Bruselas, Bélgica, 1914 - París, Francia , 1984
Julio Cortázar was born in Belgium, and when the First World War ended, he moved with his family to Buenos Aires. A great admirer of Jorge Luis Borges, Cortázar very early identified with the Surrealist movement. He studied Literature and education, and worked as a teacher in several cities in Argentina, while he published literary criticism, articles and short stories. In the 40s he settled in Paris, where he worked for UNESCO as a translator. In 1963, he published Rayuela, a novel which caused an upheaval in the cultural landscape and established him as one of the most innovative and original writers of his time. A master of the short story and poetic prose, his "miscellanies", in which he mixes fiction, chronicle, poetry and essays are also important. In 1984 the Fundación Konex awarded him the Premio Konex de Honor posthumously for his contribution to the history of Argentine literature.
- "In Cortázar's books, the author plays, the narrator plays, the characters play and the reader plays, forced to by the devilish traps that waylay him when he least expects it as he turns the page." Mario Vargas Llosa
- "At the time, Cortázar dazzled us, because he embodied, better than anyone, the ideal of a generation." Laura Freixas, La Vanguardia.
- "Whoever doesn't read Cortázar is lost." Pablo Neruda
- "A work as beautiful and indestructible as his memory." Gabriel García Márquez (about Los autonautas de la cosmopista)
Short stories and novellas
Andrés Fava is a character from Cortázar’s Final Exam, and his diary originally formed part of that novel, written in 1950 but not published (for political reasons) until after the author’s death. At some point, Cortázar decided Fava’s diary should stand on its own as an independent work.
While Final Exam is mostly dialogue, Diary of Andrés Fava is all reflection: on his reading, dreams, conversations and writing. This unpredictable collection is peppered with quotes from French poets and American jazzmen. Bemused and melancholy, erudite and searching, Diario de Andrés Fava is full of autobiographical winks at the reader. Cortázar’s brilliance and irreverence are in full flower.
One of Julio Cortázar's great early novels. "Anyone who doesn't read Cortázar is doomed."―Pablo Neruda
In its characters, themes, and preoccupations, Final Exam prefigures Cortázar's later fictions, including Blow-Up and his masterpiece, Hopscotch. Written in 1950 (just before the fall of Perón's government), it is Cortázar's allegorical, bitter, and melancholy farewell to an Argentina from which he was about to be permanently self-exiled. (Cortázar moved to Paris the following year.)
The setting of Final Exam is a surreal Buenos Aires, dark and eerie, where a strange fog has enveloped the city to everyone's bewilderment. Juan and Clara, two students, meet up with their friends Andrés and Stella, as well as a journalist friend they call "the chronicler." Juan and Clara are getting ready to take their final exams, but instead of preparing, they wander the city with their friends, encounter strange happenings in the squares and ponder life in cafés. All the while, they are trailed by the mysterious Abel.
With its daring typography, its shifts in rhythm as well as in the wildly veering directions of its characters' thoughts and speech, Final Exam breaks new ground in the territory of stream-of-consciousness narrative techniques.
One of the main themes that inspired Divertimento, set during Carnival in 1949, is that overlap between musical, artistic and literary themes that comprises a central core of Cortázar’s works. His characters live in a world filled with an impressive wealth of cultural references, where the author’s most beloved themes emerge every now and then. Destinies become tangled and untangled and lives come and go, forming a web in which passions seem to be lived in a lower tone and big words are not necessary. When it comes right down to it, life is a sort of pastime that’s only occasionally fun, and should never be taken too seriously. Cortázar’s humour is present throughout this book, with a tone somewhere between nostalgic and ironic.
A Manual for Manuel is about the kidnapping of a Latin American diplomat by a group of strange guerrillas in Paris. It has two narrators. One is one of the guerrillas, jokingly referred to as “you know who,” who takes notes on the assault plans. The other is Andrés, who is indecisive about joining the group and who uncovers the plot of the novel by reading those plans. The articles that interrupt the plot are from actual French and Latin American newspapers. These articles concern individual protests against the torture of political prisoners in such countries as Brazil, Argentina, and...
A Manual for Manuel is Julio Cortázar’s great political novel, a controversial synthesis of his aesthetic quests and interest in the revolutionary movements of those years. It can be read as a natural displacement of the characters and themes from Hopscotch toward the urges and fervour of a tumultuous world. But it retains all the fantasy, aplomb and freshness of that novel, which have made Cortázar a unique and incomparable writer on the 20th-century literary scene.
As one of the main characters, the intellectual Juan, puts it: to one person the City might appear as Paris, to another it might be where one goes upon getting out of bed in Barcelona; to another it might appear as a beer hall in Oslo. This cityscape, as Carlos Fuentes describes it, "seems drawn up by the Marx Brothers with an assist from Bela Lugosi!" It is the meeting place for a wild assortment of bohemians in a novel described by The New York Times as "Deeply touching, enjoyable, beautifully written and fascinatingly mysterious." Library Journal has said 62: A Model Kit is "a highly satisfying work by one of the most extraordinary writers of our time."
The story of two young writers whose lives are playing themselves out in Buenos Aires and Paris to the sounds of jazz and brilliant talk, Hopscotch, written in 1963, was the first hypertext novel. With a non-structure that allows readers to take the chapters in any order they wish, Hopscotch invites them to be the architects of the novel themselves. Referred to as a counter-novel, by Cortázar himself, soon after publication, the classic work took on a cult status it has never lost, and is celebrated worldwide as one of the greatest landmarks of 20th–Century fiction.
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves “the Club.” A child’s death and La Maga’s disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, freewheeling account of Oliveira’s astonishing adventures.
The Winners is the story of a luxury cruise, bound for an unknown destination, which runs terribly amok. Funny, frightening, lyrical, and humane, it is a deeply satisfying philosophical novel about crossed lives and wayward love, as well as a brilliant meditation on the myth of the New World.
Short stories and novellas
Three exceptional volumes written by this immortal cronopio, one of the century’s greatest storytellers. This short story collection takes us back into Cortázar’s world, to that game that is a refuge of sensitivity and imagination. As Mario Vargas Llosa said, it helps us escape the insecurity and absurdity of this world.
Segundo volumen de una colección de cuentos imprescindible.
En este volumen, el lector encontrará todas las colecciones de cuentos de Cortázar publicadas entre 1969 y 1982 y, como novedad, aquellos relatos aparecidos póstumamente en Papeles inesperados (2009) que por título o fecha pudieron pertenecer a ellas: Último round, Octaedro, Alguien que anda por ahí, Un tal Lucas, Queremos tanto a Glenda y Deshoras conforman este segundo volumen de los cuentos completos cortazarianos.
«La verdadera revolución de Cortázar está en sus cuentos.» Mario Vargas Llosa
«De los grandes escritores que he conocido, ninguno, excepto Borges, parecía haber meditado tanto como él sobre el problema de la forma y el estilo. A este aprendido magisterio que se transmite de escritor a escritor, hay que agregar su propio magisterio, lo que le debemos y le deberán las generaciones que lo siguen.» Abelardo Castillo
«No puede desconocerse la influencia de sus textos en buena parte de la narrativa que después de él se escribió en español.» José Donoso
Plays on words that are not games, mirrors that lie and tell the truth at the same time, nightmares of fascism, inhabited characters, symmetries, double simulacra of love and death: the entire complex, cruel and fascinating world of Cortázar, a map of the everyday and the bizarre in his final stories.
Blow-Up and We Love Glenda so Much bring together the most famous of Cortázar’s short fiction, including “Axolotl,” “End of the Game,” “The Night Face Up,” “Continuity of Parks,” “Bestiary,” and “Blow-Up”. These are stories in which invisible beasts stalk children in their homes, the reader of a mystery finds out that he is the murderer’s intended victim, an injured motorcyclist is pursued by Aztec warriors, and a man becomes a salamander in a Parisian zoo. In Cortázar’s work, laws of nature, physics, and narrative fall away, leaving us with an astonishing new view of the world.
Under the name Lucas, a certain Julio narrates this collection of minimal fictions, stories about his favourite pianists, the lives of eccentric artists, the customs of certain Argentine families, love and friends. A tireless transgressor possessing a strange wisdom, he also offers advice for shining shoes, writing reversible poems, giving lectures, getting oneself kicked out of a concert, and swimming in a pool of flour. This essential book is an authentic handbook against solemnity and boredom.
This collection contains eleven stories. It opens with the disturbing melancholy of Cambio de luces (A Change of Light) and culminates with the police violence of La noche de Mantequilla (Mantequilla’s Night). It not only creates unrepeatable climates and situations, but also surprises the reader with stylistic feats such as Usted se tendió a tu lado (You Lay Down at Your Side), where the story is narrated simultaneously in two different registers. It also allows itself the luxury of rescuing a story written in the 1950s — La barca o nueva visita a Venecia (The Ferry, or Another Trip to Venice) — interspersed with comments that fill it with irony and infinite nuances.
Its publication was censored in Argentina by the military regime (1976 - 1983).
Octaedro occupies a privileged place among the short story collections where Julio Cortázar established his personal obsessions and those of the time in which he was destined to live. The eight stories in this collection are eight sides of a clear polyhedron the Argentine writer drew with language closely linked to the special characteristics of each story, seeking that difficult unity in diversity that makes a short story collection exceptional. In this way, separate and inseparable, each facet of the octahedron is linked to the others, although each one is a world sufficient unto itself for opening the door to fear, alienation, and the insidious emergence of the fantastic into the clearest moment of a day or life.
Todos los fuegos el fuego offers eight excellent examples of the full creative power achieved by Cortázar’s stories. From the exasperated metaphor for human relationships that is La autopista del sur (The Southern Thruway) to the mastery of El otro cielo (The Other Heaven), Cortázar again ventures into new territory with stories that are a must-read for his fans and for short story lovers in general: La salud de los enfermos (The Health of the Sick), Reunión (Meeting), La señorita Cora (Miss Cora), La isla a mediodía (The Island at Noon), Instrucciones para John Howell (Instructions for John Howell), Todos los fuegos el fuego (All Fires the Fire). A celebration of intelligence, passion and genius.
Cortázar’s stories are like small time pieces, where each polished part moves relentlessly on its own particular path, exercising a crucial and perpetual influence on the mechanism as a whole. Moments jerk forward and retract, reflect and refract: an island at noon from an aeroplane – an aeroplane at noon from an island; the living deceiving the dying and also themselves, about death; fatality by fire in an ancient Roman arena and in a modern city apartment. It is a world that is constantly shifting, upsetting our balance and our peace of mind, a world outside of time that provokes a fascination bordering on terror. Cortázar is the master of the form and this celebrated collection houses some of his finest work.
Written directly in French, only sixty copies of these twelve texts by Julio Cortázar were published in 1966, with lithographs illustrated by Julio Silva. With his characteristic humour, the incisive prose of the Argentine writer, who settled in France in 1951, presents a gallery of portraits and situations ranging from the absurd to dark realism.
Julio Cortázar is undoubtedly one of the Spanish-language authors with the most film adaptations. This volume rescues four of the author’s best stories that also inspired movies that became classics. The collection begins with Los buenos servicios (At Your Service), the inspiration for Monsieur Bébé, directed by Claude Chabrol. It also includes the splendid Las babas del diablo (The Droolings of the Devil), which inspired Michelangelo Antonioni’s unforgettable Blow-Up, and El perseguidor (The Pursuer), which many critics regard as his best story. Cortázar himself considered it a shorter version of Hopscotch that anticipates and contains all the ingredients and problems present in his famous novel. El perseguidor shares a core plot with Bird, directed by Clint Eastwood. The last story in the collection is Autopista del sur (The Southern Thruway), one of the author’s best-known stories, which was made into two films by none other than Jean-Luc Godard (Weekend) and Luigi Comencini (Traffic Jam).
'...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.…
Las armas secretas brings together five short stories representing the best tradition of this genre. Along with excellent stories such as Cartas de mamá (Letters from Mother), Los buenos servicios (At Your Service) and Las armas secretas (The Secret Weapons), this book contains two masterpieces: Las babas del diablo (adapted for cinema by Antonioni in his memorable Blow-Up) and El perseguidor (The Pursuer), perhaps the most perfect and moving tribute to jazz genius Charlie Parker.
Cartas de mamá is one of those essential stories by Julio Cortázar. Starting with a letter Luis receives from his mother, we watch as his marriage to Laura crumbles and lies become entrenched in their lives. The couple gradually reveals, in an indirect manner, why they left Buenos Aires and what their life in Paris is like. A letter reminds them of the origins of their relationship and, most importantly, brings back the third side of the triangle that is this story: Luis’s brother, Nico. His mother’s letters are a bridge between Corrientes and the boulevards of Paris, where Laura and Luis live a life that "could very well have been called probation." In Cartas de mamá, the trivial, the necessarily trivial, is in the title, in the characters’ actions, and in the continuous mention of cigarette brands and subway stations. “Genius requires these details," says Jorge Luis Borges.
The eighteen stories in Final del juego comprise other experiments with perfection: in just a few pages, they themselves set the conditions, and they themselves meet them. Internal adjustments make Cortázar’s stories seem simple while they’re being read. But afterwards, we immediately feel a web of new sensations, of ideas we’d never thought of before, of different instructions for observing reality. The game is over, and literature leaves us facing life, which has just changed.
"The common reality," writes Alberto Manguel in his Introduction, "that attached itself to Cortazar like a second skin - the political struggles, the difficult affairs of the heart, the messy business of literature with its passion for novelty and gossip - will quietly fade, and what will remain is the shining teller of uncanny tales, tales that hold a delicate balance between the unspeakable and that which must be told, between the daily horrors of which we appear to be capable and the magical events with which we are gifted every night in the labyrinthine recesses of the mind."
The stories in La otra orilla were written between 1937 and 1945, and represent Julio Cortázar’s first incursions into the short story genre, which he mastered like no one else. As a storyteller, he was a model of perfectionism, always critical of his own work, and refused to publish nearly all of his stories. Fifty years later, when they came to light, they would be critically acclaimed as an impressive array revealing the Argentine writer’s talent and literary abilities, and his absolute mastery of short narrative.
This volume brings together Cortázar’s theatrical works following Los reyes (The Kings). The first two, Dos juegos de palabras (Two Wordplays), written in 1948 and 1960, are inspired by poetry. From the 1970s, we have Nada a Pehuajó (Nothing to Pehuajó), an absurd and humorous play. Adiós, Robinson (Goodbye, Robinson), a radio play also written in the 70s, can be regarded as an anti-colonialist fable. These short texts are intended as games or diversions. This is achieved thanks to their transgressive tone, often irreverent language, and secret seriousness, free of any form of emphasis.
Es el primer libro publicado por Cortázar con su verdadero nombre. Se trata de un poema dramático donde el autor propone una curiosa variante del mito del Minotauro: Ariadna no está enamorada de Teseo, sino del monstruo que habita en el centro del laberinto; y lo que pretende es que el Minotauro se escape sirviéndose del famoso hilo que llevará Teseo. Gran conocedor de la estructura cerrada y fatal de los mitos griegos, Cortázar se las ingenia para que la historia tenga igualmente el desenlace conocido: a pesar de las intenciones de su amada, el monstruo elige morir a manos de Teseo. Esta obra de rara belleza logra el prodigio de cumplir con la tradición al tiempo que las trasgrede. Y con su serena y clásica luminosidad ocupa un lugar de excepción dentro de la riquísima obra literaria del gran escritor argentino.
"Cortázar's verse is more traditional than his fiction, but his style and themes are in harmony across genres: eccentric, mystical, full of animals but deeply human. Cortázar is a people's poet, accessible from every angle, and his position as a titan of the Latin American boom is indisputable."––Publishers Weekly, starred review
World renowned as one of the masters of modern fiction, Julio Cortázar was also a prolific poet. While living in Paris during the last months of his life, Cortázar assembled his life's work in verse for publication, and Save Twilight selects the best of that volume.This expanded edition, with nearly one hundred new pages of poems, prose and illustrations, is a book to be savored by both the familiar reader and the newcomer to Cortázar work. Ranging from the intimate to the political, tenderness to anger, heartbreak to awe, in styles both traditionally formal and free, Cortázar the poet and subverter of genres is revealed as a versatile and passionate virtuoso. More than a collection of poems, this book is a playful and revealing self-portrait of a writer in love with language in all its forms.
"Some people run the world, others are the world. Cortázar's poems are the world; they have a special consideration for the unknown."––Enrique Vila-Matas
"What a pleasure, this walk in a well-orchestrated park with shades as complex, as light & as dark, as multifoliate as the actual world! This book—the 'poetic ecology' Cortázar had envisioned—is an open invitation to make yourselves at home twixt sea and loss, wine & sorrow, birth & riptide, tobacco & talk, laughter & death. Nothing human is foreign to the poet—& he brings it home with great clarity & grace. The writing & the book embody a tradition of hospitality, or as Cortázar puts it: 'Hello little black book for the late hours, cats on the prowl under a paper moon.' The injunction to save twilight stands as title—it is also exactly what the writing accomplishes."––Pierre Joris, author of Barzakh (Poems 2000-2012)
The first book of poems by Julio Cortázar, first published in 1938 under the pseudonym Julio Denis. It contains 43 sonnets that perfectly adhere to the formal rules, with music and the search for peace and harmony as the main motifs. With this work, Cortázar joins the neo-Romantic generation of 1940.
“I want you to know that I’m not a critic or theorist, which means that in my work I look for solutions as problems arise.” So begins the first of eight classes that the great Argentine writer Julio Cortázar delivered at UC Berkeley in 1980. These “classes” are as much reflections on Cortázar’s own writing career as they are about literature and the historical moment in which he lived. Covering such topics as “the writer’s path” (“while my aesthetic world view made me admire writers like Borges, I was able to open my eyes to the language of street slang, lunfardo...”) and “the fantastic” (“unbeknownst to me, the fantastic had become as acceptable, as possible and real, as the fact of eating soup at eight o’clock in the evening”), Literature Class provides the warm and personal experience of sitting in a room with the great author.
As Joaquin Marco stated in El Cultural, “exploring this course is to dive into Cortázar designing his own creations.... Essential for anyone reading or studying Cortázar, cronopio or not!”
“A first-class literary imagination.” The New York Times
“One of those books that radically shifted my thinking about the possibilities of narrative.” Christopher Higgs, Big Other
“Literature Class is a serious boon for Julio Cortázar fans. Delivered at the end of his life while visiting UC Berkeley, these eight lectures offer fresh insights into the mind of one of the 20th Century’s most vital writers.” Jeff Jackson, Fanzine
“The consequent lectures―originally delivered in Spanish and translated adeptly by Katherine Silver―are erudite, intimate, charmingly fragmented, and anecdotal, covering a range of topics, from “Eroticism and Literature” to “The Realistic Short Story.” Dustin Illingworth, The Atlantic
As Cortázar stresses throughout his talks, writing is rarely a pursuit of answers but, rather, about investigation—of the self, of one’s work, and of the world at large. The goal of the novel, Cortázar says, is to harmonize its formal and literal questions into a central, destabilizing quandary: ‘Why are things like they are and not otherwise? The New Yorker
“Based on the words spoken by Cortázar and his students, the class that he taught appears to be an interesting hybrid of Cortázar as tour guide of his body of work, and as mentor into the broader lessons about the qualities of fiction that resonated most with him.” The Culture Trip
Verano de 1972. Julio Cortázar recibe en Saignon las pruebas de galera del Libro de Manuel y decide corregirlas lejos de su casa. Durante unos días abandona la ciudad y con su Volkswagen recorre la Provenza con unas latas de conserva, vino tinto y una máquina de escribir. El resultado es esta breve obra maestra donde la meta más significativa son sus reflexiones y el modo de vida que permite una vida excepcional.
Escrita por Cortázar entre 1951 y 1952, no quiso ser ni una biografía ni un ensayo, sino «una especie de diálogo donde Keats estuviera lo más presente posible». A través de cartas y poemas traza un retrato entrañable del poeta, pasea y conversa con él, sigue el itinerario de su vida, comenta su obra. Llega así a rastrear y formular una poética del camaleón que llegará a ser la suya propia. «Libro suelto y despeinado, lleno de interpolaciones y saltos y grandes aletazos y zambullidas»: quizás estas palabras del autor sean las que mejor den idea del tono de este libro que durmió durante casi cincuenta años.
La presente recopilación de los textos críticos de Julio Cortázar se organiza en tres volúmenes, a cargo de tres especialistas que unen a su condición de eruditos y expertos la muy envidiable de amigos personales del autor: Saúl Yurkievich (Teoría del túnel, 1974), Jaime Alazraki (trabajos críticos anteriores a Rayuela, 1963) y Saúl Sosnowski (trabajos críticos posteriores a Rayuela).
Teoría del túnel, el texto que compone el primer volumen de la Obra crítica, es un libro inédito de Cortázar donde éste pasa revista a las orientaciones de la novela moderna, desde la novela burguesa y romántica hasta la existencialista. En esta revisión histórica fundamenta el autor sus propias opciones, situándose en relación con las tendencias más avanzadas y enunciando su programa personal. Para servir de punto de reencuentro entre el hombre y su reino, para expresar todas las posibilidades humanas, la novela debe fundir el surrealismo con el existencialismo y la poesía con la prosa. Este proyecto es el que luego hallará expresión en Rayuela. Teoría del túnel nos muestra que la práctica del género novelístico vino precedida, en Cortázar, de una minuciosa formulación teórica.
En el segundo volumen de la Obra crítica Jaime Alazraki reúne la producción anterior a Rayuela, a partir de la primera nota publicada en la revista Cabalgata (hoy ilocalizable). Con un perfecto dominio de la bibliografía cortazariana, Alazraki ha logrado recuperar textos casi desconocidos, donde se anuncia la personalidad literaria de Julio Cortázar y se prefigura su trayectoria
Saúl Sosnowki recopila en el tercer volumen de la Obra crítica los textos posteriores a Rayuela, punto de inflexión no sólo de la creatividad cortazariana, sino también de sus ideas sobre la literatura. Aquí se nos presenta con toda viveza el conjunto de convicciones y conceptos estéticos, desde luego, pero también políticos, de un hombre a quien apasionaban las reglas de la creatividad, pero que pensaba sobre todo en los destinos terrestres de ser humano.
“This is the book that Julio Cortázar was writing on the eve of his death. I often heard him refer to this compilation of various texts –press articles, conferences, lectures, testimonies– and several times he expressed to me his intention to collect them in one volume. He wanted to give to the Argentine readers access to misleading information and to the knowledge of activities and manifestations censored by the military repression. As he did with his literary work, he wanted to contribute to reopen the doors of Argentina, recently liberated from the dictatorial regime." Saul Yurkievich
Tras el triunfo de la revolución sandinista, Cortázar viajó numerosas veces a Nicaragua y conoció de cerca el proceso y la realidad nicaragüense y latinoamericana. Sus viajes a Nicaragua le enseñaron otra cosa: ante las desigualdades y los abusos evidentes del norte al sur, comprendió que su respuesta no podía ser la indiferencia y que debía de tomar partido.
Este ensayo reúne el conjunto de los textos escritos por Córtazar durante su aproximación comprometida con Nicaragua. La primera de ellas se describe en Apocalipsis de solentiname, recreación de su visita clandestina a la comunidad de Ernesto Cardenal en 1976, cuando la lucha del FSLN era una aparente utopía.
The book Territorios is a tribute Julio Cortázar paid to the artists he admired, who forced him to accept freedom as the only inhabitable territory. It subjectively analyses the artistic works of 17 creators and their 17 territories from a wide range of artistic areas. Cortázar eventually forms a collage book, as he did with La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds) and Último round (Last Round). We catch a glimpse of the Cortázar whose critical essays also express his poetics from another angle, but with the same intensity. Each of these territories is a true masterpiece combining poetry, storytelling and criticism. Cortázar revolutionises the essay and turns it into a very free literary form. He rebels against the impersonal impartiality that characterises the essay, and turns it into fiction while maintaining the difficult balance between critical thought and poetic imagination.
Julio Cortázar aclara definitivamente en estas páginas su posición acerca de El intelectual y la política, del problema de la creación como aventura y experiencia del hombre. Ningún otro escritor latinoamericano se preocupó tanto como él para aclararse a sí mismo, y a los demás, como en este caso, la relación que debe existir entre lo estético y lo ideológico, entre la obra y la actitud política personal, entre la creación y la acción.
Aplastamiento de las gotas forma parte de Historias de Cronopios de Famas y aquí Cortázar consigue personificar algo realmente inanimado: las gotas. Da vida al aguacero y convierte a cada gota en un ente con voluntad propia. Las gotas llegan incluso a tener personalidad suicida. Ilustraciones de Elena Odriozola.
An essential book of poetry by Julio Cortázar, containing poems written between 1944 and 1958.
Edición para niños del cuento No, no y no de Julio Cortázar ilustrado por el pintor y poeta visual mexicano Gabriel Pacheco
“On the fifth day he saw him following Flora, who was going to the store, and everything became future, something like the pages that were missing in that novel left face down on a sofa, something already written and that was not even necessary to read because it was already completed before doing so, it had already occurred before it did in reading”.
The Stabbing / The Return Tango was born from the collaboration between Pat Andrea, then a young Dutch painter, and the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar in 1979
Andrea travelled to Argentina on March 25 1976, a day after the coup that began the dictatorship of General Videla. The brutality and the commotion that he lived through during that time led him to create, in Europe, a series of thirty-four drawings whose obsessive theme is stabbing, an image also taken from that tango of the same name played by Juan D'Arienzo's orchestra.
With the idea of making a book from these illustrations, Pat Andrea contacted Julio Cortázar in Paris, who, after seeing the illustrations, was fascinated by them and decided to write a story for him: The Return Tango.
The Stabbing / The Return Tango is a work that until now was practically inaccessible, created by one of the most outstanding Latin American writers of the 20th century and one of the most representative plastic artists of neo-expressionism.
Reunión describes the difficult days following Granma’s disembarkation on the coasts of Cuba, where Ernesto Guevara emerged as a revolutionary fighter. Through vivid first-person narration, the voice of “Che” evokes those exhausting days among the mangroves, the adversities he faced along with his brothers at arms, and his baptism by fire at the battle of Alegría del Pío. The intensity of Reunión, its epic tone constructed with emotions, shows the incomparable talent of Julio Cortázar, who was able to portray all the human depth of one of the most admired figures of the 20th century. Illustrations by Enrique Breccia recreate the most exciting moments in this story.
The Bear speech, as its title indicates, it’s a sort of plea pronounced by a bear that lives in the pipes of a building. No one realizes that the bear exists; everybody thinks that the noises that they hear at night are caused by the pipes: this is how insensitive and fool human beings are. The bear goes up and down the pipes, washes himself in the cistern of the rooftop in the star-filled nights, he observes the humans and, without them noticing, takes care of them.
Illustrated by Emilio Urberuaga.
Julio Silva decided to settle in Silvalandia and portray it, so that Julio Cortázar could put it into words. The result, more than a book, is an entire civilisation, where elephants live with all the rights of citizenship in order and fish whose masters would never think of leaving them in a fish tank when they go for a walk. Just like posters painted by a sphinx and interpreted by a Platense Oedipus who saw grass growing where grass could never grow. All of which boils down to Silvalandia's greatest danger: the reader can become a child at every turn of the page. And stay forever in that land, holding on to Julio with the left hand and holding on to Julio with the right hand. How could you not take such an affectionate risk?
The writer Julio Cortázar and the artist Julio Silva were fast friends, from the time, as Cortazar remembers, his younger compatriot "came to Paris from Buenos Aires in fifty-five and a few months later visited me and spent a night talking about French poetry." The two would collaborate frequently, most famously with Silva providing the iconic original cover of Rayuela (Hopscotch), and most directly in Silvalandia.
Además, esta obra aporta novedades sustanciales en la esfera íntima, respecto a su vida familiar y amorosa, y su compromiso político.
Personajes que deciden perderse por las laberínticas calles de la ciudad moderna; encuentros producidos por el azar y por el juego; historias subterráneas envueltas por el misterio más cotidiano y la transparencia más surreal; idiomas inventados, mandalas del deseo, casas tomadas, reuniones clandestinas.... La obra de Julio Cortázar puede pensarse como una rayuela infinita, en la que el lector se encuentra de pronto muy cerca del cielo, aunque siempre con los pies en la tierra, dejándose perder y disfrutando con ello, por las juguetonas líneas de sus cuentos y novelas. Octaedro, Rayuela, 62/Modelo para armar o Todos los fuegos, el fuego son solo unos ejemplos de esos espejismos asombrosos construidos por Cortázar. Tal vez fue su concepción misma del mundo y de la vida la causante de esta escritura que se pasea jocosa y emocionada por los bordes de lo real, por la cima de lo ficticio.
Quien recorra estas páginas asistirá por primera vez no sólo a la gestación de sus obras más importantes (Bestiario, Rayuela, Historias de cronopios y de famas...), sino también al nacimiento, consolidación y final del famoso Boom de la literatura latinoamericana, del que se cumplen 50 años.
La correspondencia de Cortázar constituye para algunos «su mejor novela», de la que él mismo es protagonista: estas cartas, que tienen un innegable valor literario, pueden leerse también como la biografía más completa del autor. Más de la mitad de estas obras está compuesta por material inédito.
Un hallazgo que nos acerca al Cortázar más íntimo. Este libro recoge las cartas que Julio Cortázar envió al matrimonio Jonquières entre los años 1950 y 1957, tras su llegada a París y mientras escribía su magistral obra Rayuela. Aurora Bernárdez y Carles Garriga han acometido la tarea de revisar los papeles que hallaron de Cortázar y entre los que también descubrieron los textos que componen el libro Papeles inesperados.
Una fotógrafa capta una serie de imágenes conmovedoras de la vida de los indios peruanos y Cortázar escribe a su lado unas páginas deslumbrantes. “Las palabras no son un comentario; las fotos no son una ilustración”, dice Cortázar. No es un reportaje ni una encuesta ni una entrevista. Y, sin embargo, la interrelación estética se logra de manera admirable y produce una síntesis cálida: “Sonata para dos instrumentos”, concluye el gran autor argentino.
Julio Cortázar escribió en su prólogo que "Cada ciudad inventa su propio vocabulario, deja caída en el habla cotidiana esas expresiones que sólo puede haber significado para él, en él." Mirar las imágenes de Aleciode Andrade significa entrar en un París físico y etéreo a a la vez, adaptarse a su vida y a su ritmo. El fotógrafo brasileño no quiere capturar sólo sus célebres maravillas, sino su fealdad única y su decadencia.
Hacia mediados de la década de 1960, Sara Facio trabajó en dos ensayos fotográficos, uno personal y otro por encargo. El primero era una semblanza de la capital porteña, que verá la luz en el libro Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, publicado en 1968 junto a Alicia D’Amico y con textos de Julio Cortázar. La obra propone mirar la ciudad desde una perspectiva poco frecuente, evitando el fijar la mirada en sus monumentos y lugares más reconocibles y plasmando un vívido retrato de sus gentes.
Con motivo del centenario de su nacimiento, la Internacional Cronopia reclamaba ya con demasiada insistencia una nueva aproximación al escritor y al hombre. ¿Por qué no intentar un almanaque, "un hermoso libro, suelto y despeinado, lleno de interpolaciones y saltos y grandes aletazos y zambullidas", como proponía Julio Cortázar en La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos? La solución era una idea simple que iba a dar muchísimo trabajo: un diccionario biográfico ilustrado, una fotobiografía autocomentada con retratos de todas las épocas, fotografías de las primeras ediciones de todos sus libros, algunas de sus publicaciones en periódicos y revistas; una antología de textos acompañada de objetos y cuadros que fueron suyos, reproducciones de manuscritos y mecanuscritos originales, papelitos sueltos todavía inéditos y, de vez en cuando, el recuerdo en primera persona de quienes fueron sus amigos.
Omar Prego, escritor y periodista uruguayo, entrevistó en 1982 a Julio Cortázar. La fascinación de las palabras reproduce las charlas sin fronteras entre los dos amigos, en las que el autor argentino ahonda en su literatura y su estética. Ambos autores nos revelan un océano pleno de historias mínimas, una orilla plagada de personajes entrañables y el mundo interior de un hombre que lleva la orilla del mar en su corazón.
Fue editado por Sudamericana en diciembre de 1983, veinte años y medio después de la aparición de la novela. Consta de un manuscrito hológrafo de más de 100 páginas.
Cuaderno de bitácora es el itinerario de una lectura. Se trata de la primera lectura de Rayuela, es decir, la que practica Cortázar mismo mientras va escribiendo su texto. Es una lectura contemporánea a la escritura, de manera absoluta. El escritor lee, como lector ideal, su novela, y la lee también como crítico literario. Y es un depósito de materiales: citas, reflexiones, nombres, sueños, mapas, itinerarios, pianos.
With photographs by Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop.
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is a love story, a travelogue, a collection of stories and snapshots, both visual and verbal, irreverent and brilliant. In May of ‘82, Julio Cortázar, literary explorer of the highest order, set out with Carol Dunlop aboard their VW camper van (a.k.a. Fafner) to explore the uncharted territory of the Paris-Marseilles freeway. It was a route they’d driven before, usually in about ten hours. This time, they loaded up with supplies—food, water, wine, typewriters, cameras—and prepared for an arduous voyage of thirty-three days without leaving the autoroute, at a rate of two rest stops per day. Along the way they would uncover the hidden side of the freeway and take the notion of literature from a serious game to a logical, surreal extreme.
“The journey undertaken by Cortázar and his wife and collaborator Carol Dunlop is quixotic in the largest sense. At one level, it is an adventure stood on its absurd head. At another, it is something graver—a mask of comedy concealing the enigma of an archaic smile.” Richard Eder, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
Of Julio Cortázar’s many photographic projects, Prosa del observatorio (1972) is the only one where he himself is the photographer as well as the author.
The text, which includes images from the astronomical observatories in Jaipur and Delhi, designed by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century, is regarded as emblematic of Cortázar’s essay style, and is a profound reflection on the cadence of the universe. While speaking to us of the life cycle of eels, Cortázar sketches a delicate criticism of established scientific discourse, emanating from libraries and other centres of power in the life of cities, supplemented with discussions and corollaries on architecture, astronomy, the Milky Way and the romantic pulse of the cosmos. There is a convergence of genres, such as the scientific and the epistolary, all governed by a poetic prose that explores political and metaphysical horizons in ways no one else can.
This passionate metaliterary hybrid beautifully embraces images as well as words, the sea and the sky. It speaks to us of difficulty and the need to encompass the unencompassable, explain the inexplicable. It appeals to our romantic nature, inviting us to open up to the great beyond: “It is enough to enter the redheaded night, deeply inhale air that is the bridge and caress of life.”
Último Round is made up of of two volumes and contains stories, essays, poems, and anecdotes as well as photographs, period engravings and other artwork selected by the designer, the artist Julio Silva. Among the highlights are Cortázar's long introduction to the Cuban novelist José Lezama Lima, appreciations of Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, and Clifford Brown, the short stories "Silvia" and "With Justifiable Pride," and an essay on Jack the Ripper and other notorious murderers.
Julio Cortázar leads us on a tour of his favorite worlds. We roam through essays on writers and writing, art and jazz, a cat named Theodor W. Adorno, decadence in the French Rivera, nights in Europe’s ministries, and life in Paris and Provence, on feeling not all there and on being an idiot, on the mind and matter and memory, and more.
We meet a man slowly sinking into the ground, a new Napoleon who appears in contemporary Paris, a hand named Dg, an invisible monster, an upside-down fly, a woman who can’t abide yawning, miniature jaguars, girls experiencing first sexual awakenings, and a man who craves ants, among other figures form Cortázar’s fabulous worlds.
Un peligro implacable acecha a la literatura universal: las bibliotecas arden bajo el fuego y las obras maestras de los grandes escritores son pasto de las llamas, mientras los incunables son robados o destruidos sin que nadie sea capaz de impedirlo. Para desenmascarar al ser maquiavélico que se halla tras los atentados e impedir que la cultura desaparezca, Cortázar intenta contactar con el famoso héroe Fantomas para que resuelva el entuerto. En esta brillante mezcla de novela y de cómic de super-héroes, Julio Cortázar expone una suerte de conexión entre un universo de fantasía, sensibilidad e imaginación y el mundo de la economía y de la política. Es un libro provocador que ayuda a comprender la evolución del capitalismo desde los años setenta hasta el proceso de globalización actual.