The Hare

The Hare

5.0 2
by César Aira
     
 

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When a Mapuche chief suddenly goes missing, a British naturalist is asked to find him in the vast Argentine pampasSee more details below

Overview

When a Mapuche chief suddenly goes missing, a British naturalist is asked to find him in the vast Argentine pampas

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Simultaneously an homage and deconstruction of the Victorian adventure story, Aira (Varamo) delivers an ingenious and acrobatic novel set on the Argentinean pampas. Clarke, an English naturalist, undertakes an expedition to document the legendary Legibrerian hare, an animal so elusive it may not even exist. But Clarke's search is cut short when Cafulcura, leader of the Mapuche, either disappears or is kidnapped and Clarke is tasked with recovering the chieftain, setting off a wild adventure punctuated by panoramic set pieces and Aira's trademark digressions into subaltern history, myth, and philosophy. Plunged into a dizzyingly alien culture where language and meaning are unstable, making each conversation more gnomic and unreliable than the last, the European discovers that his logic, science, progress, and poise will not aid him in mastering the pampas. 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. (July)
NPR
“To love the novels of Cesar Aira you must have a taste for the absurd, a tolerance for the obscurely philosophical and a willingness to laugh out loud against your better judgment.... The Hare makes the flat, monotonous pampas as strange and unpredictable as Wonderland.... you'll find there are few adventures more outrageous, and more unsettling, than this cowboy chase through the pampas in search of the white rabbit.”
The Daily Beast
“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.”
Los Angeles Review of Books
“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.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811220903
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
07/25/2013
Pages:
218
Sales rank:
445,709
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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