Boden Steiner's Reviews > The Literary Conference

The Literary Conference by César Aira
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May 23, 2010

really liked it
Read from July 12 to 16, 2010

As stated previously, reading The Literary Conference was like going on a blind date and meeting a beautiful girl that knows exactly what to say and how to say everything that seduces me. I didn't know what to expect from Aira and, after only 90 pages, I still may not know, but this short bit of Goodness had me hooked right away.

Aira plays the part of the main character as a mad genius, a scientist and writer propelled by the unchecked force of his imagination; a John Cleese playing a mad scientist, filtered through a Spanish to English translation. That is to say, it is sly and dry. If you can get a grip on this dry quality, there are plenty of laughs on every page. For some reason, the writing demands to be read out loud. You will try. I've now planted the seed in your mind and it can't be avoided.

The higher minded ideas regarding the imagination and reality are subtle and elusive, but make this short piece worth a second read.

More Aira. I hope a lot of his work gets published in English. I'll be looking forward to it.
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Reading Progress

07/13/2010 page 40
50.0% "Like going on a blind date and meeting the beautiful girl that knows exactly what to say and just how to say everything that seduces you."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Frye Nice write-up. Wouldn't be complete without the existential reference to having planted a mind seed.

I'm starting to dig beyond Garcia Marquez in my experience with Latin American writers and have found they possess a penchant for telling a lot of story in a short amount of time. They don't drags things out with trivial details like we (Americans) seem to. Well, maybe trivial is a harsh word, but it certainly illustrates the contrast.


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