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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

César Aira

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Title: The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira
Author: César Aira
Genre: Novel
Written: 1998 (Eng. 2012)
Length: 80 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira - US
Las curas milagrosas del Dr. Aira - US
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira - UK
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira - Canada
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira - India
Las curas milagrosas del Dr. Aira - España
  • Spanish title: Las curas milagrosas del Dr. Aira
  • Translated by Katherine Silver

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Our Assessment:

B : nice little contemplative story (and fine ending twist)

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira is more a story than even just a novella, but it's an elegant little work with a nice closing twist. It centers entirely around Dr.Aira, a man who seems to have withdrawn largely into himself, preoccupied and carried away by his own thoughts even when he is in the company of others. Still, he has something of a reputation -- and is called upon to intervene in two desperate cases here, his 'Miracle Cures' the only hope two very ill patients apparently have. He, however, remains leery of taking the plunge and actually applying them.
       But Dr.Aira is interested in getting a more certain hold on his 'Miracle Cures', organizing and formulating his thoughts and ideas. Coming into some money, he finds he can take time to devote himself: "fully to the writing and publication of his works". He has much written down already, but now hopes to shape it into something publishable, a work that he sees will be encyclopedic (dauntingly so, too ...). It all centers on this concept of 'Miracle Cures', which first came to him decades earlier, in his "far-distant youth":

The idea had remained more or less intact since then, not counting the natural alternation between doubt and enthusiasm characteristic of a genuinely original concept. It had been the center of his life, the pivot around which his readings, meditations, and quite varied interests had turned. Of course, in order to keep it in this central position he had had to endow it with a plasticity that resisted any definition.
       So too in this account the nature of the Miracle Cures remains, until near the end when he finally applies them, entirely undefined.
       It's no coincidence that Dr.Aira shares the author's name; what both ultimately do amounts to the shaping of worlds and universes -- and it's nice how Aira has his own reality and Dr.Aira's converge. It's a perhaps familiar point and idea, but Aira's take here is charming and creative, and the path down which Aira takes readers an agreeably unusual one.
       A fine, small text, neatly composed.

- M.A.Orthofer, 3 October 2012

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The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira: Reviews: César Aira: Other books by César Aira under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Argentinian author César Aira was born in 1949.

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