First published in Spain beginning in the early aughts, these genre-bending books—hybrids of fiction, poetry, and meditation—are credited with shifting Spanish literature away from tradition and toward new forms of writing that grapple with the age of mass media
A notable achievement in contemporary Spanish artistic output, Nocilla Trilogy, by Augustin Fernández Mallo, is a beguiling, humorous, and challenging collection which explores the role of writing in the 21st century. With splintered narratives threaded through hundreds of chapters of varying length—from a few sentences to over eighty pages—Fernandez Mallo illustrates his thoughtful aesthetic strategy, fueled by an epistemological urgency, to shape contemporary approaches to literature in the information age ... the Nocilla Trilogy is at once a cerebral and accessible endeavor to develop written forms distinct to the 21st century.
Instead of employing history to legitimize literature, Fernández Mallo posits history 'like a huge supermarket' to which authors resort in order to be welcomed into the publishing world. Therefore, The Nocilla Trilogy is a vast, uncategorizable work that must be understood as a tool aimed at fracturing the mainstream Spanish publishing industry ... Indebted to the influence of foreign writers, musicians, thinkers, scientists, and engineers, The Nocilla Trilogy is fascinated with the circulation of embedded global references bombarding us non-stop across a variety of media in the 21st century ... Where time in literature has traditionally been the plane through which characters and plots travel somewhat continuously, The Nocilla Trilogy privileges space, and particularly sordid landscapes, as the main backdrop for the staging of human experience ... Science as a fiction-producing method shapes The Nocilla Trilogy, paving the way to reimagining what true interdisciplinarity looks like and how it can function as a metaphoric device that morphs fiction into new, unimagined forms.
Mallo’s sketches are wry and voyeuristic, but there’s also a tenderness to them, an affection for his strange solitary figures ... At the same time, the novel depicts a world in which individuals and objects are discrete parts of more complex systems, overlapping networks in which everything is connected ... In their beauty and their desolation, Mallo’s postindustrial landscapes evoke filmmaker Jia Zhangke’s hallucinatory visions of contemporary China, in which modernity stands toe-to-toe with the future. Offsetting these bleak geographies, however, are quietly funny moments of speculative fiction ... Mallo’s achievement is to make readers care not just about characters, but also the larger networks in which they’re entangled.