Saturday, June 16, 2018

the last book I ever read (César Aira's The Seamstress and the Wind, excerpt six)

from The Seamstress and the Wind by César Aira:

Now I remember a type of candy that the children of Pringles adored in those days, a kind of ancestor of what afterwards became gum. It was very local, I don’t know who invented it nor when it disappeared, I only know that today it does not exist. It was a little ball wrapped in parchment paper, accompanied by a little loose stick, all very homemade. One had to chew it until it got spongy and grew enormously in volume; we knew it was ready when it no longer fit in our mouths. We’d take it out, and it would have transformed into an extremely light mass that had the property of changing shape when blown by the wind, to which we exposed it by putting it on the end of the little stick. That must be why it was only a local candy: the winds of Pringles are like knives. It was like having a portable cloud, and seeing it change and suggest all kinds of things . . . It was healthy and entertaining . . . The wind, which left us as we were (it limited itself to mussing our hair) ceaselessly transfigured the mass . . . and there was no point falling in love with a particular shape because it would already be another, then another . . . until suddenly it would solidify, or crystallize, into any one of the shapes that had been delighting us for so many minutes, and then we would eat it like a lollipop.

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