A certain writer ("past sixty, enjoying 'a certain renown'") strolls through the old book market in a Buenos Aires park: "My Sunday walk through the market, repeated over so many years, was part of my general fantasizing about books." It helps him "know what my as-yet unwritten books would be about." Unfortunately, he is currently suffering writer's block. Soon, however, that proves to be the least of our hero's problems. There in the market, he tries and fails to avoid the insufferable boor Ovando-"a complete loser," but a "man supremely full of himself": "Conceit was never less justified." And yet, is Ovando a master magician? Can he turn sugar cubes into pure gold? And can our protagonist decline the offer Ovando proposes: absolute power if the writer never in his life reads another book? And, is his publisher also a great magician? And the writer's wife?
Only César Aira could have cooked up this witch's potion (and only he would plop phantom Mont Blanc pens into his cauldron, as well as jackals and fearsome crocodiles from the banks of the Nile)-a brew bubbling over with the question: where does literature end and magic begin?
Biografie (César Aira)
César Aira wurde 1949 in Coronel Pringles, Argentinien, geboren. Seit 1967 lebt er in Buenos Aires, wo er sich zunächst als Übersetzer einen Namen machte. Er hat zahlreiche Romane, Erzählungen, Essays und Theaterstücke veröffentlicht und zählt zu den wichtigsten Autoren Lateinamerikas.