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The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof

by César Aira

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César Aira is wild. The laws of gravity do not apply.

—James S. A. Correy, The Denver Post

Two completely different novellas by the inimitable César Aira


The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof

Fiction by César Aira

translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor

The Little Buddhist Monk is a story of Asian invention gone wild, as a diminutive Korean Buddhist monk acts as a tour guide to an increasingly distraught French couple on a working vacation in the Far East. The Proof brings us quickly back to the West, where two punks, plus a new recruit (“Wannafuck?”is the opening line as the two punk lesbians accost the chubby and shy Marcia on a quiet street in Buenos Aires), take control of a local supermarket with dire consequences for the hostages. These two fast-paced, edgy works are as different as night and day. Nevertheless—as well as sex, identity, and modern-day economics figuring deeply in both—deep currents connect the two novellas: our little Buddhist monk remarks, “I told you it was easy. When something is easy, it is completely easy. But no one believes it. Not even the proof convinces them.”

published May 23rd, 2017