The Clouds (Paperback)

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The Clouds By Juan José Saer, Hilary Vaughn Dobel (Translator) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Another excursion into the great mind of Argentina's Juan José Saer. Faux history merges with absurdist humor in sublime language; THE CLOUDS follows a doctor as he takes five mental patients to a recently constructed asylum. Notorious for his sentences (nay, paragraphs) that meander like the best of Proust, this novel does not disappoint. Beautifully excessive and wonderfully astute, THE CLOUDS will leave the reader breathless. A meditation on madness, exile and the process of writing.

— From Mark Recommends


Saer is one of the best writers of today in any language.--Ricardo Piglia

What Saer presents marvelously is the experience of reality, and the characters' attempts to write their own narratives within its excess.--Bookforum

In modern-day Paris, Pich n Garay receives a computer disk containing a manuscript--which might be fictional, or could be a memoir--by Doctor Real, a nineteenth-century physician tasked with leading a group of five mental patients on a trip to a recently constructed asylum. Their trip, which ends in disaster and fire, is a brilliant tragicomedy thanks to the various insanities of the patients, among whom is a delusional man who greatly over-estimates his own importance and a nymphomaniac nun who tricks everyone--even the other patients--into sleeping with her.

Fascinating as a faux historical novel and written in Saer's typically gorgeous, Proustian style, The Clouds can be read as a metaphor for exile--a huge theme for Saer and a lot of Argentine writers--as well as an examination of madness.

Juan Jos Saer was the leading Argentinian writer of the post-Borges generation. The author of numerous novels and short-story collections (including Scars and La Grande), Saer was awarded Spain's prestigious Nadal Prize in 1987 for The Event. Five of his novels are available from Open Letter Books.

Hilary Vaughn Dobel has an MFA in poetry and translation from Columbia University. She is the author of two manuscripts and, in addition to Saer, she has translated work by Carlos Pintado.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781940953342
ISBN-10: 1940953340
Publisher: Open Letter
Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
Pages: 177
Language: English