The Hare

C├ęsar Aira (Author) Nick Caistor (Translator)
Available

Description

Clarke, a 19th-century English naturalist, roams the pampas in search of that most elusive and rare animal: the Legibrerian hare, whose defining quality seems to be its ability to fly. The local Indians, pointing skyward, report recent sightings of the hare but then ask Clarke to help them search for their missing chief as well. On further investigation Clarke finds more than meets the eye: in the Mapuche and Voroga languages every word has at least two meanings.

Product Details

Price
$14.95  $13.75
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
July 25, 2013
Pages
224
Dimensions
5.09 X 0.69 X 7.1 inches | 0.53 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780811220903
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Nick Caistor is a former BBC Latin America analyst and the author of "Octavio Paz", also published by Reaktion Books.

Reviews

Aira's refusal to make any occurrence definitive gives the world depicted in the novel an element of the absurd. The result can be as frustrating as it is liberating. Whether or not Clarke ultimately catches sight of the hare is beside the point. Even if he found it, we'd soon discover that, maybe, after all, he didn't. Or that it wasn't a hare at all.
Aira's literary significance, like that of many other science fiction writers, comes from how he pushes us to question the porous line between fact and fantasy, to see it not only as malleable in history, but also blurred in the everyday. The engrossing power of his work, though, comes from how he carries out these feats: with the inexhaustible energy and pleasure of a child chasing after imaginary enemies in the park.
The novel moves erratically, never quite landing where you think, and as mysterious subplot after subplot is introduced, one may be forgiven for suspecting that Aira is playing a joke at the expense of the reader, but in his masterful hands, ambiguity eventually builds to order, mystery to revelation, and every digression turns out to have a purpose -- all without ever undercutting the fundamental tension that Aira has created between his reasoned protagonist and the novel's ambiguous setting.