César Aira: El tilo (The Lime Tree; The Linden Tree)

The latest addition to my website is César Aira‘s El tilo (The Lime Tree; The Linden Tree). This is somewhat different from the normal Aira in that there is no strange or fanciful story but rather the story of a boy growing up in the town of Coronel Pringles did, as did Aira himself. We learn about his father’s abrupt renunciation of Catholicism in favour of Peronism, his father’s job in charge of all the public lighting in the town, of the changes when Perón was overthrown, of the large house where the three of them lived in only one room, with the other rooms all empty and of how the unnamed narrator came to love stories and story-telling. And, of course, we learn of the huge lime tree, its use by the narrator’s father and its ultimate destruction. This is certainly not Aira’s best work but worth reading nonetheless.

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