César Aira, Sophie-Anne Delhomme, Olivette Otele, Eric Poitevin… Brief reviews of the “World of Books”

Classic. “The Saga of the Orcadians”

Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scandinavia, Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Orkney… In the Middle Ages, this vast universe had a common denominator: literature. This allows us to grasp the fundamental unity of the whole beyond ethnic, political, linguistic or religious differences. The Saga of the Orcadians offers even stronger proof of this than many other texts of the time: his heroes, the jarls (“counts”) of the archipelago of the same name, cross the expanses of these seas and lands, and their travels, their exploits, their struggles give rise to fascinating stories that animate this particular geography. In addition to its literary attractions, this text, due to a twelfth-century Icelandic authorY century -but which draws from an older tradition- also has an inestimable historical value: without it, we would know little about the ancient history of this archipelago. E.Ba.

“The Saga of the Orcadians” (saga of Orkneyinga), translated from the Norse by Jean Renaud, Anacharsis, 282 p., €25.

New. “The President” by Cesar Aira

Every night, in Buenos Aires, a man walks, discovering his fellow citizens: night owls, tired workers, homeless people who rummage through garbage cans… It is the President of the Argentine Republic incognito, who, moved by a disinterested love for his neighbors , seeks to live their lives vicariously. yes in Linden (Christian Bourgois, 2021), César Aira approached the political history of his country, returning to his childhood spent in full Peronism, here he immerses himself more directly in the intimacy of a man faced with the exercise of power. It is from the side of the oriental tale, both in its form and in its motifs, that he transposes his imagination, to paint the portrait of a humble leader, who has chosen to live in destitution, apart from all reality. What is left for a leader when everything seems to separate him from ” real “ world ? Memories, but above all the presence of capricious beings, more or less illusory companions of existence. Aira shreds them with the zany humor that makes his job the salt: Little Birrette, the protagonist’s childhood friend, gone mad or dead; Xenia, the independent woman whose secrets the president would like to scientifically unveil; or the Rabbi, his sexual initiator with supernatural powers, kidnapped by mysterious kidnappers… These beacons in the night of a lonely man contribute to making this dreamlike and crazy fable a delicious political satire. A warning to elected officials against taking themselves too seriously. Ar. s.

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