The Art of Fiction

Juan José Saer

POETRY, 1977. VISOR NEW EDITION, 2008. 174 PAGES.

"It doesn't matter what city one is in / they're always in their home land." For Juan José Saer, that land is language. He moves with his fiction but he amazes with his poetry, achieving a level of intensity that sums up his work.

El arte de narrar (The Art of Fiction) presents readers with a conundrum. By declaring that "everyone creates / from the splinters / of their language in their own way" he places fiction in an ambiguous place. The title of the book names fiction explicitly and this gesture reveals the utopianism latent in the word: it is affirmation and denial, proclamation and silence, presentation and concealment. "The fields of darkness / are where one sees the best."

So, what is poetry? How can one identify the fragile frontier between genres? What is the root of the voice that emerges and transfigures language? What is the weight of le mot juste? How can one decipher the "incomprehensible signs / in which others say / they can hear the song of the stars?"

The poetic work of a committed writer of fiction provides a key to the enigma: the two offices burn with the same flame, wiping out the differences between genres.

PUBLISHED BY: Spanish VISOR

Other titles from Juan José Saer:

Muntaner, 339-5º 08021 Barcelona · Tel (34) 932 011 310 · · Member of ADAL