Mark Doty on Cesar Aira’s “An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter”

by Mary Doty | Jun-03-2007

The month of June kicks off Reading the World. As part of this project, the NBCC has asked writers from around the globe to recommend a book from beyond these shores. We asked NBCC-winning poet and memoirist Mark Doty what he had to recommend and he responded by picking Cesar Aira's "An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter."

"This startlingly compact novel (just 87 pages) concerns the sufferings of a German painter, Johann Rugendas, who journeyed into Latin America in the first half of the 19th century with the intention of recording the landscape for art buyers back home. But Rugendas is practically destroyed when he enters into the alluring emptiness of the Pampas, and this bracingly strange little book becomes a meditation on representation, what art costs us, and on the encounter between worlds."

--Mark Doty

About the Critical Mass Blog

Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).



Categories & Archives

Become a Friend of the NBCC

Upcoming Events

NBCC at AWP18: March 09th, 2018

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 14th, 2018

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 15th, 2018

NBCC Awards

Award Winners for 2016

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions

Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2016 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.