The Hare

Cesar Aira. New Directions, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-8112-2090-3
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)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.