The Hare (Ndp) (Paperback)

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By Cesar Aira, Nick Caistor (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

The Hare is a playful, absurdist, serious philosophical little book that reads like a child making up a story as he goes, but filled with the sophisticated tools of a true artist. The contradictions are part of the game, a bit like, as a character says, the “word for ‘government’ which signifies, in addition to a whole range of other things, a ‘path,’ but not just an ordinary path – the path that certain animals take when they leap in a zigzag fashion…although at the same time we ignore their deviations to the right and left, which due to a secondary effect of the trajectory end up of course not being deviations at all, but a particular kind of straight line.” Describing the multiplicity of meanings for words in the Huilliche tongue, Aira leads us to think that he can’t possibly mean anything that he’s saying on the surface. Or can he? Ostensibly a story about a British naturalist (brother-in-law to Darwin) roaming the Argentine pampas in search of the Legibrerian hare, in fact, The Hare is about all kinds of things like narrative versus reality, war and violence, life and death, love, chance, politics, and colonialism. And it’s lots of fun to think about.

— Sara, Atlanta


Clarke, a 19th-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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811220903
ISBN-10: 0811220907
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: July 25th, 2013
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Ndp