A Sense of Place

Juan José Saer

SHORT STORIES, 1967. SEIX BARRAL NEW EDITION, 2000. 136 PAGES.

The formal rigour of modernist narrative and an intensely poetic perception of the world are the two main pillars on which this story collection, a keystone of Argentine literature, is constructed.

Unidad de lugar (A Sense of Place) laid the foundations for a new way of writing short stories. Characters and situations from other books reappear again and again, demanding to be accommodated with a definitive written fate. In this book, Saer's poetic brilliance is tangible: writing arising out of loss; the game between reality and perception; Golden Dorado, pea plantations, heat waves and a historic drought provide the setting for the mysterious return of a man who had disappeared from the village without a trace; a woman leaving an ominously cool cellar and the memory of ancient smells; a man involved in a relationship with a third party; the paragraphs of a draft text; a poem recited in two sections and a jar of lemonade in the midday silence.

Saer creates a world whose ‘sense of place' uses the effect of realism to replace the real: an art only possible in the best kind of literature.

PUBLISHED BY: Latin America SEIX BARRAL

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