The problem with the concept of paradise that modern society has drawn in our minds is its lack of sustainability. The long count of personal stories offers us an irrefutable balance: the permanence of the human being in Eden is never final. That is to say, for those who come to perceive an idea of happiness, and especially for them, involuntary passengers of fortune, the beatitudes are a fallacy.
The Mexican writer Fernanda Melchor brings a new argument to the species with this novel. Hence the ironic charge of the title, incorrect spelling, and therefore ordinary, of the term that best designates an idealized concept, in the appropriate language to designate it. "Páradais" is also the paradox of the idea to which it refers. An equivocal paradise can only be a metaphor for hell, and that turns out to be the residential complex in which the story takes place.
Located in coordinates of the Veracruz coast, the scene of the novel is composed in itself by two polarized realities that shorten the social spectrum. What is narrated by Melchor here reaches the forms of the extreme. The elements of the narrative (settings, characters, language) have allegorical intent, although they are no less effective for that. This is, by the way, one of the virtues of the writer, who has already proven the strength of her style in the previous “Hurricane Season”.
Narrated from the perspective of one of its two main characters, that of the "poor man" (applying the clear typologies approach), the novel delves into the genealogy of a crime that will occur at some point, later, but whose outcome does not the author hurries, more sensitive to the description of the marginal details (never said more properly).
Thus we will learn through Polo, a teenager who works as a gardener in the residential complex, the harshness of his misery, described in the most natural tone, that of a self-pitying renegade who aspires, however, to another reality. A character who speaks and runs with totalizing capacity about his marginal environment, a gigantic magma of signifiers that covers the religious and reaches the pagan, composed in equal parts by the moral archetype and the praxis of the survivor, where the meaning of life comes in a primer and is enunciated as a litany.
Opposed to him, the "rich" adolescent turns out to be a flat, unthinking character, a vehicle only for the obsession that will eventually trigger the events and whose presence will be necessary for the purposes of the escalation that in every first-time crime is generated by fission. How this pair of misplaced characters will arrive (and undertake?) Their macabre plan forms the core of the novel.
This chronicle of an announced crime is elucidated through the interstices of an impetuous narrative torrent, which describes the life of Polo, justifying it in the face of the outcome that will come. He and his henchman only follow the script that fatality has written to show them that violence can be committed on the side of the prosperous as well as on the side of the marginalized of society.
Six novels that investigate the murderous psyche
"Crime and Punishment", Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)
Considered by critics as Dostoevsky's first masterpiece, it is a profound psychological analysis of its protagonist, the young student Raskolnikov, whose firm belief that humanitarian ends justify evil leads him to the murder of a Petersburg usurer. But, since the crime is committed, the guilt will be a constant nightmare with which the student will be unable to live.
"The tunnel", Ernesto Sabato (1948)
Juan Pablo Castel is a painter held in prison for the murder of María Iribarne. During his confinement he recalls the chain of events that led him to lose control, to become a man with a dark interior, a man possessed by an insurmountable loneliness, the absence of the woman he loved to the limit, the deception that He has turned his heart into a cold hard piece of ice and has placed the knife that ends suffering in his hands.
"Cold-blooded", Truman Capote (1966)
Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith were hanged as guilty of the deaths of the Clutter family. Based on these facts, and after carrying out long and meticulous investigations with the real protagonists of history, Truman Capote turned his storytelling career upside down and wrote the novel that definitively established him as one of the great American literature of the XX century.
"The glow", Stephen King (1977)
Jack Torrance, an aspiring alcoholic writer, moves to the Overlook Hotel to become a watchman for the winter. In the place he will undergo a process of alienation in a destructive environment of nightmare, enchantment and hallucination.
"American Psycho"by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)
The sophisticated, intelligent and vain Patrick Bateman works on Wall Street, idolizes the young mogul Donald Trump, dines in the fashionable restaurants of New York and is able to distinguish an Armani suit from fifty meters away. He also likes to rape, torture, murder and dismember. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis's most controversial novel, has become the starkest reflection of the hypermaterialist society of the late 80s and one of the masterpieces of the late XNUMXth century.
"The adversary", Emmanuel Carrère (2000)
On January 9, 1993, a man killed his wife, children, and parents, and tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide. The investigation revealed that he was not a doctor, as he claimed. He had been lying since he was eighteen and had built a fictional existence. About to be discovered, he preferred to suppress those whose gaze he could not bear.