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Der Literaturkongress (1997)

Der Literaturkongress (1997)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 4
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3550088876 (ISBN13: 9783550088872)
Ullstein Hardcover

About book Der Literaturkongress (1997)

Irony in the hands of Cesar Aira is a wonderful thing. It offers the sort of grace that shared, genuine laughter brings to a conversation about a dark subject.I think it's this trait- his kind use of irony- that makes Aira's wild experiments work so well. There are, of course, other admirable traits to his stories. They're wildly inventive, propulsive, funny, and deeply clever. But I think his warmth is what draws me back to his work.In "The Literary Conference," he places himself at the center of the story. The main character and narrator is named Cesar, obviously a stand-in for the author. He is a writer and translator, as is the author.The Cesar of the story tells a fable, and in this fable, he is also a mad scientist bent on world domination. He attempts to clone Carlos Fuentes, hides the attempt in the mountains near a literary conference, and returns to the conference to wait for the clones to emerge. The bulk of the story takes place in the interval between his attempt to clone Fuentes and its idiosyncratic outcome. There is much philosophizing, a sparse and deeply-felt romance, and the author's harsh review of his own play, written in a different era in life.Aira's inclusion of himself in the story, the oblique but touching romance, and the cataclysmic oddity that results from his attempt to conquer the world all added up in surprising ways, and gave this the feel of a self-effacing confession.There's also a great deal of insight here into perfection, imitation, style, and the creative self.It didn't move as quickly as it could have, but the diversions were interesting, and all the pieces fit together. I'm eager to re-read this one. This is the second book of Aira's that I've read, and I am, again, amazed at how he can pack so many things into so few pages and have the result feel as light and effortless as it does. The Literary Conference is a very odd book. A bit of sci-fi, a bit of a love story, a bit of metafiction, a bit of a reflective essay. There is no reason for the various pieces to fit together as well as they do, but it all manages to work, and to work spectacularly.

Do You like book Der Literaturkongress (1997)?

Muy autorreferencial para mi gusto, pero incluso de eso logra reírse Aira.

This is a profoundly neurotic book.

I get that blue trapezoid now.


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