“Tal vez no hay seres humanos aquí…”

02Oct12

I thought I had left it all behind, the dolls, the Barbie’s, the morbid manipulation of plastic. Casa de muñecas brought it all back with a vengeance. Perverse, dark and haunting, this book of “microrelatos” references all those infantile fears we had hoped to forget. With ten rooms to enter, three routes to choose from and one-hundred micros to read, it is impossible to escape from this house unperturbed.

The birth of this book by Patricia Esteban Erlés took place on Facebook. Erlés established the basis for her future Casa de Muñecas with the publication of a new story each day. It was within this networking spider-web that Sara Morante, artist and illustrator, became ensnared in the world of dolls, princesses, mirrors, and midnight terrors. Her collaboration with Erlés spurred the final product: stories and illustrations that generate an extraordinarily dreadful reality in which the line between the human world and the world of dolls is increasingly blurred.

On the 26 of September, both Erlés and Morante presented their newly released book at the Cervantes y Compañía Librería in Madrid. The presentation, following the lead of the book, was full of fantastic yet horrific surprises. A nationalistic Nancy, a transvestite tendency Ken, and a bitter, bitter Barbie all preached their complaints to the author and illustrator, claiming they had been largely misrepresented and to some degree, abused by the whims of Erlés. Apologizes were made, and explanations given. And while Barbie, Ken and Nancy might have suffered at the hand of Erlés and Morante, readers have their own battle to wage with the text. Beautiful yet evil, tender yet cruel, pious yet irreverent, permanent yet fleeting, Casa de Muñecas brims with a dozen dualities that leave the reader engrossed in a crude reality. The book demands a new contemplation of the roles of women juxtaposed against the static and inhumane teachers that guide our first understandings. Beautifully wicked and horrifically wondrous, Casa de Muñecas beckons readers in with its devastating words and illustrations. Who could ever resist playing with a doll-house?

Intimidad con el muñeco

“Jugamos. Yo le arranco sus ojos azules y los coloco en la

palma de mi mano, como si fueran canicas. El me cuenta

qué ve.”— Patricia Esteban Erlés, Casa de Muñecas

Morgan Smith

Web Editor

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