That was the question I found myself asking, over and over again, while reading Cesar Aira’s Ema la Cautiva (“Emma, the Captive”–there’s. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Cruzando fronteras: ‘Ema, la cautiva’ de César Aira | The article deals with the definition of the frontier, in order to. Buy Ema, la cautiva (Spanish Edition): Read 1 Kindle Store Reviews – Amazon. com.

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Covenant this weekend; I was surprised to discover that its villain, aside from various iterations of H. The viewpoint shifts from the Frenchman to one of the female prisoners, Ema, who is granted to him as a concubine. Though Aira wrote this book, according to its subscription, the year before the first Alien film’s release, this coincidence is not exactly an accident, as both the avant-garde novel and the pop-culture film franchise are playing variations on the same coupling of narrative genres: Open Preview See a Fma She then shacks up with a gaucho before a raid makes her a prisoner of various Indians.

Refresh and try again. Ema herself remains somewhat mysterious and fautiva. We only really see Ema’s story as it relates to the activity important to the men, such as an ambush or a party or a battle. Both narratives show colonizing missions derailed by inhuman assault. You don’t know where you are or what you are looking at, but the air is full of lla.

Ema, la cautiva

Trivia About Ema, la Cautiva. The rest of the book recounts Ema’s life with the indigenous population.

This is really an unexpectedly beautiful read, and like the Monkey Festival in the book, it ends as it begins — with nothing. Timothy rated it liked it Aug 06, Aira also was the literary executor of the complete works of his friend the scabrous poet-novelist Osvaldo Lamborghini — Al principio se presenta como un personaje sin voz y sin nombre, casi imperceptible, casi un objeto. Is he making a point that he is also keeping Ema as a captive, to only write about her in a way that interests him?


Ema is an ever-youthful, ever-desirable female who is subject to terrible violence along with her children being subject to it without her having much of a problem with it. I found it very confusing and demoralizing. In Chris Andrews’s translation, Aira’s phantasmagoria comes to listless life, feverishly dreamy, grotesque and sexy, a genuine and difficult pleasure: He gives her a loan and twenty thousand hectares and she begins the breeding, the descriptions of which are not pleasant semen extraction and fertilization and make even official visitors nauseated.

With Ema, I truly had no idea where the story was leading and what might happen. I just can’t tell what the author’s eam, if he believes in all this misogyny and captivity, or if he’s saying that Ema is a captive even when she’s “free”, and maybe even from the reader truly seeing her.

I feel like the review that The Millions gave explained my feelings about this book the best — “His novels are eccentric clones of reality, where the lights are brighter, the picture is sharper and everything happens at the speed of thought.

Ema, la Cautiva by César Aira

This book is poetically descriptive. He is an important Argentinian voice, not so well known in this country who deserves to be read by many more people. David rated it liked it Jan 22, It is a thesis o “Ema, the Captive” is less interested in plot than in the pure, sensual experience of being.

They smoke lots of cigarettes and drink from many different bottles, but nobody ever buys tobacco or alcohol. And who cares, anyway?


The story of a woman taken as a slave in 19th century Argentina, passed from soldiers to indigenous tribes, and eventually making her own life. An intellectual who fails to understand what is happening in his time and in his country is a walking contradiction, and those who understand but do nothing will have a place reserved in the anthology of tears but not in the living history of their land. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Anyway, something is going on in this book and it’s mysterious in the best way. There is a great deal of incongruous humor: The writing is gorgeous with a dreamlike quality in the depiction of the life of the indigenous people and their surroundings.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. There was no anabasis. Almost all the tensions end up peacefully with a scene of people smoking, swimming and playing games. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Ema, la Cautiva : Cesar Aira :

London rated it liked it Feb 18, Apparently, Aira has said that he often writes without knowing where he is headed. This was a hard one. The trip is appalling deprivations and rapes prevail along the wayyet the real story commences once Ema arrives at the fort, where she takes on a succession ka lovers among the soldiers and Indians, leading to a brave and grand entrepreneurial experiment.