The Musical Brain: And Other Stories

The Musical Brain: And Other Stories MOBI ✓ Musical
    The Musical Brain: And Other Stories MOBI ✓ Musical gives us imponderables to ponder and bizarre and seemingly out of context plot lines, as well as thoughtful and passionate takes on everyday reality The title story, first published in the New Yorker, is the creme de la creme of this exhilarating collection."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 351
  • The Musical Brain: And Other Stories
  • César Aira
  • English
  • 12 February 2017
  • 081122029X

About the Author: César Aira

The Musical Brain: And Other Stories MOBI ✓ Musical musical pdf, brain: kindle, other book, stories pdf, The Musical mobile, Brain: And kindle, The Musical Brain: And Other StoriesMusical Brain: And epub, The Musical Brain: And Other Stories PDF/EPUBC sar Brain: And ePUB ↠ Aira born on February , in Coronel Pringles, Buenos Aires Province is an Argentine writer The Musical eBook ½ and translator, considered by many as one of the leading exponents of Argentine contemporary literature, in spite of his Musical Brain: And Kindle Õ limited public recognitionHe has published over fifty books of stories, novels and essays Indeed, at least since a hallmark of his work is an almost frenetic level of writing and publication two to four novella length books each yearAira has often spoken in interviews of elaborating an avant garde aesthetic in which, rather than editing what he has written, he engages in a flight forward fuga hacia adelante to improvise a way out of the corners he writes himself into Aira also seeks in his own work, and praises in the work of others such as the Argentine Parisian cartoonist and comic novelist Copi , the continuum el continuo of a constant movement forward in the fictional narrative As a result his fictions can jump radically from one genre to another, and often deploy narrative strategies from popular culture and subliterary genres like pulp science fiction and television soap operas on the other hand, he frequently deliberately refuses to conform to generic expectations for how a novel ought to end, leaving many of his fictions quite open endedWhile his subject matter ranges from Surrealist or Dadaist quasi nonsense to fantastic tales set in his Buenos Aires neighborhood in Flores, Aira also returns frequently to Argentina s nineteenth century the two books translated into English, The Hare and An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, are examples of this so is the best known novel of his early years, Ema la cautiva Emma, the Captive He also returns regularly to play with stereotypes of an exotic East Una novela china , A Chinese Novel El volante The Flyer , and El peque o monje budista The Little Buddhist Monk Aira also enjoys mocking himself and his childhood home town Coronel Pringles in fictions such as C mo me hice monja How I Became a Nun , C mo me re How I Laughed , El cerebro musical The Musical Brain and Las curas milagrosas del doctor Aira The Miraculous Cures of Dr Aira His novella La prueba served as the basis or point of departure only the first half hour follows the novella of Diego Lerman s film Tan de repente Suddenly His novel C mo me hice monja How I Became a Nun was selected as one of the best publications in Spain in the year Besides his fiction, and the translation work he does for a living, Aira also writes literary criticism, including monographic studies of Copi, the poet Alejandra Pizarnik, and the nineteenth century British limerick and nonsense writer Edward Lear He wrote a short book, Las tres fechas The Three Dates , arguing for the central importance, when approaching some minor eccentric writers, of examining the moment of their lives about which they are writing , the date of completion of the work, and the date of publication of the work Aira also was the literary executor of the complete works of his friend the scabrous poet novelist Osvaldo Lamborghini The American publisher, New Directions, has put out four of his works in English translation An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, How I Became A Nun, Ghosts, The Literary Conference New Directions plans to publishworks of Aira s in the near futureHe is the father of the comic books artist Tom s Aira.


The Musical Brain: And Other StoriesThe Musical Brain: And Other Stories MOBI ✓ Musical musical pdf, brain: kindle, other book, stories pdf, The Musical mobile, Brain: And kindle, The Musical Brain: And Other StoriesMusical Brain: And epub, The Musical Brain: And Other Stories PDF/EPUBA delirious Brain: And ePUB ↠ collection of short stories from the Latin American master of microfiction, C sar Aira the author The Musical eBook ½ of at least eighty novels, most of them barely one hundred pages long The Musical Brain Other Stories comprises Musical Brain: And Kindle Õ twenty tales about oddballs, freaks, and loonies Aira, with his fuga hacia adelante or flight forward into the unknown, gives us imponderables to ponder and bizarre and seemingly out of context plot lines, as well as thoughtful and passionate takes on everyday reality The title story, first published in the New Yorker, is the creme de la creme of this exhilarating collection.

You may also like...

10 thoughts on “The Musical Brain: And Other Stories

  1. Hank Stuever says:

    This was very thoughtfully given to me on my birthday this year by a writer friend who considers it one of his favorites So for me it was an open invitation to read these pieces as they are but also possibly as a way to understand HIM better, as a writer As for Aira, I don t have a lot to say I will confess that toward the end of the book, I was tempted to skim, as the tone of the pieces really began to drag for me The endlessly discursive style and the mental meandering gets tiresome for th This was very thoughtfully given to me on my birthday this year by a writer friend who considers it one of his favorites So for me it was an open invitation to read these pieces as they are but also possibly as a way to understand HIM better, as a writer As for Aira, I don t have a lot to say I will confess that toward the end of the book, I was tempted to skim, as the tone of the pieces really began to drag for me The endlessly discursive style and the mental meandering gets tiresome for those of us seeking specificity and clarity Part of this might have to do with translation not just translation of language, but translation of personality and culture Totally worth it The Dog story, perhaps one of the finest things I have ever read on the subject of guilt and conscience Utterly and completely human

  2. Mike Puma says:

    In lieu of a review.Frequently, when reading Aira, you come across passages which suggest the route, by which, he ll proceed with the story not a foreshadowing of the plot, rather a hint of the device, by which, he ll get there For me, it s part of what makes reading him so much fun, e.g Folklore and literature are so full of stories about greedy fools who are punished for their haste, that it makes you think those offers are all too good to be true There are no records or reliable precedent In lieu of a review.Frequently, when reading Aira, you come across passages which suggest the route, by which, he ll proceed with the story not a foreshadowing of the plot, rather a hint of the device, by which, he ll get there For me, it s part of what makes reading him so much fun, e.g Folklore and literature are so full of stories about greedy fools who are punished for their haste, that it makes you think those offers are all too good to be true There are no records or reliable precedents on which to base a decision, because this sort of thing happens only in stories or jokes, so no one has ever really thought about it seriously and in the stories there s always a trick, otherwise it would be no fun and there would be no story At some point, we ve all secretly imagined this happening I had it all worked out, but only for the three wishes scenario The choice the genie had given me was so unexpected, and one of the oppositions was so definitive, that I had to weigh them up, at least or By the thirties, after all, Picasso had been recognized as the pre eminent painter of asymmetrical women complicating the reading of an image by introducing a linguistic detour was just another means of distortion, and in order to underline the importance that he attached to this procedure, he had chosen to apply it to a queen.orThere s also apractical reason, which relates to comprehensibility even the most insignificant details are important for the complete explanation of mechanisms that might, at first glance, seem absurd One has to work through the list of senseless oddities so as not to miss the one that has the magic power to make sense of everything.Other random quotes which appealed to me, some of which suffer from lack of context The game of realism, by its very nature, neutralized everything The hypothesis underlying this study is that human beings act in strict accordance with an instinctive program, which governs all of our actions, however unpredictable or freely chosen they may seem, and that our cultural free will is consequently nothan a kindly illusion with which we dupe ourselves, as much a part of our innate heritage as the rest And the metaphoric forms of flight new jobs, resolutions, self hypnosis were, predictably, even less effective when the literal doesn t work, metaphors are worse than useless If we had known what surrealism was, we would have cried Surrealism is so beautiful It changes everything Then we went back to the normal game like someone going back to sleep, back to efficiency and representation The successiveness of this narration is an unavoidable defect If I were a character in a play, the lack of real privacy would make me feel wary, anxious, and suspicious One way or another I d sense the quiet, attentive presence of the public As to keeping the secret and not betraying the trust that had been placed in me, I could set my mind at rest because labeling something as art dispels all suspicion of reality forever Only time could have provided confirmation of what was happening, but it was the action of time, precisely, that obliterated the traces, or scrambled them, tying them into a knot It wasn t impossible Every impossibility has a basis in the possible After all, one of the men had always had normal size feet, and the other, normal size hands The brain, which is always looking for ways to save energy, cancels or dulls the perceptions that are most frequently repeated in everyday life, skipping over them, taking them for granted, the better to concentrate on what s new, which might be important for survival, whereas familiar features of the environment have been ruled out as potential threatsThe misplaced fact that had always governed my relationship with the two men prevented me from fixing my gaze, in an obvious way at least, on the enormous hands and feet, but I was also inhibited by the very common reluctance which, in my case, was particularly strong, almost a taboo to look in detail at anything monstrous, deformed or horrible, for fear it might become an obsession, or prove to be unforgettable when everything beautiful is forgotten Perhaps this is a remnant of ancestral superstitions Attention skirts around whatever might leave an impression To shut my eyes would have been impolite, as well as impractical Which left me with only one option, peripheral vision. 4.something stars, rounded to 5 Few, if any, total misses in the collection in general, each story especially toward the end just seemed to get better than the one that preceded it

  3. Vit Babenco says:

    C sar Aira s influences are rather apparent Marcel Schwob, Raymond Roussel and, of course, Jorge Luis Borges but he ison the side of satire so in his hands symbolism, surrealism and magical realism turn into the weapon of ridicule.The little girl s rapid consumption of novelties was accepted as something natural, even exciting This is how it should always be, some people were thinking, philosophically getting and losing, enjoying and letting go Everything passes, and that s why C sar Aira s influences are rather apparent Marcel Schwob, Raymond Roussel and, of course, Jorge Luis Borges but he ison the side of satire so in his hands symbolism, surrealism and magical realism turn into the weapon of ridicule.The little girl s rapid consumption of novelties was accepted as something natural, even exciting This is how it should always be, some people were thinking, philosophically getting and losing, enjoying and letting go Everything passes, and that s why we re here Eternity and itsor less convincing simulacra are not a part of life In the Cafis my favourite tale in the collection it s a great parable of art and gnoseology The title story The Musical Brain is almost the Kafkian fable of a cryptic metamorphosis but it is a murderous mockery Acts of Charity is an excellent philosophically satiric allegory of wealth and poverty The rich are always seduced by altruism and philanthropy and tempted to be charitable and help the poor But they successfully fight the temptation and in the end win.The way they see it, the poor deserve the conditions they live in, because they re lazy or don t even want to improve themselves whatever you give them will only prolong their poverty They ve never known anything else, and they re satisfied with what they know In merely practical terms, without having to go into moral, historical, or sociological considerations, it s obvious that poverty, especially in its extreme forms, is a phase that societies have to go through, and can t simply be eliminated Why even try The poor live happily with their lacks, and don t even see them as such.Therefore the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer

  4. Paul Secor says:

    There s a story entitled Cecil Taylor in this collection I don t have heroes these days but, if I did, Cecil Taylor would surely be near the top of the list So it was a certainty that I was going to pick up this book.The Cecil Taylor story is a very good one I don t know how much of the story is based in fact and how much is myth Over time, fact and myth can merge and become one I m just happy that the story is real.There are at least two other stories in The Music Brain and Other Sto There s a story entitled Cecil Taylor in this collection I don t have heroes these days but, if I did, Cecil Taylor would surely be near the top of the list So it was a certainty that I was going to pick up this book.The Cecil Taylor story is a very good one I don t know how much of the story is based in fact and how much is myth Over time, fact and myth can merge and become one I m just happy that the story is real.There are at least two other stories in The Music Brain and Other Stories that I know will remain with me over time The Dog , a haunting, searing tale of guilt, conscience, and memory and Poverty Maybe that s why you resent me, but it s the source of all your originality, and given your maladaptation, without originality, you re nothing I ve never been truly poor and I hope that I never will be, but Poverty s argument seemed to be a convincing one for the narrator of the story, though there may well be some twisted irony involved there.Some of the other stories in this collection turn in on themselves in ways that didn t grab me, and made for sluggish reading, but I ll remember the three stories mentioned above and that s enough for me

  5. Northpapers says:

    Aira deals in the higher geometries of narrative Sometimes, his stories fold in on their own devices, examining their own technique and structure in startling ways Because of Aira s warm sense of irony he frequently enters his own stories as an unreliable narrator and evasive philosopher , he s able to do so without the particularly cold, reflexive feel of much avant garde contemporary writing.In fact, in one of his interviews, he rejects avant garde as a military term, and says that his ai Aira deals in the higher geometries of narrative Sometimes, his stories fold in on their own devices, examining their own technique and structure in startling ways Because of Aira s warm sense of irony he frequently enters his own stories as an unreliable narrator and evasive philosopher , he s able to do so without the particularly cold, reflexive feel of much avant garde contemporary writing.In fact, in one of his interviews, he rejects avant garde as a military term, and says that his aim is not to deconstruct He loves it all By appearing often in his own work, he injects a sense of humanity and tenderness into complex, almost mathematical forms For me, the result is a sense of wonder and continuing curiosity.I particularly liked A Brick Wall, The Cart, and The Spy for their sense of nostalgia and for how they always stayed a little out of reach before yielding their secrets I read all three of these stories several times, and was amply rewarded for the work

  6. jeremy says:

    there is always so much to love in the works of c sar aira he may well be one of the most unpredictable fiction writers in contemporary literature, with each novella or storybizarre or unexpected than the last he s well known, of course, for not revising his works as he writes them, favoring instead a flight forward approach the musical brain and other stories collects twenty of aira s stories, spanning nearly twenty years of his writing while some of the stories are brief affairs, a there is always so much to love in the works of c sar aira he may well be one of the most unpredictable fiction writers in contemporary literature, with each novella or storybizarre or unexpected than the last he s well known, of course, for not revising his works as he writes them, favoring instead a flight forward approach the musical brain and other stories collects twenty of aira s stories, spanning nearly twenty years of his writing while some of the stories are brief affairs, a few arenovella like in length largely absent from this collection, however, are the stylistic, thematic, and genre shifts that have characterized his previously translated novellas nonetheless, the musical brain, for anyone who has had the distinct pleasure of reading aira in the past, contains nearly all of the admirable qualities we ve come to anticipate and appreciate.of the disparate stories making up aira s first short story collection to appear in english translation, some of thenotable ones include the dog, a thousand drops, the all that plows through the nothing, the cart, poverty, no witnesses, the two men, acts of charity, and cecil taylor this is how it should always be, some people were thinking, philosophically getting and losing, enjoying and letting go everything passes, and that s why we re here eternity and itsor less convincing simulacra are not a part of life. translated from the spanish by chris andrews bola o, et al special mention should be made of the musical brain s lenticular book cover designed by rodrigo corral and zak tebbal an absolutely gorgeous, unforgettable, and entirely fitting way to jacket aira s singular stories

  7. Roger Brunyate says:

    The Tenth FoldSeveral of the twenty stories in this collection mention the fact that you cannot fold a sheet of paper in halfthan nine times The fact is not really essential to any of the stories in which it occurs, except that it sets up the legend of the tenth fold, that speculative but impossible extension to everyday logic to which only God and the mind of C sar Aira have access.Those who have read Aira before will not look to him for a story in the normal narrative sense He will sta The Tenth FoldSeveral of the twenty stories in this collection mention the fact that you cannot fold a sheet of paper in halfthan nine times The fact is not really essential to any of the stories in which it occurs, except that it sets up the legend of the tenth fold, that speculative but impossible extension to everyday logic to which only God and the mind of C sar Aira have access.Those who have read Aira before will not look to him for a story in the normal narrative sense He will start with a premise, a childhood memory or something quite simple and everyday Before long, he will either be philosophizing on its implications or striking off in some totally unexpected direction The Musical Brain of the title story, some kind of music playing device, is only one of a number of oddities in a story that involves a restaurant where people pay with used books, a comedy theater, a circus, a love triangle between three midgets, and a flying mutant The title of the opening story, The Brick Wall, refers to the movie The Village of the Damned, one of the thousand orAira reckons he saw as a child, yet by a deliberate feat of misdirection he abandons that tack altogether and tells a story based on quite another movie, North by Northwest, before that too is abandoned and the story ends.The spirit of Borges hovers over many of these tales, yet it is a Borges with a lighthearted sense of humor Aira s attempts to bring out a literary Athena Magazine in his youth becomes an intricate series of minute calculations balancing the page count of the first issue against the publication s further prospects The competition between the middle aged patrons in In the Caf to fold origami animals out of napkins to delight a four year old girl escalates until they are making intricate model universes, each of which the girl soon destroys in her childish glee In A Thousand Drops, the Mona Lisa dissolves into minute particles of paint which wander the universe, creating minor miracles or cosmic catastrophes wherever they touch down In yet another story, two women friends who chat with each other incessantly while working out in the gym are seen as oracles for all the crises in the world.It is bizarre stuff and curiously fascinating, but too rich to read all in a day or two So I have paused at the halfway point, and will return later But not without identifying my personal favorite, God s Tea Party, in which God traditionally celebrates His birthday by throwing a party for the apes By the end of it, by contrasting the grandeur of God with the tiniest imaginable subatomic particle, Aira has covered much the same ground as Stephen Hawking sA Brief History of Time , but in a marvelously entertaining way Alas, not all the stories are as much fun or as meaningful, but Aira s particular brand of convoluted philosophy can be glimpsed throughout Here, for example, is his explanation of the bad behavior of the apes at the tea table The problem of the bad behavior might be due to the fact that God doesn t preside Or rather, He does and He doesn t As we know, God is omnipresent, which turns out to be very handy for carrying out His functions, but it has the drawback of preventing Him from being visibly present in a particular place, for example sitting at the head of the table, keeping things under control His absence if His omnipresence can be counted as an absence could be regarded as a discourtesy that legitimates all the subsequent discourtesies of his guests a host who fails to turn up to his own party thereby authorizes his guests to behave as they like.The excellent translation is by Chris Andrews

  8. Ethan says:

    Of course Cesar Aira has over 90 books, his stories have such manic energy and a sneaky speed that somehow defies his brain trapped stories This collection gets its title from an enigmatic object in a real firework of a story that comes 1 3 of the way into this small book and sadly marks the end of its great moments however, considering the collection s consistent narrator is ostensibly Aira himself, bubbling over with stories that seem to take musical phrasing asof a narrative form th Of course Cesar Aira has over 90 books, his stories have such manic energy and a sneaky speed that somehow defies his brain trapped stories This collection gets its title from an enigmatic object in a real firework of a story that comes 1 3 of the way into this small book and sadly marks the end of its great moments however, considering the collection s consistent narrator is ostensibly Aira himself, bubbling over with stories that seem to take musical phrasing asof a narrative form thantraditional literary arcs, the title best doubles as a comment on the writer himself Only the final story one that seemed strangely disconnected from the rest of the set with its biographical bent seems to deal directly with music, but Aira s style has that technical approach to slapdash jazziness and a slapdash jazz approach to the technical that ties it to great contemporary music forms It s problems are identical too caught inside itself, the music and Aira s writing seems to lose track with the dazzling surreal moments in life it was capturing so well only to lean on questions about the medium itself for inspiration This is abrasively true in stories like The All That Plows Through the Nothing and The Criminal and the Cartoonist that seem to purposefully dismantle themselves away from life and into the world of Literature with a capital L to frustrating effect.Aira seems so full of ideas and a willingness to run with them, but stories like Acts of Charity and The Ovenbird seem intent on driving a single point home for pages that it is easy to forget the wonderful moments in other sections where dozens of points dance together on a single page The stories making up the first third of the book all of which tend to berecent than later offerings are so full of wonderful and childlike imaginations filtered through a literary mind that you feel you can follow Aira anywhere, the problem is when that anywhere leads to the rest of this collection

  9. John Madera says:

    C sar Aira s The Musical Brain is a commanding performance, finding the fabulist once again blurring the imagined boundaries between genres, between so called reality and so called fantasy, music, biography, mathematics, science, among the subjects and forms, respectively, upended The following quote from Cecil Taylor, the collection s last story, serves as a possible guide to Aira s singular approach to narrative throughout this collection, and his writing as a whole And what counts in lite C sar Aira s The Musical Brain is a commanding performance, finding the fabulist once again blurring the imagined boundaries between genres, between so called reality and so called fantasy, music, biography, mathematics, science, among the subjects and forms, respectively, upended The following quote from Cecil Taylor, the collection s last story, serves as a possible guide to Aira s singular approach to narrative throughout this collection, and his writing as a whole And what counts in literature is detail, atmosphere, and the right balance between the two The exact detail, which makes things visible, and an evocative, overall atmosphere, without which the details would be a disjointed inventory Atmosphere allows the author to work with forces freed of function, and with movements in a space that is independent of location, a space that finally abolishes the difference between writer and the writtenthe great manifold tunnel in broad daylight

  10. Curtainthief says:

    Aira s writing inspires both envy and annoyance The former being theexcruciating Part of his brilliance is in getting carried away, but he doesn t always carry the reader with him His powers are nonetheless undeniable Aira is at his most obnoxious in the penultimate story, but the final one, about the early failures of my favorite jazz musician, Cecil Taylor, cemented my emotional bond with his work I simultaneously look forward to and dread getting into the novellas.