Agustín Fernández Mallo

Spain

©Aina Lorente

 

Agustín Fernández Mallo was born in La Coruña in 1967. He is a qualified physicist and since 2000 has been collaborating with various cultural publications in order to highlight the connection between art and science. His Nocilla trilogy brought about an important shift in contemporary Spanish writing and paved the way for the birth of a new generation of authors, known as the 'Nocilla Generation'.

 

In his new novel Limbo, Fernández Mallo takes the reader on a fascinating road trip. Looking for the enigmatic “Sound of the End”, a Spanish man and his Mexican girlfriend, a former kidnap victim, cross the United States from east to west coast. Meanwhile, two musicians have the chance of theirs lives to record a CD. But the producer’s house in Brittany seems to hide a terrible secret. Creating an exciting and poetic atmosphere, Fernández Mallo connects his characters as if they were in a net, taking his readers to a place in limbo where it is hard to tell the present from the past, one place from the other, life from death. But it isn’t mystery that grips us, but something far more disturbing: reality.

 

A story about the most unknown, most dangerous and most sublime that we carry inside of us.

El País

 

These pages will capture you almost hypnotically.

ABC (Cultural)

 

 

When Nocilla Dream, the first part of a trilogy that can be read separately, erupted energetically onto the Spanish literary scene, it attracted enormous interest for both critics and the general public alike. It is considered an 'alternative' or post-modern novel, with a lopsided narrative that neither begins, nor ends. This isn't literature as we have hardly ever seen it before, but rather a sort of elaborate collage of extracts.

 

A publishing phenomenon has arrived in Brazil and turned into Bolaño’s possible successor.

O Estado de São Paulo

 

An encyclopedia, a survey, a deranged anthropology. Nocilla Dream is just the cold-hearted poetics that might see America for what it really is. There is something deeply strange and finally unknowable to this book, in the very best way – a testament to the brilliance of Agustín Fernández Mallo.

Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet

 

 

In Nocilla Experience, the second part of the trilogy, multiple voices are distributed throughout the 112 fragments that make up the novel, from Rossellini's Voyage in Italy or Woody Allen's Annie Hall to scientific theories by Newton and Einstein. Distinct excerpts interweave and begin to form a patchwork of coincidences and complementary snippets of information that expose the solitude of the protagonists. Absolutely anything can be narrative material; anything other than boredom.

 

Every page is loaded with poetry and desolation; simmering with disconcerting intuition at moments, and both terrifying and emotional at others.

El Cultural

 

A narrative adventure which shouldn’t pass by unheeded.

Juan Bonilla

 

Without a doubt, Nocilla Experience will raise expectations in the field of storytelling.

El Mundo

 

The first part of Nocilla Lab tells the story of the birth of the trilogy through an internal monologue that develops into a stream of consciousness from the protagonist. After being knocked down by a motorbike during a trip in Thailand, Agustín Fernández Mallo was left bedridden for four weeks and had the opportunity to divulge his experiences in this tripartite account. Seven years later, when he travels with his girlfriend to Cerdena, they come across an old penitentiary that has been converted into an agri-tourism site. A memory of reading Paul Auster's The Music of Chance in Portuguese and a 'No entry' sign bring the first part of the story to a close. In the second part, the author's voice disappears and gives way to a fragmented account that is accompanied by a succession of drawings, sketches and quotes about some of the characters inside the penitentiary. The third part of the book is a succession of post poetic flashes and varied etymologies – both ironic and distant – aside tributes to García Márquez, Wittgenstein, and Duras. The language adopts almost the tone of a comic and finishes with an encounter between Enrique Vila-Matas and the author on an oil rig.

 

The novel is extremely accessible and presents a vivid portrayal of our civilization, depicted with both passion and bleak fatalism.

La Vanguardia

 

You could open this original novel over and over again and still turn each page eagerly anticipating the wonders of the next.

Babelia

 

 

I Always Return to the Nipples and to Proposition 7 of the Tractatus (“Yo siempre regreso a los pezones y al punto 7 del Tractatus”) is an intelligent and enjoyable soliloquy on the subjects of this world, starting from the loss of love and spanning all the way to language and its limits, which are perhaps also the limits of our own experience.

 

 

Rights (selection):

 

Novels:

Trilogía de la guerra

Barcelona: Seix Barral 2018, 496 p.

Biblioteca Breve Prize

UK: Fitzcarraldo

 

Limbo

Madrid/Buenos Aires/Mexico City: Alfaguara 2014, 224 p.

English and German sample translation available

 

I Always Return to the Nipples and to Proposition 7 of the Tractatus

(“Yo siempre regreso a los pezones y al punto 7 del Tractatus”)

Madrid: Edición personal 2001, Alfaguara 2012, 64 p.

 

Proyecto Nocilla

(consisting of Nocilla Dream, Nocilla Experience and Nocilla Lab)

Madrid: Alfaguara 2013, 576 p.

 

Nocilla Lab

Madrid: Alfaguara 2009, 184 p.

UK: Fitzcarraldo

 

Nocilla Experience

Madrid: Alfaguara 2008, 208 p.

Selected as Book of the Year by the Spanish television program Miradas 2; Awarded the Pop-Eye prize in 2009

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2013 France: Editions Allia 2014 UK: Fitzcarraldo 2016

 

Adapted as a graphic novel by Pere Joan:

Nocilla Experience. La novela gráfica, Madrid: Alfaguara 2011, 191 p.

 

Nocilla Dream

Badalona: Candaya 2006, 226 p.

German sample translation available

One of the ten best Spanish novels 2006, chosen by El Mundo; voted Best Novel of the Year by Quimera

Brazil: Companhia das Letras 2013 France: Editions Allia 2012 Italy: Neri Pozza 2007 Slovenia: Cankarjeva Zalozba-Zaloznistvo UK: Fitzcarraldo 2015

 

 

Non-fiction:

Teoría general de la basura . Cultura, apropiación, complejidad

Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg 2018, 458 p.

 

Postpoesía, hacia un nuevo paradigma

Madrid: Anagrama 2009 pb, 194 p.

Premio Anagrama de Ensayo

 

 

Poetry:

Ya nadie se llamará como yo + Poesía reunida (1998-2012)

Barcelona: Seix Barral 2015, 616 p.

 

Antibiótico, 2006

Madrid: Visor 2012, 100 p.

 

Creta lateral travelling

Palma de Mallorca: Sloper 2008, 138p.

First prize Café Món

 

Pixel Meat (“Carne de pixel”)

Barcelona: DVD 2008, 67 p.

Ciudad de Burgos Poetry Award 2007

 

Joan Fontaine Odisea [mi deconstrucción]

(poemario-performance)

Barcelona: La Poesía Señor Hidalgo 2005, 137 p.