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Skip to main content. About this product. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Format: Paperback Condition: New! Other notes.

See details. See all 3 brand new listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Conversations in Sicily by Elio Vittorini , Paperback.

Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information The novel begins at a time in the narrator's life when nothing seems to matter; whether he is reading newspaper posters blaring of wartime massacres, lying in bed with his wife or girlfriend, or flipping through the pages of a dictionary it is all the same to him until he embarks on a journey back to Sicily, the home he has not seen in some fifteen years. In traveling through the Sicilian countryside and in variously hilarious and tragic conversations with its people his indomitable mother in particular he reconnects with his roots and rediscovers some basic human values In the introduction Hemingway wrote for the American debut of Conversations published as In Sicily by New Directions in he remarked: "I care very much about Vittorini's ability to bring rain with him when he comes, if the earth is dry and that is what you need.

Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. That's worth the price alone. Show More Show Less. Add to Cart. Or half a movie, right? Though speaking of "halves" could lead one to think of bilateral symmetry, which is not what this was about. It could be any fragment, even a dinosaur's worn-out vertebra. Here we finally have a literary and philosophical justification for channel surfing! He continues farther on: Adventure was never completely squandered. Its explosions released fragments that, as opposed to all the other objects in the universe, did not obey the laws of gravity; instead, they were like miniature universes, expanding in the mental vacuum, and definitely enriching time.

This, like all of Aira's short novels, is like a fragmentation grenade. One thing I can say for sure, they have certainly enriched my time reading them! Mar 29, Alta added it.


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This is one of the most intellectually satisfying books I've read in a while: it depicts a conversation that goes through numerous digressions between two friends that are in the habit of analyzing everything. In this case it's an action movie a hilarious parody of a Hollywood thriller , which is taken to pieces and put back again. The effect is both highly sophisticated and hilarious the narrator's irony is directed not only at the movie, but at the two friends themselves.

It is a self-iro This is one of the most intellectually satisfying books I've read in a while: it depicts a conversation that goes through numerous digressions between two friends that are in the habit of analyzing everything. It is a self-ironic homage to intellectual analysis.

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Apr 14, Tom Lichtenberg rated it it was amazing Shelves: latin-american-literature , twenty-first-century-literature. Cesar Aira has so much fun messing with his readers, but I fall for it every time. Here he starts us off with an erudite gentleman who enjoys ruminating over his recent chats with his various highbrow friends, so naturally we think we are in for something sophisticated and trenchant. He recalls one such conversation in which he pokes a little fun at a mistake in some crappy Hollywood film, where a peasant is caught with a Rolex on his wrist.

How ridiculous, but these things happen. Our intellect Cesar Aira has so much fun messing with his readers, but I fall for it every time. Our intellectual narrator is ready to move on to loftier topics, but his friend stops him and says, "what are you talking about? I saw that film and that was no mistake! Someone less generous or more aggressive might have been pleased to discover that a friend of his was stupid. It would make him feel superior, safe in his narcissistic integrity, more intelligent than he thought: in a word, the winner.

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This was not the case for me. I felt depressed and distressed, like someone on the verge of losing something of great value. As a famous American football coach Jim Mora once said, "you think you know, but you don't know, and you never will", and that is never more true than when reading Cesar Aira, from one page to the next. Dec 22, Charlotte Carpenter rated it really liked it. This is my fourth novella by him, and I can definitively say, I will happily throw myself down whatever absurdist rabbit hole he digs.

May 07, Roger Brunyate rated it it was ok Shelves: stories , sui-generis , latin-america. The Book of the Movie My title, of course, is facetious, for there is no movie made of Aira's book. But its entire 88 pages consist of a conversation remembered by the sleepless author between him and an intellectual friend about some unnamed movie that they had both watched in snatches on television the night before. It begins by Aira observing that the Hollywood actor playing an impoverished Ukrainian goatherd is seen wearing a Rolex watch.

The conversation—or at least the conversation as repla The Book of the Movie My title, of course, is facetious, for there is no movie made of Aira's book. The conversation—or at least the conversation as replayed and reshaped by the insomniac author—soon passes over the obvious explanations, such as an omission on the part of the continuity person, and becomes philosophical and aesthetic: Hence, he continued, my error consisted of me having limited myself to a static concept of verisimilitude.

He proposed a different, more dynamic one. According to this concept, and seen within the movement of creation, verisimilitude could be, and was, a generator of stories.

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The story's interest and novelty would emerge from such an operation. Only then would the story be rendered worthwhile. Without the "error," things narrowed considerably. Who would be interested in the coherent life of a goatherd? Or of a coherent tycoon with a big gold watch? The interest arose, a priori, from their coexistence. Katherine Silver] Somewhat to my surprise, by choosing a passage to illustrate the texture of the book and transcribing it, I begin finally to get some sense of what is being said. But it is by no means that easy when actually reading, and the philosophical juggling tricks put me into a state of dizziness pretty much throughout.

Fortunately, from the one previous Aira novella that I have read, An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter , I was aware of his interest in questioning the roles of reality and fiction—and his practice of writing himself into holes just to see if he can get out of them. But that book was tied to the life of a real person in a real place; this, by contrast, is abstract and speculative, building postulate upon postulate in a tottering tower of absurdity.

It all comes crashing down at the end in a wild parody of a Hollywood blockbuster with a curious foreshadowing of the movie Argo , which did not come out until five years later. Here, and only here, could I make any sense of the Paris Review endorsement on the cover: "A wildly funny novel. Mar 29, Drew rated it it was amazing.

Perhaps the most straightforward of any Aira I've read so far - but by no means does that imply it's simple or easy or lacking in the strange wonder that characterises his work. The late night remembrance of a conversation has never been so captivating and I think one of the great successes of this book is the way that the whole thing feels like, well, what it's like to sit up late at night, unable to sleep, and to reflect back on something you'd talked about earlier in the day. Not only are you Perhaps the most straightforward of any Aira I've read so far - but by no means does that imply it's simple or easy or lacking in the strange wonder that characterises his work.

Not only are you working your memory but inevitably you're thinking about other things too - and they're all somehow related in the great swirl of your brain. May 29, Tom rated it it was amazing. Perhaps the best so far of the translated novellas by Aira. What sets the conversation in motion is the narrator's complaint that an isolated goatherd in the mountains of th Perhaps the best so far of the translated novellas by Aira. What sets the conversation in motion is the narrator's complaint that an isolated goatherd in the mountains of the Ukraine would never own the Rolex watch the actor was wearing that continuity apparently missed during the filming.

The narrator's friend, however, tells him that the appearance of the Rolex was perfectly plausible, and thus the absurd discussion begins. Sep 01, Rise added it. In Katherine Silver's winning translation, Aira's miniaturized philosophical meditation on the nature of fiction, perception, and reality somehow codifies or integrates together his preoccupations in his other books.

It is a unified theory of fictional memory that he brings afresh here and that subsumes his general ideas on the continuum, improvisation, spontaneity, and dare I say world domination. Mar 30, Miriam rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , owned. I am a huge fan of Aira's work. This little book gave me so much to think about and coincides with what I am learning in my literary theory class. There is something very Kafkasque about Aira and I would not suggest reading him unless you like Kafka's work. Anyways, love this little book and I will be reading it again soon. View 1 comment.

Oct 31, Michael Jantz rated it really liked it.