Overview

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

Clarke, a nineteenth-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 ...
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The Hare

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Overview

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

Clarke, a nineteenth-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.Witty, very ironic, and with all the usual Airian digressive magic, The Hare offers subtle reflections on love, Victorian-era colonialism, and the many ambiguities of language.
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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: 9780811221207
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 7/18/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 218
  • File size: 366 KB

Meet the Author

César Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949. Wildly popular in Latin America, he has published more than seventy books of short fictions and essays.
Nick Caistor is a translator, editor, and author. He has written a biography of Octavio Paz and has translated the works of José Saramago, Paulo Coelho, and Julián Ríos, among others.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Sheen

    "I am dead but we can still mate. Our kits will remind you and the clan of me. Tell the clan Im dead. Will you be my mate?"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Rippledmoon

    Rippledmoon sighed. "No." Then she turned and padded back to camp.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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