Conversations

Conversations

5.0 1
by César Aira
     
 

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A cerebral and wildly funny story revolving around the incongruity of a gold Rolex watch spotted on a lowly goatherd’s wrist
Daily conversations in outdoor cafés with cultured friends can help make reality a little more real. Unfortunately, however, during one such conversation, one man spots a gold Rolex watch on a TV soap opera’s goatherd.

Overview

A cerebral and wildly funny story revolving around the incongruity of a gold Rolex watch spotted on a lowly goatherd’s wrist
Daily conversations in outdoor cafés with cultured friends can help make reality a little more real. Unfortunately, however, during one such conversation, one man spots a gold Rolex watch on a TV soap opera’s goatherd. This seemingly small absurdity sets off alarms: strange sensations of deception, distress, and incipient madness. The two men’s uneasiness soon becomes a nightmare as the TV adventure advances with a real-life plot — involving a mutant strain of killer algae — to take over the world! The Conversations, a reality within a fiction within a parallel reality, is hilariously funny and surprisingly touching.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
The indefatigable Aira’s (The Hare) latest is an excellent place to encounter his logic-defying brilliance for the first time, and will likewise please existing fans. Our narrator starts by recalling his practice of revisiting the day’s conversations every night before falling asleep. In this case, the conversation concerns a movie in which a gold Rolex can be seen plainly adorning the wrist of the actor playing the goatherd. Is it an error on the part of the filmmakers? Or, as the narrator’s friend argues, a portal into a subjective third reality somewhere between real life and film, actor and fictional character? One thing is certain: this telltale watch explodes the differences between the two men and opens up a dazzling inquiry into subjects as far ranging as eastern European political instability, the fragmentary nature of fiction, Kant’s critiques, and the film’s equally oddball plot (featuring mutant algae and feral beauty queens). Short enough to read in a single sitting, this book is, like all Aira’s work, fodder for the kind of late-night speculations that lend themselves to seamless dreaming. (June)
Library Journal
12/01/2014
The prolific and prodigiously talented Aira (The Hare) can make much with a little, as exemplified by this slim and effortlessly entertaining book. When two friends discuss a movie they had seen on TV, the narrator laughs about the gold Rolex watch inadvertently revealed on the wrist of the actor playing a lowly goatherd. The puzzled reaction of his friend, who missed the scene, sets off a spiraling conversation about art, politics, killer algae, Hollywood stars, and Immanuel Kant. It's witty, but it also shows how everything connects.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811221108
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
06/26/2014
Pages:
88
Sales rank:
1,131,596
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Nominated for a Neustadt Award and shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize, César Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949. He has published at least ninety books.

Katherine Silver is an award-winning literary translator and the co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC).

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The Conversations 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago