32 Following


Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira - César Aira, Katherine Silver

There’s something about a new César Aira novel—something that always makes me want to get my hands on it NOW. This one is, I think, even better than many of the others—something just shy of An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter. This one caught me up from the very beginning and didn’t turn loose. Exactly the sort of book I like, a book about fiction, fiction and writing, writing and reality, all that, sorta. And the ‘sorta’ is what I like.

Maybe it’s the way(s) Aira frequently returns to the world(s) of his most frequently visited protagonist—César Aira. Not the César Aira who never became a nun—she/he of the bad experience with a vat of ice cream. Not the César Aira who assaulted Carlos Fuentes at the Literary Conference from Hell. Rather, the real César Aira—he who makes miracles happen—by, of all things, a process akin to the writing of fiction.

That sort of ‘sorta.’

Because quotes are what I do:

One effect of his age was that he had lately begun to appreciate in all its magnitude the responsibility incumbent upon him as a creator of symbolic material (and who isn’t creating this, in one way or another, all the time?). Because this material was virtually eternal: it traveled through time and shaped future thoughts. And not only thoughts but also everything that would be born from them. The future itself, the block of the future, was something more than what was enclosed in and exemplified by those forms that emerged from the present.
Or more simply:
It was an extreme case of “doing something with words.”
Four and half stars. While it seems I liked this one more and it may even seem as though we’re talking about different books, a better review may be found here. Aira fans might be interested to know that The Hare, will be available from New Directions in June of 2013 for a much more reasonable price than the used copies currently carry.