César Aira [ epub / Pdf ] El congreso de literatura

SUMMARY El congreso de literatura

César is a translator who’s fallen on very hard times due to the global economic downturn; he is also an author and a mad scientist hell bent on world domination On a visit to the beach he intuitively solves an ancient. Do you like innovate avant garde fiction polished superfine Introducing C sar Aira from Argentina author of dozens of uirky uizzical lyrical novellas and novels many translated into English his best known An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter a surreal yarn of a nineteenth century German artist s travels in Latin America and Ghosts a tale about a haunted luxury apartment complex in the city of Buenos Aires Why haven t I heard of C sar Aira before Perhaps because he takes delight in being somewhat obscure As he stated in an interview nearly half of his ninety titles are pamphlets or booklets many less than twenty pages Since by his reckoning every story is a book he prefers small independent publishers willing to print a limited run Therefore he surmises if someone really wants to read his books they will find them I m delighted I did just that The Literary Conference is my first C sar Aira and it will certainly not be my lastI was under the impression The Literary Conference would be about well a literary conference featuring famous Latin American authors discussing the aesthetics of literature I found to my astonishment what begins as international adventure shifts to a comic version of mad scientist taking over the world via cloning and then again to B movie a science fiction monster flick all the while offering meditations on the nature of art and creativity contained in a mere eighty five pagesThe narrator a playwright with the name C sar travels to Venezuela to the coastal town of Macuto wherein he solves the centuries long enigma of the Macuto Line and its sunken treasure Just the right vibration from his fingers on the old hemp line and ta da treasure miraculously falls at his feet My sense is this piece of authorial legerdemain serves to remind us we are after all being told a tale and if the storyteller wants riches at the feet of C sar perhaps C sar Aira himself then that s what will bloody well happen Moreover the Macuto Line could be taken as metaphor the author engaging his imagination as the rope to guide himself down to the lower depths of his own psyche in order to mine a treasure chest of images and words he can bring to the surface and thus compose the very novella we are reading We arrive at the actual conference itself not exactly a round table discussion an extension of C sar s internal dialogue One of the first observations made is how the tale he is relaying must be kept clear since poetic fog horrifies him However he acknowledges a fable provides the foundational logic for his story and that fable reuires the underlying logic of yet again another fable And the story we are reading provides the logic for a second story Does all this Russian dolls story within a story remind you of anything It does for me One Thousand and One Nights of Scheherazade among C sar Aira s favorite modes of storytelling C sar goes on to relate how there was once a mad scientist who allowed the clones he created to roam the streets of his neighborhood Ultimately the mad scientist needed CONTROL and the best way to maintain such control was to clone a superior man And what will be the nature of such a superior man Ah according to the mad scientist an individual having achieved greatness in the realm of high culture things like philosophy literature history and being steeped in the classics C sar then reveals the truth the mad scientist in uestion is none other than himself And who does C sar judge the superior man fit for cloning Why of course that giant of world literature Mexico s Carlos Fuentes Permit me a side note a number of years ago American men and women were asked what individual should be cloned to improve the uality of life within the United States The results were divided half the Americans polled voted for Albert Einstein and the other half for Michael Jordan Perhaps a combination of both would be ideal theoretical physicists who could tear up a basketball court Wacky weird bugged out bizarre and Kool Aid kooky from here on out Thus I will shift from the narrator s singular story to a number of his reflections sweetly seasoning this literary conference confection Firstly how language has shaped our expectations so extensively that real reality has become the most detached and incomprehensible one of all Indeed our view of ourselves and others our notions of life and death and everything in between is a combination of fact and fiction And because we coat our world with the thick syrup of language I suspect the split is along the lines of 2% fact 98% fiction My Great Work is secret clandestine and encompasses my life in its entirety even its most insignificant folds and those that seem the most banal Until now I have concealed my purpose under the accommodating guise of literature Hmmm is the narrator C sar Aira himself suggesting there is an underlying riddle to be solved along the lines of Hugh Vereker s literary puzzle in Henry James The Figure in the Carpet What a tantalizing prospect No wonder a number of literary critics have linked Aira with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges I was considering with amazement the uantity of things that were happening to me while nothing was happening I noticed this as my pen was moving there were thousands of tiny incidents all full of meaning I ve had to pick and choose carefully otherwise the list would be endless Thank goodness C sar can choose wisely otherwise The Literary Conference might include enough peregrinations collouies and bagatelles to fill hundreds of pages Only through minimalism is it possible to achieve the asymmetry that for me is the flower of art complications inevitably form heavy symmetries which are vulgar and overwrought At eighty five pages The Literary Conference undoubtedly ualifies as minimal in terms of length And C sar Aira s style is the opposite of heavy vulgar and overwrought rather the author has created a little book chock full of ideas and philosophy that s sheer fun all within a breezy storyline too preposterous to be read without a smile The soldiers got out and fanned out in front of the blue mass At that moment denial was no longer possible the men looked like insects next to the monster and pathetically ineffectual This became obvious once they began to shoot at it with their machine gunsC sar Aira born 1949 And there with a prodigious crack and a burst of foam the treasure chest at the sunken end of the Line leapt so forcefully out of the sea that it rose about two hundred feet in the air hung there for an instant then shot down in a straight line while the Line retracted pulling back until the treasure fell intact onto the stone platform about three feet from where I was standing waiting for it C sar Aira The Literary Conference


El congreso de literatura

To victory the world renowned Mexican author Carlos Fuentes A comic science fiction fantasy of the first order The Literary Conference is the perfect vehicle for César Aira’s take over of literature in the 21st century. A sci fi autofiction entertainment One big LOL at revelation of the provenance of the beasts causing trouble toward the end Inventive unpredictable cartoonish forward flowing good natured sometimes to a twee ish fault self consciously whimsical aware of yet unable to resist the temptation to follow the author s whim metafictional sometimes maybe a little too apt to explore the old realityirreality uestions a tactic that bores a hole in my attention see Bioy Casares s The Invention of Morel The first and last chapters were pretty great the rest sort of overly devoted to not particularly scintillating abstraction in Between Parentheses Essays Articles and Speeches 1998 2003 Bolano does say that Aira is mostly dull funny they print another positive Bolano uote on every Aira book A little tale that means no harm two pages turned down with good uotes re writing I ll try to remember to type up later Of the four Aira books I ve read so far this comes in third Worth reading but possibly forgettable despite or because of the wacky plot Recommended for fans of Etgar Keret tho this one s longer denser and maybe George Saunders tho this isn t up to his early level

César Aira ☆ 1 CHARACTERS

Riddle finds a pirate’s treasure and becomes a very wealthy man Even so César’s bid for world domination comes first and so he attends a literary conference to be near the man whose clone he hopes will lead an army. the literary conference a slim work by the very productive c sar aira is both fantastic and inventive the argentinian author has written over sixty books though as yet only five have been translated into english a sixth the seamstress and the wind is slated for release early this summer this novella defying easy categorization incorporates elements from a number of different genresaira s main character a translator and playwright sets about fulfilling his dream of world domination through the assumed role of the mad scientist his plans are to be brought to fruition through the cloning of the great mexican novelist carlos fuentes the conseuences of his plan deviate from their intended course transforming the story in a wholly unanticipated way to reveal the outcome of course would be poor sportsmanship but suffice it to say that not a single reader could possibly expect the turns the story takesaira s uniue approach to writing literature and upending traditional convention is readily apparent as of his catalog becomes available in english we ought to be treated to an even greater display of his imagination and talent while the literary conference is by no means a masterpiece it is certainly an original and intriguing work for whatever strange reason it kept reminding me of both bioy s the invention of l and the 1980s arcade game marble madness as a result perfection has to find its own way we can t find perfection the miracle is that it happens at all life is generous that way it always is

10 thoughts on “El congreso de literatura

  1. says:

    Do you like innovate avant garde fiction polished superfine? Introducing César Aira from Argentina author of doz

  2. says:

    I like weird books What can I say? I like books of the sort that cause some to roll their eyes and wonder “WTF is this? People read this shit?”—the sorts of books that are hard to place by genre other than that anti g

  3. says:

    I am not kidding when I say that Cesar Aira is the most fiercely free writer I have read He is one whose greatness relies on the vehemence against great tome y literature I have described his writing methods in reviews of other books by him so I won't go into those Suffice it to say that he is almost always writi

  4. says:

    César Aira is the Roomba of literature Like the little robotic vacuum cleaner that goes off in all directions he

  5. says:

    the literary conference a slim work by the very productive césar aira is both fantastic and inventive the arge

  6. says:

    The main character in this book sets up a metaphor of himself as a Mad Scientist But this metaphor is actually apt for Cesar Aira himself as his books always seem like experiments in the best sense of the word But not the type of experimental writing a la Joyce or Stein that is interested in pure language play not that Aira isn’t interested

  7. says:

    How to Avoid Magic Realism Surrealism Logic and StructureAnother spectacular book by César Aira He's very uneven but at his best he has occasionally been the world's best writer He can outpace conventional narration magic realism surrealism absurdism and philosophic fictionThis time I'll zero in on just one uality of h

  8. says:

    Nothing could please me than an appropriation of B movie tropes in a mock literary context by a wickedly talented author in the service of absurdism Unfortunately unless I'm missing something this isn't it Plotless and essayistic I can handle if the author has something to say or if he says nothing in a beautiful way But Aira says nothing clumsily with maximum confusion Dead dull uninspired – for this piece of empty bravado I

  9. says:

    A sci fi autofiction entertainment One big LOL at revelation of the provenance of the beasts causing trouble toward the end Inventive unpredictable cartoonish forward flowing good natured sometimes to a twee ish fault? self consciously whimsical aware of yet unable to resist the temptation to follow the author's whim metafictional sometimes

  10. says:

    I came across this book by accident and decided to read it despite reading some not so promising reviewsThe premise of the story is a mad scientist who tries to clone famous writer Carlos Fuentes I enjoyed most things about this book; the storyline the language used and the narrator's inner monologue in particular It's a very enjoyable novellaand a uick read I didn't care too much for how the book ended but I

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