is one of the most important exponents of the Argentine literature.
His pages go beyond places and generations to become a world
heritage. His work is timeless, a classic in every sense of the word.
Itineraries of a
by birth, Argentinean by choice and a French citizen, Julio Cortázar
chose to be from anywhere and everywhere. And this is reflected by
his literature. A literature that builds bridges between places,
senses, fantasies, and realities. Cortázar—like only few writers
of the twentieth century—was able to decipher the mystery of
everyday life. His originality lay in having found a new way of
conceiving the fantastic. For
the writer, reality can change when you least expect it.
Transformation is impending and almost imperceptible. Everything has
a hidden disturbing side that threatens us.
The Life of a
Traveling Writer. Julio
Florencio Cortázar Descotte was born on August 26, 1914 in the south
of Brussels as a “result of tourism and diplomacy.” His father
was an Argentinean officer with the Argentine Embassy in Belgium,
which was at the time occupied by German forces. By the end of World
War I, the Cortázar Descotte family managed to move to Switzerland
and, some time later, to Barcelona. When Cortázar was four years
old, his family returned to Argentina and settled in Banfield, a
neighborhood in the south of Greater Buenos Aires. During his
childhood, the writer suffered health problems that forced him to
spend a long time in bed, and reading became his great companion. He
would read so much that his doctor—worried about this—suggested
that he should stop being in touch with books for a few months and go
outdoors to get some sunlight. After completing his studies at the
N° 10 School of Banfield, he became a teacher in 1932 and a
professor in Literature in 1935. Later he began studying Philosophy
at the University of Buenos Aires, but he was forced to quit his
studies to assist his mother with financial matters. He started
teaching in different places throughout the country and in 1946, he
returned to Buenos Aires and began to publish his works in numerous
magazines. Two years later, after working very hard, he graduated as
a legal translator of English and French. In 1951, not satisfied with
Juan Domingo Perón's government, he decided to move to Paris for
good through a scholarship awarded by the French government to work
as a translator for the UNESCO. In 1959, with the Cuban Revolution,
Cortázar took a stronger social commitment and supported the fight
of Latin American countries. On February 12, 1984 he died of
leukemia. His remains lie at Montparnasse Cemetery.
The Works of an
Extraordinary Genius. Apart
from being novel and original, Julio Cortázar's work is
heterogeneous and prolific. His most outstanding short stories
of the Game
armas secretas (The Secret Weapons)
Fires the Fire
(1966), and El
perseguidor y otros cuentos (The Pursuer and Other Stories)
(1967). Among his novels are: The
(1963), and A
Manual for Manuel (1973).
And of all his miscellaneous and heterogeneous works, the most
important are: Cronopios
the Day in Eighty Worlds (1967),
round (The Last Round)
(1989), and Save
If you come to Argentina and enjoy literature, you can't leave
without taking with you one of Cortazar's works. Getting into Julio
Cortazar's literature becomes a unique experience. Reading his work
opens worlds and sensitivities, it changes all the things known to
immerse us into a universe where everything is possible.
country pays homage to this genius creator throughout its extension:
in Buenos Aires, the square located in Serrano and Honduras is named
after him and many public schools of different provinces are also
called Julio Cortázar. He was also awarded the Honor Konex Award
(1984) for his huge contribution to Argentine literature… With
these expressions and the passion for reading his works, the
Argentineans thank Cortázar's great magic.
writer, reality can change when you least expect it. Transformation
is impending and almost imperceptible. Everything has a hidden
disturbing side that threatens us.
to Other Worlds
by Julio Cortázar was the epicenter of the Latin American editorial
boom of the 60s. The novel, published in 1963, comprised all the
aesthetics concerns of a period marked by revolution.
“In a way, this book is many books, but it is mainly two books,”
Cortázar states in the first lines. The novel develops in such a way
that the reader will be able to choose which book to read. One of the
options is to read it in a usual way up to Chapter 56. The other
starts in Chapter 73 and continues with the order suggested in the
Table. A literary hopscotch that allows us to jump
towards other meanings that were unknown until then.
any case, I went out onto the bridge and there was no Maga. I did not
run into her along the way either. We each knew where the other
lived, every cranny we holed up in in our pseudo-student existence in
Paris, every window by Braque, Ghirlandaio, or Max Ernst set into
cheap postcard frames and ringed with gaudy posters, but we never
visited each other at home. We preferred meeting on the bridge, at a
pavement café, at an art movie, or crouched over a cat in some Latin
Quarter courtyard. We did not go around looking for each other, but
we knew that we would meet just the same.
Cortázar (1963). Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Chapter 1 in
Harvill Press London, 1998. Page 3.
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Source: REVISTA BUENOS AIRES DAY & NIGHT