Artforum by César Aira

 

Artforum by César Aira

Argentine fiction

Original title – Artforum

Translator – Katherine Silver

Source – Personal copy

I had read one other book by Aira it seems it is the one most people read it is An episode in the life of a landscape painter. That was in 2016 and I had brought a few of his books but they just went on to mount TBR and I think with them being short I had just never got to them so when I saw it was on the Moose on the gripes podcast last month I decided I would listen to them chat about him as he is a writer I felt I should have read more of as ever Trevor and Paul’s sheer joy grabbed me so what did I do I went and ordered two more book that would make six books I have to read and I choose this to start with as it seemed short and also a book about obsession appears I tend to be a flighty obsessive Itend to deep dive in and out of things so I will thing of a band I loved order loads cds and vinyl listen to them then be on to something else. Like many of his books it follows a man that lives in Corona Pringles. He has been drawn to getting and discovering the art magazine Artforum.

WHEN I MADE THE TRANSCENDENT DECISION to take out a subscription, I thought that all my problems were over. It wasn’t easy, I had to overcome the internal resistance of the primitive economist that I was, who didn’t buy anything if I couldn’t hold it in my hands and pay with banknotes I pulled out of my pocket. I had never taken out a subscription to any magazine, and it was strange that I hadn’t subscribed to Artforum until then, not only because it was my favourite magazine but because of how difficult it had always been to procure.

He takes the plunge and decides to subscribe to his favourite magazine

 

This is a quest a man’s quest obsession for a square Magazine (I was reminded of archipelago books here they are always on the whole square editions and always collectable ) He has spent years trawling shops overseeing and wanting this Magazine from America he in the ends even subscribes and he does that dance which I think many of us, well I know the is it here yet dance has the postman got it and then there is an added dimension he feels the postman may steal and sell the magazine to the book stalls and he laments that over time he had brought copies of art forum from there then he hears of some that have died and his collection is in a shop this reminds me of the weekly flick through records my local record shop does it has all the new second-hand records and if I see that one I may one I can’t wait to get there to get it myself. Then as it seems to happen a lot of books by Aira from what Trevor and Paul said there is a sudden change of tack and suddenly we are talking about a broken clothes spin (peg we would call it) this leads him to Claes Oldenburg therapist that made giant everyday objects. What happens when it stops coming?

WITHIN THE DAILY ROUTINE OF THE HOUSE-hold, small inexplicable incidents also occur. Why did it happen, why didn’t it happen? Nobody knows. All we know is that something happened. What?
Well… so many things! Something is always happening, and it’s difficult to set one incident, one anecdote, apart. How to know what deserves mention? One should talk all the time, or remain silent forever. The trifles that feed innocent chatter sink into the subsoil of the silence of the responses. Sometimes a chance repetition insinuates a meaning.
“Another clothespin broke! What bad luck!”
“I’ll fix it.” (I thought that the spring that connects the two halves had gotten detached.)
“No. It broke. It can’t be fixed.”
“Throw it away!”
“Throw it away!”

Then we discover a broken clothes peg almost like a chapter from another book had fallen in this book.

I loved this short novella I am someone that so gets obsession with something as I have a little of that and also that feeling of wanting something I think this is something that has changed in my lifetime and maybe what he has caught here is a lost world in the future what he captures is that going through racks looking for that lost copy that lost record that whatever, which is something I n the click and get off the modern world we are losing. So I am thankful that I decided to listen to Mookse and gripes podcast I m sure you all do but if you don’t subscribe they just make you a reader who really wants to discover and revisit books. We follow a man’s obsession and get drawn into his world for a short time will it come today or not? How often have I waited for that book to arrive or that record etc. Do you have obsessions or go down a rabbit hole? Have you a favourite book by Aira ? where should I go next?

Winston’s score – +A rediscovering a writer you think you may love

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeff_lyn
    Sep 20, 2022 @ 09:56:38

    Aira certainly divides opinions from hatred to love, also I’ve seen so many people give a different favourites and what to read next of his. Having said that I loved Ema the Captive and Shantytown the most but have enjoyed all his work. Good to see you taking to him as well. Hope you get to read more soon.

    Reply

    • winstonsdad
      Sep 20, 2022 @ 09:58:18

      Hi Jeff I think he has written so many books even Trevor said he has given different books to people at different times I’ve not got those two so will add them to my list of books I’m getting by him

      Reply

  2. MarinaSofia
    Sep 20, 2022 @ 12:28:52

    He has written so many books that you are bound to find one you like! I liked The Lime/Linden Tree and The Literary Conference, but this one sounds fun.

    Reply

  3. Cathy746books
    Sep 20, 2022 @ 16:15:01

    I read Dinner last year and despite it being incredibly odd, I really enjoyed it.

    Reply

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Sep 20, 2022 @ 19:49:08

    I’ve not read Aira, but I think I might like this Stu!

    Reply

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