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The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira by César Aira
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bookshelves: fall-2012


Review by Alli Carlisle

In César Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira, the main character, Dr. Aira, is troubled by an excess of the ruminative faculty. We meet him wandering down a street in Buenos Aires, contemplating human dominance of the planet and the way moments of embarrassment, social awkwardness, have punctuated the grammar of his existence. Dr. Aira, very noticeably a namesake of the author, strikes one as perhaps a bit hapless, absorbed as he is in self-reflection and in discoursing to a tree, allowing his meditations on his own past social roughnesses and the nature of reality to catch him in eddies of thought. The philosophy Dr. Aira constructs in his head in this scene, one decidedly opposed to realism, sets the tone for the rest of the book: “In order for action to be effective, one had to depart from the purely reasonable, which would always be an abstract way of thinking devoid of any truly practical use.”

In the midst of his placid if heavy contemplation, a sudden flurry of action introduces us to the main thrust of the story. Two young doctors in an ambulance pick up Dr. Aira and implore him to save a dying man. Dr. Aira, we find, is a Miracle Healer, and a famous one. But the request to save the dying man is a complicated one — Dr. Aira suspects that the men have been sent by his arch enemy, Dr. Actyn, a zealous devotee of the medical sciences who apparently goes to excruciating efforts to expose Dr. Aira and his Miracle Cures as lies. Dr. Aira, consequently, goes to great efforts to avoid being caught, refusing even to try one of his Cures on the seemingly dying man.

Read more here: http://www.full-stop.net/2012/12/03/r...

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 11, 2014 – Shelved
June 11, 2014 – Shelved as: fall-2012

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