Objective Narration

Juan José Saer

ESSAY. SEIX BARRAL, 1999. 202 PAGES.

Saer writing down his readings. If, as Saer said, criticism is a superior form of reading, then at its best it can provide masterful literary texts such as the ones that make up La narración-objeto (Objective Narration).

These reflections on literature, Cervantes, tango, Faulkner, Borges, Di Benedetto, Kafka, 'criollismo', Argentine poetry, Flaubert and Onetti -as well as his own work: La pesquisa (The Pursuit) and Las nubes (The Clouds)- exemplify Saer's perspicacious gaze and controversial vitality, but especially his critical spirit. In these essays, he invigorates with the range and value of his criticism: he argues that it is only with bad books that it cannot be applied because they don't stand up to the analysis and ethics involved in such an intellectual exercise. Each story is construction rather than discourse; the writer must confront the codes of ‘hegemonic' prose and undermine its conventional frameworks. Every great text transforms its reader, transfigures the world and breaks the silence as it forges new symbolic pacts.

With the persistent lucidity of La narración-objeto, Saer reveals his personal position on art, breaking down prejudices about what writing fiction is and should be, helping us to see that "creation is joy, but also a weapon and consolation." 

PUBLISHED BY: Latin America SEIX BARRAL

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