Nobody Nothing Never

Overview

During a stifling Argentinian summer, a horse-killer is on the loose. Cat Garay, heir to a once-prosperous, now dilapidated family, and his lover Elisa protect a horse from certain mutilation and death. An intense sexual affair and a desultory hunt for the killer are played out on the banks of the Parana river in an atmosphere of political anxiety and disintegration. The haunting prose of Nobody Nothing Never confirms Juan Jose Saer's reputation as the most innovative Latin ...
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Overview

During a stifling Argentinian summer, a horse-killer is on the loose. Cat Garay, heir to a once-prosperous, now dilapidated family, and his lover Elisa protect a horse from certain mutilation and death. An intense sexual affair and a desultory hunt for the killer are played out on the banks of the Parana river in an atmosphere of political anxiety and disintegration. The haunting prose of Nobody Nothing Never confirms Juan Jose Saer's reputation as the most innovative Latin American writer of his generation.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Never has a title better summed up a book. This tedious novel about a couple of monotonous days in the lives of some very colorless characters is the second book by the Argentine-born Saer to be translated into English. Elisa and Cat are lovers who spend a weekend together at Cat's dilapidated beachfront house. Although their relationship is never explored, every insignificant event is related in painstaking detail. Pages are given over to descriptions of the white wine they drink, the sweat on their bodies, the wrinkles in Elisa's dress. Cat has been asked to take care of an acquaintance's horse because there's an equine killer on the loose. The chief of police (a famed torturer also named Horse) searches for the culprit; the reader retains hope--ultimately dashed--that something will actually happen. Instead, one is obliged to slog through the endless minutiae again and again, as every nonevent is retold from several points of view. (It takes a man nearly four pages to carry two bales of hay from the river to the house, and then this same, less-than-intriguing, episode is recounted twice more.) Still, Saer is not ungifted; the shifting points of view, the oppressive atmosphere he evokes and the sudden bursts of sensuality make one wish he had written a less ponderous book. (June)
Library Journal
In Saer's debut translation in English, the existential mood suggested by the title results from the languorous love affair between Cat and Elisa, who are also trying to protect a prize horse from probable death by a serial horsekiller. The killings start a variety of rumors-that it's an excuse for the police to jail anybody in disagreement with the government, that the horses are being decimated because they are transmitting a plague, that the mania for killing horses has itself become a sort of plague. But it is not the psychology of the killings that interests Saer. Instead, he is concerned with their contribution to his vaster vision of a void and sun-parched world (in this case, the Rio Paran region of Argentina) where nothing significant can take place. Written in 1980, this novel will appeal most to readers who enjoy meditative fiction; an introduction to Saer's life and reputation would have helped most readers.-Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852422738
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 6/28/1994
  • Series: Masks Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Santa Fé, Argentina in 1937, Juan José Saer is the leading Argentinian writer of the post-Borges generation. In 1968, he moved to Paris and taught literature at the university in Rennes, Brittany. In 1998, Saer was awarded Spain's prestigious Nadal Prize. His work is translated into all major languages. He died in 2005.

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