. Maybe that's why this book offers equal doses of ‘horror and happiness', that magical formula for great reading." Andrés Neuman

"Focusing on the sinister side of life; a violent carnival that exposes ‘the precariousness of the body', the perverse reasoning of these stories is riddled with a humour expressed as a rictus." Andrés Neuman


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