Another Convert to Cesar Aira


Andrew Seal discovers Ghosts by Cesar Aira and pens a nice post on it:

Thomas Mann is mentioned near the end (in a quote I’ll pull in a moment), and there is a noticeable degree of similarity to him, particularly in The Magic Mountain. What Aira shares with Mann is a neoclassical solidity that grounds the philosophical fancies of the characters or the narrator; while Aira’s characters are not so idly pedantic as Naphtha or Settembrini, they share an organic relationship to the thoughts they have which is integral to the progression of the novel, rather than digressive.

I previously praised and discussed Ghosts here. And if you need an introduction to Aira, I think the best you’ll find is Marcelo Ballve’s essay.

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The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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