Latest Review: Ghosts by Cesar Aira
Our latest review is of Ghosts by Cesar Aira, translated by Chris Andrews and published by New Directions. Ghosts is a very interesting book, and one of the front-runners for my personal 2010 Best Translated Book longlist . . .
Here’s the opening of the review:
The entire plot of Ghosts, Cesar Aira’s third novel to be translated into English and published by New Directions, is encapsulated in this story told over New Year’s Eve dinner:
“Patri thought for a moment before speaking: I remember a story by Oscar Wilde, about a princess who was bored in her palace, bored with her parents, the king and queen, bored with the ministers, the generals, the chamberlains, and the jesters, whose jokes she knew by heart. One day a delegation of ghosts appeared to invite her to a party they were giving on New Year’s Eve, and their descriptions of this party, which included the disguises they would wear and the music to be played by the ghost orchestra, were so seductive, and she was so bored, that without a second thought that night she threw herself from the castle’s highest tower, so that she could die and go to the party. The others pondered the moral. So the story doesn’t say what happened at the party? asked Carmen Larrain. No. That’s where it stops.”
For the rest of the review, click here.