"A stunning vibrant maximalist whirlwind of a novel. Oloixarac’s wit and ambition are evident on every page. By comparison, most other contemporary fiction seems a little dull and simple-minded." —Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears and Gods Without Men
A debut novel of seduction and madness, hate and love, set in the world of Argentine academia and animated by the spirits of Wittgenstein, Rousseau, Nabokov and Bolaño
Rosa Ostreech, a pseudonym for the novel’s beautiful but self-conscious narrator, carries around a trilingual edition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, struggles with her thesis on violence and culture, sleeps with a bourgeois former guerrilla, and pursues her elderly professor with a highly charged blend of eroticism and desperation. Elsewhere on campus, Pabst and Kamtchowsky tour the underground scene of Buenos Aires, dabbling in ketamine, group sex, video games, and hacking. And in Africa in 1917, a Dutch anthropologist named Johan van Vliet begins work on a theory that explains human consciousness and civilization by reference to our early primate ancestors—animals, who, in the process of becoming human, spent thousands of years as prey.
Savage Theories wryly explores fear and violence, war and sex, eroticism and philosophy. Its complex and flawed characters grapple with a mess of impossible, visionary theories, searching for their place in our fragmented digital world.
Acclaimed in Argentina when it was first released, Oloixarac's brilliant, dextrous debut novel is a twisty tale of academia, lust, and culture. At its core are three narratives, two of which take place in the present: the adventures of young Kamtchowsky and her boyfriend, Pabst, as they sift their way through the Buenos Aires music, drug, pornography, and video game scenes; and the pursuit of the novel's narrator, known only as Rosa Ostreech, as she tries to draw the attention of her older professor (by seducing another man), also in Buenos Aires. The third story line begins in 1917 and focuses on a Dutch anthropologist and later his disciples as he explores a theory that ties human civilization and behavior to the violence seen in our primate ancestors. These ambitious narrative threads overlap, yet characters disappear for long stretches, making their stories unfold in fits and starts, which may frustrate some. However, the author's ability to incorporate diverse elements, including 1970s Argentinian sex comedies, early 20th-century psychological theory, Elton John, and Thomas Hobbes singing in bed, makes for a singular and humorous experience. Perhaps best of all is Oloixarac's prose: discursive, surprising, and off-kilter like the characters themselves, it reveals a ceaseless appetite for understanding and belonging.