Clarke is a nineteenth-century English naturalist who roams the pampas in search of an elusive animal: the Legibrerian hare, whose defining quality seems to be its ability to fly. The local tribesmen, pointing skyward, tell him about recent sightings of the hare, but then they ask Clarke to help them search for their missing chief, as well. On further investigation Clarke finds more than meets the eye: in the Mapuche and Voroga languages every word has at least two meanings.
Witty, very ironic, and with all the usual Airian digressive magic, The Hare offers subtle reflections on love, Victorian-era colonialism, and the many ambiguities of language.
To love the novels of César Aira you must have a taste for the absurd, a tolerance for the obscurely philosophical, and a willingness to laugh out loud against your better judgment.
—Marcela Valdes, NPR Reviews
The novel moves erratically, never quite landing where you think, and as mysterious subplot after subplot is introduced, one may be forgiven for suspecting that Aira is playing a joke at the expense of the reader, but in his masterful hands, ambiguity eventually builds to order, mystery to revelation, and every digression turns out to have a purpose.
Aira’s refusal to make any occurrence definitive gives the world depicted in the novel an element of the absurd. The result can be as frustrating as it is liberating. Whether or not Clarke ultimately catches sight of the hare is beside the point. Even if he found it, we’d soon discover that, maybe, after all, he didn’t. Or that it wasn’t a hare at all.
—The Daily Beast
You’ll find there are few adventures more outrageous, and more unsettling, than this cowboy chase through the pampas in search of the white rabbit.