Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
César Aira is one of the great contemporary authors in Spanish. He has published over one hundred titles, most of them short novels, literary experiments he has sometimes defined as “Dadaist fairy tales” or “literary toys for adults”. “Innovative”, ”surprising”, “intelligent” and “fun” are adjectives that accompany this literary genius who constructs highly personal universes: the magical and absurd Patagonian landscapes of “Ema the Captive” (Literatura Random House, 2015); the boy César of “How I Became a Nun” (LRH, 2021), who reminds us of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, with its alternating genders; Darwin’s brother-in-law in search of the strangest hare on Earth in “The Hare” (in “Ten Novels by César Aira”, LRH, 2021); or “Parmenides” (LRH, 2006) in which, with a subtle irony, he reflects on creation and the need to build a lasting legacy. Aira’s work resists the usual classifications and is an irresistible discovery for any reader.
César Aira (Coronel Pringles, 1949) lives in Buenos Aires, and works as a translator and writer of novels, essays and numerous texts that swing between both genres. He has been awarded the Roger Caillois Award (2014), the Manuel Rojas Iberian-American Narrative Award (2016) and the Formentor Award 2021, among others. His work has been widely published in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Spain, and his novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. His latest titles, all published by Literatura Random House, include “Ten Novels by César Aira” (2019), “Fulgentius” (2020) and “The Wave that Reads” (2021).
Basilio Baltasar (Palma de Mallorca, 1955) is a writer, editor and journalist. He was director of the Santillana Foundation, where he started to organise the Formentor Conversations, and as the editorial director of Seix Barral he brought back the Biblioteca Breve Award. He has been director of the Bartolomé March Foundation, vice-president of the Jakober Foundation and the newspaper El Día del Mundo, and he currently chairs the Formentor Award and directs the Formentor Foundation, apart from being a member of the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres of Barcelona. He is the author of the novel “Iraqi Pastoral” (Alfaguara, 2013).