In César Aira’s World, Life Is a Series of Chance Encounters

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By Sheila Glaser

By César Aira
Translated by Chris Andrews

“Puzzled, far more puzzled than at the outset of their quest, the five men came to the conclusion that all books were the Manual, and that everyone possessed the key with which to find instructions in them, fail-safe instructions for what to do and how to succeed in life.” So ends the penultimate section of César Aira’s newly translated novel “The Divorce,” a characteristically slim 98-page volume that presents as many riddles as answers, in which, in fact, the riddles are the answers.

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