Historias de cronopios y de famas / Cronopios and Famas
Short stories and novellas , 1962
'...Cronopios and Famas is a collection of losely connected, strongly surrealistic prose fragments; alternately humourous and grotesque, they read like Thurber parables written by Kafka.' –Long Beach Independant
'Cortazar cleanses the doors of perception and mounts a subtle, bland assault on the mental rigidities we hold most dear.' –Washington Post
Julio Cortazar once again demonstrates his power as the literary conjuror of the day. Presented to us as a series of dazzling fables and fantasies, Cronopios and Famas is an examination of times and objects, of mannerisms and events, fragmented and enacted in a world which seems strangely misplaced but which is uncomfortably close to our own.
Cronopios and Famas is a collection of improvisations, where time and logic desert their singular path and jump back and forth over the brilliant thread of his themes. Described as a 'hardbound vaudeville', it is a short, sharp virtuoso of a show, full of tricks, illusions and spectacular entertainments. Cortazar's utter economy of words is startling. he does more in one paragraph than most writers manage with a full-blown short story.
“The Instruction Manual,” the first chapter, is an absurd assortment of tasks and items dissected in an instruction-manual format. “Unusual Occupations,” the second chapter, describes the obsessions and predilections of the narrator’s family, including the lodging of a tiger — just one tiger — “for the sole purpose of seeing the mechanism at work in all its complexity.…