“Literature is the queen of the arts – the greatest of them all, because it embraces them all. When you write, you are making music, painting, drawing, cinema.” Meet the unique, secretive César Aira in this rare interview.
“You will have to travel to the south of Argentina to find the most original, the most shocking, the most exciting and subversive Spanish-speaking author of our time” Spanish newspaper El País wrote of César Aira.
“I write every day because I take pleasure in it.“ Argentinian writer César Aira, called ‘the Marcel Duchamp of Latin America’, talks about his love of literature, and how he sees himself as a “reader who also writes” and how he prefers to write in secret, while hidden away in his home.
César Aira was very inspired by the early avant-garde. “I think it is the function of the writer, the artist, to always create something new” he says, but adds that he does not see himself as true avant-garde, since he is not a nihilist. His interest is in creating stories, using his imagination, his writing to create pictures to be seen.
Aira is is loved by many fellow writers, such as Roberto Bolano, Patti Smith and Nicole Krauss. In this interview he explains that he decided to be a writer, because he couldn’t paint, play music or make movies. As a mature man, Aira realized that literature is the greatest art form of them all, because it embraces them all. “When you write, you are making music, painting, drawing, cinema” he explains.
César Aira (b.1949) has published over eighty books of stories, novels and essays, half of which contain less than twenty pages. Since 1993 Aira has written two to four books each year. Aira has taught at the University of Buenos Aires (about Copi and Rimbaud) and at the University of Rosario (Constructivism and Mallarmé), and has translated and edited books from France, England, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela.
César Aira was interviewed by the Danish writer Peter Adolphsen at the Louisiana Literature festival 2012. Adolphsen also translated Aira’s words into English in this video.
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014
Supported by Nordea-fonden