Carme Riera writes a story about motherhood and mermaids

BarcelonaCarme Riera’s mermaids (Palma, 1948) don’t have fish tails, they have wings. The writer confesses that she is obsessed with these mythological beings, which she directly links with the fatal women of the literature of the end of the 19th century. “They are described as terrible, tempting characters who lead men to death and disaster. In theOdyssey they already appear with wings, but then Disney came and gave them fish tails,” explains Riera. She has returned to the original mermaids with The peace of happy dreams (Editions 62 / Bruguera), the story of a young woman who runs away from her native island. The story, illustrated by Silja Goetz, resumes the author’s fascination with these creatures that she already developed in The voice of the siren (Editions 62 / Lumen, 2015).

“I’m an islander and a seafarer. I couldn’t live in a place that didn’t have the sea,” explains Riera to justify her obsession with mermaids. In the story, these creatures live on an island paradise without males. Once a year, the mermaids can access the island for three days and have sexual relations with those who want it. Then, they are expelled. The tale follows the yearnings for adventure of the young Nisa, who unlike her companions only thinks of flying like the birds she sees crossing the sky. When he succeeds he ends up in the land of humans, where he discovers that they have arms instead of wings.

Motherhood as an option

Although humans cannot fly, Nisa envies their arms because they can hug and cradle babies. The book narrates how the mermaid discovers sensuality and passion and how she experiences the desire to be a mother. “Motherhood has become fashionable because childhood is now an issue. It wasn’t before,” says Riera, who recalls that when she wrote Time for a wait (1998), the diary of her second pregnancy, was not talked about as much. “Desired motherhood is wonderful, while imposed motherhood is a drama – adds the writer -. Being a mother is an extraordinary possibility, but you are not more of a woman for being a mother.”

The peace of happy dreams it takes the form of an oral story told by the narrator’s grandmother and which recalls Mallorcan fairy tales, very present in Riera’s childhood. The writer, in fact, is reluctant to soften the classic children’s stories or change the gender of the characters to be politically correct. “Children are very cruel. You shouldn’t insist on cruelty, but there are many stories that they can understand. Children have always been afraid of abandonment, and Polzet’s story explains it very well,” he points out. Riera

Source: – Portada by

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