... a characteristically slim 98-page volume that presents as many riddles as answers, in which, in fact, the riddles are the answers ... deftly translated ... rendered as a series of surreal, often hilariously absurd vignettes ... Reading Aira can feel like being inside a picture, sliding from one plane of color to another, only to find yourself following a figure that suddenly slips outside the frame ... Aira captures the texture of the world by flying away from it. Rather than a rejection of reality, his dreamlike sequences are an acknowledgment of it, 'confirming, had there been any doubt, that there is no other world than this' ... In someone else’s hands, this might feel like a trick, but in Aira’s it is magical. With characteristic lightness he encapsulates, with a final narrative twist, the small, often funny turns that shape his captivating tales. If, as Aira writes, 'the games that Borges played with space-time in his work were secondary to his art of storytelling,' so too, it turns out, are Aira’s.
The coincidences and the rambunctious absurdism are nothing new to Aira's readers, but rarely before has the author seemed so purposeful ... The sensation of reading these story-digressions that are at times so digressive as to be unbearable is familiar for readers of Aira, but in The Divorce, he is almost singularly focused on space-time. It is a bit like bungee-jumping from Jupiter to the atomic level. And here, let me take advantage of this moment to note that in The Divorce, Aira has hit upon a burgeoning theme within academic history and literary criticism: narratives that traverse scale. 'Multi-scalar' can mean different things to different people, but to me it is exactly as Aira describes it: moving from the macro to micro in both space and time ... One of my favorite things about César Aira is just how blunt he is on the spatial and temporal background of that frozen moment ... The Divorce's stories serve as extended metaphors on the temporality of life in such a country. In a remarkable feint, Aira wraps his series of seemingly-digressive stories around Argentina writ large ... even if they're trifles, they're marvelous: magical spokes of the bicycle wheel that continues to spin stories.
... gemlike ... In a dream-logic worthy of his Argentine compatriot Borges, Aira makes this notion seem plausible, and elicits a deep sense of wonder at the hidden meaning in the world’s coincidences. This prismatic, exquisitely rendered work is from a master at the height of his powers.