Save Your Breath

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Bookslut features an essay by Elvis Bego that’s part passionate defense of short books, part review of Cesar Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira.

“America, vast in space and in ambition, seems to goad its writers to impose a brazen intentionality onto the marketplace. The American writer’s appetite must be omnivorous, his palette the trunk of a sequoia, his cast not smaller than a minor duchy, a perversion of Dostoevsky. And yet how often you read one of those baggy monsters and there’s nothing there but explosions of trivial pleonasm. The imagination slumbers, the talent something that happened to other people.”

We can think of a good example, if you’re curious about shorter novels. Check out Paul Harding’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers.


Nikita Schoen is an intern at The Rumpus, and a Writing & Literature student at California College of the Arts. She lives in San Francisco. More from this author →