César Aira: My Ideal is the Fairy Tale
Interview with Argentinian César Aira who has been called the Marcel Duchamp of Latin America because of his experimental and unpredictable books, heralded by e.g. Roberto Bolaño and Patti Smith.
“You will have to travel to the south of Argentina to find the most original, the most shocking, the most exciting and subversive Spanish-speaking author of our time: César Aira” as put by Spanish newspaper El País. Carlos Fuentes has said that he thinks César Aira will be the first Argentinian to receive the Nobel Prize.
In this interview the Argentine writer César Aira talks about literature in general and his own writing in particular. Specifically he talks of the stories “Ghosts” (1990) and “An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter” (2000).
César Aira (b.1949) has published over eighty books of stories, novels and essays, half of which contain less than twenty pages. Since 1993 Aira has written two to four books each year. In this video Aira talks about his writing techniques and opinions and why he prefers writing shorter books. Writing should be story telling in an old fashioned way, much like a fairy tale, a story of something which happened once, to someone else, i.e. not told in the first person or present tense. Airas books may be short, but they are full of layers, he explains, starting perhaps with an experiment or some philosophocal idea.
Aira has taught at the University of Buenos Aires (about Copi and Rimbaud) and at the University of Rosario (Constructivism and Mallarmé), and has translated and edited books from France, England, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela.
César Aira was interviewed by the Danish writer Peter Adolphsen at the Louisiana Literature festival 2012. Adolphsen also translated Aira’s words into English in this video.
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013
Supported by Nordea-fonden