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1. Cuentos Completos 1, Cortazar
2. Blow-Up: And Other Stories
3. Cronopios and Famas
4. Hopscotch (Pantheon Modern Writers
5. Rayuela (Letras Hispanicas/ Hispanic
6. Ceremonias (Spanish Edition)
7. 62: A Model Kit
8. La autopista del sur y otros cuentos
9. Julio Cortazar (Modern literature
10. Cuentos Completos. Cortazar I
11. Cuentos Completos. Cortazar II
12. Julio Cortazar (Vidas Literarias)
13. Historias de cronopios y de famas
14. The Winners (New York Review Books
15. Cuentos Completos 3, Cortazar
16. Save Twilight: Selected Poems
17. Around the Day in Eighty Worlds
18. Final del Juego
19. Final Exam (New Directions Paperbook)
20. Hopscotch

1. Cuentos Completos 1, Cortazar (Complete Short Stories 1, Cortazar) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 550 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9875780677
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The first of three exceptional volumes of short stories written by this immortal master. His stories are a brilliant painting of improbable, magical and tender beings. They are the best mixture of his Literature, and are also the opportunity to embark on an endless trip. This volume includes:La otra orilla, Bestiario, Las armas secretas,andFinal del juego. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, unsettling stories.

Borges and Cortazar are the two giants in the literary pantheon of 20th century Argentina. Although the genius of Borges is not questioned, interestingly, it is Cortazar who takes top place in the hearts of modern Argentines. They will tell you that it is he, not Borges, who writes about the regular 'man on the street', that he was the more politically engaged (the fact that Borges was born, and died, in Switzerland will be mentioned, with the implication that Borges did not concern himself with Argentina's domestic political turmoil), and that Cortazar's writing is infinitely more accessible than the cerebral musings of Borges.

These are strongly held beliefs (I've had the experience of being chastised by the friendly waiter at my local Italian restaurant in Buenos Aires for reading Borges - in his view I would have done much better with Cortazar) which have almost no basis in fact. Much of Cortazar's writing has a slanginess about it that makes it far less accessible than the relatively straightforward language of Borges. Furthermore, it is Cortazar, not Borges, who spent the great majority of his writing life living outside of Argentina (in France). And the preoccupation with parallel (often magical) universes that is the hallmark of Cortazar's short fiction surely makes the descriptor "cerebral" as appropriate to his writing as to that of Borges. The only explanation I have for the emotional preference Argentines profess for Cortazar is that he doesn't keep himself at quite the same distance from his protagonists as Borges does.

But the whole comparison is insidious to begin with. It's not a question of 'should I read Borges or Cortazar'? The answer is - you should read both. Each is rewarding in his own way.

This collection, the first of three volumes of Cortazar's complete short stories, is an excellent introduction. It contains many of his best-known stories: "Axolotl", "La noche boca arriba", "Casa tomada", "Continuidad de los parques", "Las babas del diablo" (Blow-up). Most of these stories tread the line between the "normal" world and a darker universe of Cortazar's imagination -- there is a signature twist which leaves the reader unsettled.

I found that I could read these stories in the original Spanish. Many of them (including the five mentioned above) are available in translation in Blow-Up: And Other Stories. As all 15 of the stories which appear in translation in that book are taken from this volume, I append my review of it.

Review of "Blow-Up: and Other Stories":

The first story of Cortazar's that I ever read was "La Noche Boca Arriba", roughly translatable as "The Night Turned Upside Down". It creeped me out then, and it still creeps me out. As in many of Cortazar's stories, it revolves around the idea that the protagonist simultaneously inhabits two parallel realities, and that beyond the "normal events" being described there lies a far more terrible world ready to engulf the protagonist (for instance, the obsidian knife of anAztec executioner-priest).

Or there's the opening paragraph of "Axolotl", another story which blurs the edge of reality:
"There was a time when I thought a great deal about the axolotls. I went to see them in the aquarium at the Jardin des Plantes and stayed for hours watching them, observing their immobility, their faint movements. Now I am an axolotl."

Time and again in this collection of brilliantly original short stories, Cortazar pulls the rug out from under the reader. Isabel spends her summer vacation in a country house stalked by a tiger, a situation which she ultimately exploits to get revenge, and a measure of justice. A man sits in his study, reading a murder mystery in which he himself is the victim.
This collection, first published in 1967, contains translations of 14 of Cortazar's early short stories, as well as "The Pursuer", an exploration of a jazz musician's creative demons which the author dedicated to Charlie Parker. Though the translation is not particularly impressive, this volume does convey the energy, dislocation, and menace that is characteristic of Cortazar's stories.

These stories were simultaneously fun and disturbing to read. I highly recommend them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Julio Cortazar the Master
If this is your first encounter with Cortazar you will be greatly surprise with these short stories where you will find the surrealism, the mystery of an Edgar Allan Poe. This book is a must to the reader who loves the mystery and if you want to become an active reader versus a passive reader. Cortazar immerse you in the deep of the subconscience and you need to detangle his web. My fascination with Cortazar started with a very short story "La noche boca arriba" after I read that one I was hooked to the world of Cortazar. Some of his short stories had been brought to the big screen like Blowup. Cortazar is a must read and this collection is the way to start to know the Master Julio Cortazar. ... Read more

2. Blow-Up: And Other Stories
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 288 Pages (1985-02-12)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394728815
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A young girl spends her summer vacation in a country house where a tiger roams...A man reading a mystery finds out too late that he is the murderer's victim...In the stories collected here -- including "Blow-Up;' on which Antonioni based his film -- Julio Cortazar explores the boundary where the everyday meets the mysterious, perhaps even the terrible. This is the most brilliant and celebrated book of short stories by a master of the form. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Axolotls, bunnies, and other exotic creatures
Short stories are not very dear to me, as a form of fiction. I prefer the fat novel or the slim novel/long story. This collection of stories by Argentine exile Cortazar helped me some way to try and understand why.
The stories were initially published in the 1960s. They are almost all `surreal', mysterious, esoteric, and magical. They are artful and some are entertaining (others just confusing), but most leave me with an unsatisfied feeling. And then, once in a while, a story turns out to be satisfying and justifies the exposure to the rest. In the case of this book, it is mainly the title story.

There are nice technical tricks, optical/mental illusions, skillfully done, but rather meaningless. Take for example Axolotl: a man goes to the zoo to look at them, but in the course of the tale, the perspective migrates to the axolotls who watch the man coming to the zoo to look at them. (If you don't know axolotls*, don't be depressed, neither would I if there hadn't been a German mega bestseller last year titled Axolotl Roadkill.)
Structurally comparable, but more complex is The Night Face Up: a variation on dreams and reality via a double nightmare. A man has an accident, passes out, wakes up, watches himself being taken to hospital, operated on, put in a hospital bed, falls asleep, dreams of being prepared for sacrifice by an Aztec tribe (as if he were a victim in the Apocalypto movie), wakes up, is in the bed, meanders between hospital and Aztec temple, where he finally dreams that he is a man on a motorcycle who has an accident. Nice. But so what?

There are amusing stories of the Roald Dahl variety: imagine a house sitter, who moves into a woman's Buenos Aires apartment while she goes to Paris for a few months. He writes her a letter about the unfortunate fact that the rabbits which he sometimes vomits out and then keeps in the apartment, feeding them insufficiently from a balcony clover plantation, have destroyed the apartment.
Or: a man sits in his house and reads a crime story which has him as the victim and on the last page the murderer creeps into the reading room with a knife... Ok, ok, very neat.
But hasn't this kind of thing been done before?

The volume is named after the story which gave the core of the plot to Antonioni's 60s cult film Blow Up. I remember that I was at the time endlessly fascinated by its elegant boredom and that I watched it several times, feeling quite heroic about it. Let's face it, the film was just a fad, nothing much to it. I expected to look at Cortazar's story in the same way, but was `disappointed': Blow Up is the 11th of 15 stories in this book, and it is the first one that made me sit up and say, hey, this is a damned good one.
The film was about a fashion photographer in London who gets into some complications over a private photo that he shoots in a park and then blows up in his studio. A woman in the shot didn't like to be in the picture (Vanessa Redgrave in the movie.) The story is about a hobby photographer, a Chilean translator in Paris, who takes a photo of people in the streets. The people are unhappy and demand the film roll, but the photographer/narrator refuses to hand it over. Subsequently he blows up the shot and puts it on the wall. While he looks at the photo from a distance, it begins to change, the lens angle moves, and we `see' a different story than the one that we had at first imagined. This story makes me want to give 5 stars to the book, though it should overall only be 4.
And there is a real outsider in this volume, a 60 pages text with a totally un-esoteric story about a jazz musician called Johnny Carter, who has an uncanny similarity with Charlie Parker. That is a strong story as well, but oddly misplaced in this neighborhood.

* Axolotls are an amphibian species, or rather their larvae. The species is also called Mexican Salamander or Walking Fish, though it is not a fish.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great writer; artless, awful translation
Cortazar is one of my favorite writers, and I bought this intending it as a gift for a friend of mine who cannot read Spanish. Unfortunately, I will have to find another gift, because this translation is going right back to Amazon.

The translation is awful. Specifically, the flow of the English is choppy and is full of direct translations from Spanish idioms that sound awkward. The translator fails to convey the brilliantly chatty and colloquial style in which Cortazar wrote in Spanish.

This basically reads like the translator, Paul Blackburn, was being paid by the page and cared nothing for the text that he was translating. This is not unlikely; the translation dates from 1967, long before anyone knew that Cortazar would end up being one of the most important Latin American writers of the 20th century. The fact that the translator's name does not ever appear on the cover of the latest edition attests to the fact that even the publisher is aware of the bad quality of his work.

If you want to read Cortazar, look elsewhere! Something by a different translator, I'd say. One of the masters of the Spanish prose does not deserve to be read like this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Literature at the Planck Scale
In this book are collected some of the most well-known short stories of the great Latin American writer, Julio Cortazar. Cortazar was a great experimental writer (his most famous novel, "Hopscotch", was a pre-cursor to future hyper-text novels) who drew his inspiration from French Symbolism, Surrealism and the improvisational nature of Free Jazz.

Fellow Argentine, Jorge Luis Borges, once famously stated that there was no way of retelling the plot of a Cortazar story - he was absolutely right. The plot is minimal for many of the stories in this collection and in a sense, it is subsidiary. The `essence' of a Cortazar story is largely ineffable. Attempting to capture it in words leads one to fumble just the way that his characters do (see, for example, the short story "The Idol of the Cyclades" or "The Pursuer"). In Cortazar's fictions, reality and fantasy are separated by a permeable membrane and the proper way to read his writing is to experience it, to exercise to the fullest extent possible one's sense of empathy with the writing, in a sense, to merge with it. Indeed, this merging of the fantastic and real, of several viewpoints, is a recurring theme in this collection of short stories - it is most fully manifest in "Axolotl" wherein the young boy becomes obsessed with the axolotls to the point where he actually becomes one. However, the theme also recurs in "The Distances", "A Yellow Flower" and "The Continuity of Parks."

Many of the stories are a bit like the Taoist parable of Chuang Tzu who dreamed that he was a butterfly but upon waking was no longer sure whether he was a man who dreamt that he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming that he was a man. Cortazar's stories seem to exist in kind of quantum superposition states where both one and the other are simultaneously being realized -- this is literature at the Planck scale. Probably no other author has managed to capture, in writing, the feel of the uncanny as masterfully as Cortazar has. There is a sense of unease, half-hinted, that permeates through almost the entire collection. This barely expressible sense of a discordant note is especially evident in "The House Taken Over", "Letter to a Young Lady in Paris", "The Night Face Up" (a stand-out story which for me had some similarities to Borges' story, "The South"), "Bestiary", "Blow-up" (on which the Michelangelo Antonioni film was loosely based) and "Secret Weapons."

I suspect that I will be returning to many of these stories in the future as they seem to welcome repeated visits. Not all of the stories were of equal quality for me - some were less enjoyable than others. In discussing Cortazar as a novelist Borges once commented "He is trying so hard on every page to be original that it becomes a tiresome battle of wits, no?" To a certain extent, I felt the same way about some of the short stories in this collection, though quite possibly this is because I am not a sophisticated enough reader of post-modernist literature.

Overall however, reading the collection was an enjoyable experience which I recommend to other readers. Some of the stories are sure to persist in one's memory as beautifully strange, haunting experiences, inviting repeated visits.

5-0 out of 5 stars An early version of La Maga
The other reviews here cover Cortazazr's work and talent so well that I'm only going to add something about one of the stories.If you're a fan of his novel Rayuela, or Hopscotch in English, the last story in this collection will be of particular interest to you.In "Secret Weapons," the main female character, Michele, is obviously an early prototype of the main female character in Rayuela: La Maga.

Michele is described as being "like a cat," and she's late for her appointment with Pierre (who is somewhat like Horacio Oliviera from Rayuela) because she's been wandering around the city looking into store windows.Quote from the story: "Michele can't be much longer, unless she gets lost or hangs around in the streets on the way, she has this extraordinary capacity to stop any place and take herself a trip through the small particular worlds of the shop windows.Afterward, she will tell him about: a stuffed bear that winds up, a Couperin record, a bronze chain with a blue stone, Stendhal's complete works, the summer fashions.Completely understandable reasons for arriving a bit late."

Cortazar doesn't develop this ability of Michele's into a deeper meaning, the way he does throughout Hopscotch, where La Maga's ability to become lost in the physical world intrigues and endears Horacio, who by contrast is so deep into his philosophies that he feels removed and lost from the world around him.But Michele and Pierre have a similar sexual interplay to La Maga and Horacio...in modern jargon it would be called sadism/masochism...but of course in Cortazar's descriptions it's something much more deeply felt and true than those words allow for.

Pierre isn't too much like Horacio...you could say they both smoke Gauloises, but pretty much every Cortazar character smokes them.But Pierre isn't so into philosophy and in fact he's blonde...that sounds superficial but it creeped me out to all of a sudden picture Horacio's doppleganger as blonde.I guess it's important to the story for him to be blonde.Anyway.

The characters Babette and Roland are here as well, straight from Rayuela.They're secondary characters in this story and not really developed at all, the way they are in the novel, but they're here nonetheless, a couple with the exact same names.

I of course loved this collection for all the reasons previous reviewers have mentioned.This story was an extra surprise at the end.It's really fascinating to see a writer explore a certain character in a short story and then expand the same character in a novel, to see how the character changes and how the writer's approach changes with the format.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic intro to Cortazar
Cortazar was one of the more unearthly literary geniuses of the 20th century; like Borges and Nabokov I return to his short stories often (more than a decade after first discovering them), and can still get new things out of them.

I agree with previous reviewers - Cortazar's precision with language rivals Nabokov, Kafka, Proust or Borges.I would add another comparison as well - though the intent is quite different, the very musical and restless, rhythmic sensuality of the writing also recalls the best of Lawrence Ferlinghetti - both were fluent in and inspired by jazz culture, and Cortazar is confident enough in his expertise to be willing to explore and shape language with an engaged, fluent playfulness.This gave him a rare ability to create extraordinary and unforgettable worlds throught this (and other) collections.

This anthology is a great introduction to Cortazar, with many of my personal favorites: "Night Face Up," "Idol Of The Cyclades," "House Taken Over" and "Axolotl" are all unforgettable short fictions.I wouldn't stop there - Cortazar's other writing is well worth investigating (especially the second story collection, ALL FIRES THE FIRE).Cortazar seems to be sliding into unfortunate obscurity (in the English-speaking world, at least) as of late, with a number of key works currently out of print in translation.Thankfully, and for the time being, this is not one of them.

-David Alston ... Read more

3. Cronopios and Famas
by Julio Cortázar, Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 162 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811214028
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Long out of print and now reissued in paperback, Cronopios and Famas is one of the best-loved books by Julio Cortzar, perhaps the greatest of Latin American novelists (author of Hopscotch and The Blow-Up and Other Stories). "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." Finally, the "Cronopios and Famas" section delightfully characterizes, in the words of Carlos Fuentes, "those enemies of pomposity, academic rigor mortis and cardboard celebrity-a band of literary Marx Brothers." As the Saturday Review remarked: "Each page of Cronopios and Famas sparkles with vivid satire that goes to the heart of human character and, in the best pieces, to the essence of the human condition." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cats Meow this Book at the Moon
I like this book so much I try to read while I am sleeping. i can't speak to the translation but I have been able to equate the marks on the pages to sounds in my head. Here is something I recieved in my email today: [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Super Quick Read!
I really enjoyed this book and although it is short, it is very interesting and a super quick read!

I have made multiple attempts to read his book "Hopscotch" and have never fully read it unfortunately. I decided it was time to read another book of his and the description of "Cronopios and Famas" sounded really cool.I'm so glad I read it because now I cannot wait to delve into "Hopscotch" again!

Julio Cortazar is an amazing writer and a must for anyone interested in latin american fiction or fiction in general!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Really good book, in an acceptable edition
The book is really nice, and the translation is good. The book edition is OK compared to the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars CORTAZAR AT HIS BEST
I'm an avid reader of Cortazar and I'm always searching for new ways of "discovering" his literature. I'm an Argentinean literary translator andI'm extremely happy with Paul Blackburn's translation. Blackburn fully grasps the ideas and feelings Cortazar show in the original work. I do believe it's the best translation of Cortazar's works! If any reader is interested in diving into a completely different world, Cronopios and Famas is perfect for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!
Years ago I heard readings from this book on KPFK, and was quite impressed ( enough so to keep the tape for some 40 years)What a treat to find that it is available in paperback.Cortazar's sense of humour and sense of the absurd along with his poetic style are unsurpassed.If you have never read this one, it is a real treat.If I had to pick ten books to take to the proverbial desert island, this would be one of them! ... Read more

4. Hopscotch (Pantheon Modern Writers Series)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 576 Pages (1987-02-12)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394752848
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
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, free-wheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars not for the faint of Intellect
Quick and Dirty Review:this book is impressive.It is a must read if you're a fan of the intellectual novel.I found myself having to "translate" it as I went, chapter by chapter, in order to keep up with all the literary, philosophical and historical references.This is not at all a plot-driven book, in fact it seems to be completely unencumbered by any kind of standard novel format.It can be read front to back, back to front, or in the "prescribed" order.Several of the chapters could be extracted completely from the book and stand alone quite nicely.Yet, it is a novel, with a crew of characters and settings you would love to be a part of.Latin American beatniks in 50's Paris?Perfect.

I need to find my copy so I can go ahead and start rereading it, slowly, chapter by chapter.

4-0 out of 5 stars When The Feast Is Over
Why hasn't anyone employed the term "Nouveau Roman" to describe this odd, meandering book?I suppose the fault may, in part, lie in the fact that it was originally penned in Spanish and is considered part of the Latin American canon.But Cortazar wrote much of it whilst working for UNESCO in Paris.And there are vast sections of both French and Spanish left untranslated here.- The French posed no problem for me, though the Spanish did. - The reason I stress the "Nouveau Roman" aspect of this crazyquilt work is that you'll not have any idea of why Cortazar writes as he does here unless you have an idea of what those 1950s writers were all about in this literary movement, because, for my literary capital, Cortazar's Hopsctch is the Nouveau Roman work par excellence.But this ends up being rather a backhanded compliment, perhaps.

So, yes, the novel can be read in several different modes of succeeding chapters, but I'm not going to dwell on this aspect here, because I have now read it in all the different sequences, and it really doesn't matter a hair's breadth of difference in the end as to the general import of the novel.I do agree with the reader who says that if you're reading it linearly, the book will have much more force if you put it down after the Second, or Argentine, section and eschew the "Expendable" chapters.But, if you do, you'll miss out on what Cortazar is all about here - which may not be a bad thing.

A brief description of the three sections (linearly, that is):

The first part amounts to an extremely high-brow, intellectualised to the nth degree, version of La Vie Boheme set in 1950s Paris.Brush up on your knowledge of jazz and, while you're at it, on any high-brow author, from Muesli to Lowry, of note in the early to middle part of the 20th century.You'll need them all for the third part, if you choose to read it.

The second part is set when Oliviera/Horacio (or whatever you want to call him) returns to Argentina and becomes a circus worker, salesman and employee at a madhouse.But, more importantly, he becomes involved in a psychic ménage a trois with a couple that brings him to the edge of madness and leaves the reader hanging.This part is, indeed, a masterpiece.It brings the whole question of consciousness and the meaning of "reality" to the fore, the goal of the Nouveau Roman movement.To cite from the book, this description of a prelude to a kiss:

"It was if they were coming together from somewhere else, with some part of themselves, as if they were paying or collecting something for others, as if they were the golems of an impossible meeting between their masters."

The third part of "expendable" chapters consists, for the most part, of notes by and about Cortazar's stand-in, the author Morelli, which are identical with what the Nouveau Roman authors were attempting to do.

It's rather hard, of course, to pass judgement on all this.But for me, most of it had a very dated feel, almost amounting to a caution against terming any movement in the arts "new" as it is bound to grow old.A quote from the book sums up the dated, elegiac feel of it for me:

"And when the feast is over, why are we so sad, brothers of nineteen hundred and fifty something?"

Footnote: Admirers and aficionados of Malcolm Lowry - such as myself - will be glad to see an entire chapter (118) devoted solely to a one line quote from Under The Volcano.But they may be mystified by another reference to him in chapter 99: "It's almost stupid to repeat that life is sold to us, as Malcolm Lowry said..."This comes from, I think, a letter of his.In any event, I've long had it memorised in full.Lowry says, "The real cause of alcoholism is the baffling sterility of existence as sold to you."

5-0 out of 5 stars Hopscotch
This is one of the most beautifully written novels I have read in a long time, I'm sure I will want to read it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!One of the most fascinating novels I've ever read
Julio Cortázar (1914-1984) was an Argentine author who wrote prolifically during the Latin Boom that inundated the world with a wave of great novels.While readers who rummage through the literature of Spanish America first come across writers like Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, these explorations would no doubt be rendered incomplete and pointless if they fail to acknowledge the work of this literary genius.

Julio Cortázar embarked on a life of letters as a poet.He was an admirer of the esteemed writer Jorge Luis Borges, a fellow Argentine who was a literary celebrity in his native country.Upon finishing his premier short story, Cortázar sought Borges for approval of his work, wondering if he was worthy of treading on the prosaic terrain over which his idol commanded with a sophisticated mastery.The older author gave him a thumbs up and thus set Cortázar off on a literary journey that gave the world a taste of his creative opus.In his illustrious career, Cortázar wrote a wealth of plays, poems and novels, the most famous of which is Hopscotch, or Rayuela as it was written in the original Spanish.

Hopscotch is not a novel for the systematic reader.It is a novel without a genre, a postmodern and experimental prose that plays like a game of hopscotch throughout its chapters.There is an abundance of metaphors, of connections, bridges, symbols, and artistic allusions.There are ejaculations of phrases in foreign languages and an interjection of aphorisms in verse.If history were to rewrite itself and eradicate all traces of Joyce, Hopscotch would have been the equivalent of Ulysses. The language is incredibly vivid, infinitely descriptive, colorful, sensuous, poetic, maddeningly abstract, and psychedelic. Cortázar urges one to participate in his prose and to divagate from the mental passivity of the female reader.One must come to this book with an open mind and faithfully follow and participate in this incredible novel's winding paths to fully understand the meaning of Cortázar's hypnotic writing.

Just as Cortázar is a master wordsmith, he is also an incredible sculptor of characters.The members of this novel are incredibly complex, obtuse, and curious, echoing bits and pieces of human personality that make us reflect on who we are and what we know. There are enigmatic hipsters like Étienne, Wong, Ronald, Babs, and Gregovorius.There is the neurotic pianist Berthe Trepat, the old man upstairs, the enigmatic Traveler, the sensuous Talita, the moribund child Rocamadour, and the painfully pragmatic yet mysterious La Maga. If you manage to hopscotch from one side of the novel to the other, another intriguing character is revealed, one who in fact embodies Cortázar.This is Morelli, the literary firebrand who attempts to deconstruct and reshape language and literature.Although Morelli does not play an active role in the novel, the true premise behind Cortázar's writing is revealed through the voice of this author. Finally, there is the hero, Horacio Oliveira.

Horacio Oliveira is a well-read bohemian who belongs to "the Club", a Paris-based group of eccentric intellectuals who seek the answers to life by meandering across the labyrinthine avenues of literature, art, music, and philosophy.We are first introduced to Oliveira as he searches for La Maga.He is an "amateur intellectual" whom the members of this Parisian intelligentsia regard as "very intelligent and alert, up to date on everything."Oliveira's life, however, is a great ennui.His erudition does little to quench his insatiable thirst, however, and pushes him to play a game of hopscotch towards an ideal, or as Cortázar would eloquently put, a Heaven where "one day someone would see the true outline of the world, patterns pretty as can be, and perhaps, pushing the stone along, you would end up entering the kibbutz."

Oliveira then decides that the Parisian metaphor no longer suited him, and he returns to Latin America, wending his way through Uruguay and Argentina to excavate that which was never unearthed in Paris.But his quest for purpose leads him towards a series of nebulous non-revelations that do little to answer his questions.Oliveira begins "to realize that you don't find those things in libraries."Throughout the novel, he criticizes realism and structure, craving for the innovative genius of a Boulez, an Ellington or a Tinguely.Little by little, he is edged towards a more pragmatic approach to life, even if he never gets there. The latter part of the novel reads almost like a downward spiral towards a maddening epiphany, and the epic close raises a number of questions without ever providing closure, inviting the reader to fabricate an ending of his own.

Ultimately, Hopscotch is much more than just a novel.It is a brilliantly written collage of radical ideas; a linguistic adventure for the participative reader; an experiment that hurls the mind into a whirlwind of art, literature, music and philosophy; a reflection for the loner.This no doubt is a book that deserves to be mentioned among the great modern classics.Although Cortázar is little known among North American literary circles, Hopscotch is just the kind of book needed to reintroduce his art to readers looking for something more than just the "average" novel.Truth be told, it takes more than just passivity to get through this literary maelstrom, but once you are able to understand the essence of the author's purpose and premise, you will literally be hopscotching across one of the most fascinating novels ever written.

5-0 out of 5 stars `There is no such thing as a general idea'.
`Hopscotch' is a series of journeys through interconnected lives.It is simultaneously a reminder that we each read the same words and form different conclusions.

I have read `Hopscotch' twice: following the instructions provided by Mr Cortazar.I will read it again in the future when I will try to be less concerned about where I am going and more interested in why I am undertaking the journey.

None of the characters appealed to me and yet I found myself caring about the paths they took and the choices they made.The death of the child, Rocamadour,was so harrowing that I almost stopped reading.But I did not.I wanted to see if somehow this event would change the lives that La Maga and Oliviera chose.By then, of course, it was too late.

`Everything is writing, that is to say, a fable.'

So what is this book about?Who is the narrator?Which points of view does the reader obtain?Is there order in this chaos?Do any of these questions have answers, and are the answers relevant?There is nothing neat about `Hopscotch'.The endings are ambiguous, the characters are self-absorbed and the reader is invited to make choices. The novel comes to life and the reader becomes a part of it as the ultimate destination is driven by the choices made.

This novel made me uncomfortable.Yet, simultaneously, I am awed by the skills of the writer able to create such a world, invite me into it and leave the choices thereafter entirely to me.Iagree with those who consider this amongst the best novels written this century.But don't take my word for it: read it for yourself. A word of warning: do not attempt if you lack balance.You may fall.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
... Read more

5. Rayuela (Letras Hispanicas/ Hispanic Writings) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 752 Pages (2008-11-01)
list price: US$22.59 -- used & new: US$17.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8437624746
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Por primera vez se edita -Rayuela- como un clasico de la novela contemporanea. Todo el conjunto de materiales que aporta esta edicion (introduccion, abundantes notas, plano, fotografias) serviran al lector para comprender mejor y disfrutar mas con esta gran novela. Al aclararse tantas alusiones y tecnicas narrativas, resplandece con mas claridad el sentido profundo del relato: la busqueda constante, el humor, el juego, la nostalgia de una verdadera vida, el paso sonado -de la tierra al cielo-… ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars otro de mis libros favoritos
me encanta como utiliza las palabras, los lenguajes, para crear otro mundo, para hunir al lector en la dinamica de un europa colonial, ahogante, insoportable y a la vez bonito ..

5-0 out of 5 stars Obra Magistral
He leido Rayuelas 3 veces a lo largo de 35 anos y cada vez que leo este libro aprendo nuevas cosas.Con este libro Julio Cortazar demuestra que es un genio de la palabra escrita y un creador de belleza sinigual.Su genialidad a mi entender queda expuesta en el capitulo 34 de la obra.Este capitulo hay que leerlo de tres formas diferentes para su aprehension.No voy a entrar en detalle de los personajes del libro,pero quiero senalar que cada uno de ellos es de por si de una profundidad y complejidad enormes,pero con caracteristicas muy particulares.Recomiendo la lectura de este libro y estoy seguro de que quedaran tan impresionados como yo con el mismo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Un libro maravilloso, I really enjoy it , and I received it as soon as i spected.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
Some of the words have miss spell, i dont like at all the product because the quality for the price i pay, is like the Pirate version of the book. Sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
Very satisfied with the order, the book arrived extremely fast and in very good condition. Thank you ... Read more

6. Ceremonias (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
 Paperback: Pages (2004-11)
list price: US$13.60 -- used & new: US$14.98
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Asin: 9871144938
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cortazar at the top of his writing skills
Julio Cortazar, whose untimely death in 1984 left a considerable gap in Latin American literature, is, to me, the most accomplished short-story writer of the so-called 'Latin American boom', and in this collection ofshort stories he truly proves what a master of the genre he was. 'Ceremonias' combines two of his previous collections, 'Final del juego'and 'Las armas secretas', both of which had a wide readership in LatinAmerica.In each story, Cortazar probes deep into the human psyche, eveninto that of children ('Los venenos' and 'Final del juego'), andilluminates us with his unsettling understanding of the many things thatdrive us.'Las armas secretas' itself is a harrowing story of rape, desireand repressed memories that is vintage Cortazar.The issue of 'otherness'is often explored, particularly in his superb story 'Axolotl'.But perhapsthe most famous story in 'Ceremonias' is 'El perseguidor', loosely based onCharlie Parker's life, a story of a tormented musician told with incrediblepathos and empathy towards all its characters.

I thoroughly recommendthis excellent collection of short stories.If you havent't read Cortazaryet, it would be an excellent introduction to his wonderful, sometimesbizarre, world. ... Read more

7. 62: A Model Kit
by Julio Cortázar, Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 288 Pages (2000-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.00
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Asin: 0811214370
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Cortazar's classic 1968 novel about an unnamed European "city" is finally back in print as a New Directions Classic. First published in English in 1972 and long out of print, 62: A Model Kit is Julio Cortazar's brilliant, intricate blueprint for life in the so-called "City." 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." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars my favorite Corttázar book
Cortázar never tells a story directly, instead he dances around, weaving an intricate web of words, images, allusions - what later crystallizes into a coherent story.

Jumping-around Jazz-like narrative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ably translated from Spanish for an English reading audience
62: A Model Kit is ably translated from Spanish for an English reading audience by Gregory Rebassa and is a novel of fantasy, comedy, cities, snatches of conversations, brief meetings, characters whose lives begin at any moment and end in intense, brilliant encounters with others on a train, poignant love making, and even restaurant dining. The construction is free and open, devoid of the usual restraints of traditional novelistic order and take the reader on a daring and exciting new approach to life itself. 62: A Model Kit written so deftly and daringly by the late Julio Cortazar (1914-1984) is enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone with an interest in pushing the literary envelope as exemplified by the format of the novel.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gimmicky at Best!
This book builds to less then nothing (for nothing can sometimes actually be exciting).Cortazar is impressive, no doubt, but his stuff is at its core is just gimmicks and mindtricks.No real substance.He writes like someone merely trying to impress his peers in his creative writing class, and maybe get laid by that cute girl in the corner.To say he influenced writers like Marquez elevates him too much.Marquez likely saw what Cortazar lacked and built on it from there.Fun to read like it's fun watching a magician, but that's as far as it goes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to strange familiarity
To summarize this book would be to discredit it.It must be read byanyone who is interested in the quirks and subtleties that haunt humanaction.It is not intended as a book of horror, or a humorous book forthat matter, but this is what one will find in the most honest and purestsense of the words.The author would be scandalized by the application ofsuch sentimental terms, but as I am not Mr. Cortazar, I am afraid this isthe best I can do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enter this labyrinth if you dare
The way in is through a looking-glass that is also a vampire-haunted castle and at the sa e time a city that is all cities. Be forewarned that once you have entered the Zone, you will never completely leave it. You will find yourself in its shadowed galleries, its furtive plazas, its unpredictable elevators, from time to time for the rest of your life. You will ask questions that will never be answered (what was inside the doll?) and you will be haunted by a realization that important things are always happening just outside your understanding. Cortazar invented the interactive book in Hopscotch, another highly disturbing expedition into parallel reality, but 62: A Model Kit is his masterpiece. Here is a writer admired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda and Carlos Fuentes (who once wrote, "Anyone who does not read Cortazar is doomed") but has been deeply neglected in North America. Other writers talk about alternative realities; Cortazar opens the door. ... Read more

8. La autopista del sur y otros cuentos
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 400 Pages (1996-08-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.78
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Asin: 014025580X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars Complicado
Creo que simplemente Cortazar no es para mi..... Es la primera vez que leo algo suyo y la verdad es que lo unico que me dejo en la mente fue un gran signo de interrogacion.... Algunos cuentos me parecieron bien, pero la mayoria me resultaron sumamente complicados de entender, con una narracion enrroscada que varias veces giraba en circulos y parecia no llegar a ningun lado. Y ni que hablar de los finales...... La autopista del Sur me dejo en ascuas sin saber que paso ni poder imaginarmelo siquiera......
No, realmente Cortazar no es para mi.

5-0 out of 5 stars La Autopista de Cortázar
This is a book in spanish, so I'll write down the review in spanish.
Cortázar es un escritor hábil que, como ya han notado muchos críticos, intenta describir la experiencia estética del artista a través de un lenguaje deliberadamente complejo que, quizá, logra captar ese mátiz particular que el artista descubre en la realidad.
"Las babas de diablo" es un típico ejemplo de lo dicho precedentemente, sin embargo, también es visible en Cortázar el gusto por lo fantástico, como en "Casa tomada", donde el misterio nunca es revelado, pero si sus funestas consecuencias. En resumén, no creo que Cortázar sea un escritor fácil, pero es un escritor interesante, y éste libro, con todos sus defectos, contiene cuentos extraordinariamente bien escritos,y, se puede añadir: intencionalmente bien escritos.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cortazar is genious
Cortazar captures thoughts, feelings and ideas some of us have throughout our lives and creates new fictional worlds.The contrast and blend of real and unreal is fantastic.A must have!! It contains many of his greatest short stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for a fair price.
Great book with an excellent selection of texts. Shipping is also good and pretty fast. Great product.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mejor que nunca
El gran Cortazar sobrevive al mejor nivel en esta edicion del libro clasico. ... Read more

9. Julio Cortazar (Modern literature monographs)
by Evelyn Picon Garfield
Hardcover: 164 Pages (1975-04)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0804422249
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10. Cuentos Completos. Cortazar I / Cortazar's Complete Short Stories I (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 639 Pages (2010-04-16)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$18.64
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Asin: 8420405388
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Cortazar was a writer of the real and the imaginary, the hallmark of the world he invented lies precisely in this symbiosis. He was able to uncover the unusual in the usual, the absurd within the logical, the extraordinary in the trivial, and the exception to the rule. No one has dignified humanity s foreseeable, conventional and prosaic aspects to such literary heights. His true revolution is in his short stories. In them, Cortazar did not experiment: he found, uncovered, and discovered something eternal.

Spanish Description:

Cortazar era un escritor realista y fantastico al mismo tiempo. El mundo que invento tiene de inconfundible preci samente ser esa extrana simbiosis. Cortazar detectaba lo insolito en lo solito, lo absurdo en lo logico, la excepcion en la regla y lo prodigio so en lo banal. Nadie dignifico tan literariamente lo previsible, lo convencional y lo pedestre de la vida humana.

La verdadera revolucion de Cortazar esta en sus cuentos. Mas discreta pero mas profunda y permanente, por que solivianto a la naturaleza misma de la ficcion, a esa entrana indisociable de forma-fondo, medio-fin, arte tecnica que ella se vuelve en los creadores mas logrados. En sus cuentos, Cortazar no experimento: encontro, descubrio, creo algo imperecedero. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Todo Cortazar
Cuentos Completos 2 esta compuesto por todos los cuentos de la segunda parte de la vida de Cortazar. Lei Cuento Completos 1 en dos semanas para luego comprar Cuentos Completos 2 y volver al mundo magico de cortazar. Siningun lugar a dudas, eso es lo que obtuve, Cuentos Completos 2 incluye"un tal Lucas" (mi preferido para esta parte) entre otros, todosexcelentes. Una vez que uno entra en el mundo de Cortazar, te atrapa y nose puede salir, uno tiene que leer el proximo cuento, la proxima historia,el proximo libro. Sin ningun lugar a dudas, lo mejor de cortazar estareflejado en este libro.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cortazar en todo su explendor.
Este libro es la recopilacion de todos los cuentos de Cortazar en la primera mitad de su vida. La fantasia de Cortazar trasciende todo limite y frontera para mostrarte un mundo magico donde todo es posible para luegollevarte a una posicion inesperada, una fantasia magica, un no-se-que quesolo se puede entender una ver que uno ha tenido el priviligio de leer a ungran autor como este. Cuentos completos 1 es indispensable, yo lo lei enmenos de dos semanas y compre Cuentos completos 2 apenas termine.Aclaracion, estos libros solo incluyen sus cuentos, sus novelas (como"Rayuela" y "El libro de Manuel") no estan incluidas,como era de esperarse. Un libro de cuentos totalmente indispensable. ... Read more

11. Cuentos Completos. Cortazar II / Complete Short Stories II (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 552 Pages (2010-05-01)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$18.72
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Asin: 8420405396
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In Cortazar s world, games recover their lost potential as a serious activity for adults. Although it is true that his characters enjoy playing, the dangerous quality of many of their games will leave them with a dreadful truth, insanity or death, not to mention a fleeting sense of oblivion of their circumstances. No other writer has transformed games into such a malleable and useful instrument of artistic exploration and creation. Cortázar s work opened the doors to previously unexplored territories.

Spanish Description:

En el mundo de Cortazar el juego recobra esa virtualidad perdida, de actividad seria y de adultos. Es verdad que sus personajes se divierten jugando, pero muchas veces se trata de diversiones peligrosas, que les dejaran, ademas de un pasajero olvido de sus circunstancias, algun conocimiento atroz, o la enajenacion o la muerte.
En otros casos, el juego cortazariano es un refugio para la sensibilidad y la imaginacion. En sus libros juega el autor, juega el narrador, juegan los personajes y juega el lector, obligado a ello por las endiabladas trampas que lo acechan a la vuelta de la pagina menos pensada.
Ningun otro escritor dio al juego la dignidad literaria que Cortazar, ni hizo del juego un instrumento de creacion y exploracion artistica tan ductil y provechoso. La obra de Cortazar abrio puertas ineditas. ... Read more

12. Julio Cortazar (Vidas Literarias) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar, Cristina Peri Rossi
 Paperback: 152 Pages (2001-03)
list price: US$52.40 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 8428212260
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13. Historias de cronopios y de famas (Narrativa) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 160 Pages (2007-07-10)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$5.82
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Asin: 8466320296
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This collection of short and humoristic stories is a privileged introduction to the inexhaustible world of one of the greatest writers of the last century. Cronopios and Famas is one of the most-loved books by Julio Cortazar, perhaps the greatest of Latin American novelists; it is delightfully characterized. As the Saturday Review remarked: ''Each page of Cronopios and Famas sparkles with vivid satire that goes to the heart of human character and, in the best pieces, to the essence of the human condition.'' Description in Spanish: Historia de cronopios y de famas es uno de los libros legendarios del escritor argentino. Postulacion de una mirada poetica capaz de enfrentar las miserias de la rutina y del sentido comun, Cortazar toma aqui partido por la imaginacion creadora y el humor corrosivo de los surrealistas. Esta coleccion de cuentos y vinetas entranables es una introduccion privilegiada al mundo inagotable de uno de los mas grandes escritores de este siglo y un antidoto seguro contra la solemnidad y el aburrimiento. Sin duda alguna, Cortazar sella un pacto de complicidad definitiva e incondicional con sus lectores. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars beauty becomes a book
Este tiene que ser uno de los libros más hermosos en la historia del género humano. Si quieres escapar de la realidad o mirarla con otros ojos, léelo. ... Read more

14. The Winners (New York Review Books Classics)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 456 Pages (1999-09-30)
list price: US$14.95
Isbn: 0940322315
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The winners of a state lottery, a cross sec tion of thecitizens of Buenos Aires, have received tickets for a mysteriousluxury cruise. Summoned to meet in a popular caf and escorted underthe cover of darkness to the secret location of their ship, theyembark without knowing where they are headed. Within hours the shipstops; the passengers are informed that a disease has bro ken outamong the crew and that they will be confined to a small section ofthe ship . In suspense, the passengers mull over their pasts and thefuture, form atta chments and suspicions, tell secrets, exploredesires. But as some of them merely ac cept their confinement, othersare increasingly driven to confront the crew, leading to an outbreakof violence that seems both inevitable and pointless. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Novel proves that the most exciting voyage is inside one's own mind
After reading Cortazar's The Winners (1960), I've decided that what makes a novel a classic is that the author writes about the worst of human behavior in a style that assumes every reader is a genius.This novel called on me to use all of my perceptions and knowledge as a person, as a reader.

By now, you will have learned that this novel is about a group of people who win a lottery and the prize is an ocean voyage, and that once settled onboard, several of the passengers behave badly, and the ship's crew is such--well, I won't give it away--that the voyage comes to an end only three days after it began.You will also have read from other reviewers or the publisher's notes that the character Persio has clairvoyant abilities; in a way, Persio is the higher consciousness of the novel; his thoughts lead the reader into self-examination (or not).For me, this novel was not a simple, summer read--but don't let me stop you.

The Winners is highly metaphorical: is the ship life itself?I think so.But the writing is more beautiful than life: many of the characters have the most sensitive, humane, and literate conversations, like Claudia and Paula, or Paula and Carlos.Surely, if this novel is Argentina, then people from Buenos Aires are living among the gods of culture and human potential.In that regard, this novel is hardly the Argentina I've heard about: breathtakinglandscape, and women and men who love culture, but every now and then a dictator who murders people.The ship's crew is secretive and cunning like that.Read and see.

Appropriately, there is a sinister feeling about this novel from page one; something terrible impending, something beneath the surface of these polished people.I was totally fascinated, intrigued by many of the "characters": Claudia Lewbaum and Gabriel Medrano, Raul Costa, Carlos Lopez and Paula Lavalle, and Don Galo and Dr. Restelli,and the unforgettable Felipe Trejo, the 16-ish student, passionate for life, but without parental guidance, "lured" into the depths of the ships lower cabins where the crew seem alien and unpredictable.What a textual voyage--one in which the characters had to learn so much about themselves!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Ship of Fools
What to say about this sardonic book that won't sound like an essay from the journal of the Modern Language Association? Yes, it's liminal. Yes, it's Lacanian. Yes, it's an existential comedy. Oy! Poor Julio Cortazar put himself in the sites of all the scholars of pretentious post-modern interpretation - just check out the amazon list of articles and books designed to take the fun out of reading him - and it's just about spoiled his reputation. But The Winners is a wild ride, my friends, an outrageously entertaining book in which a whole zoo of oddball Argentinians wind up together on an ark of satire.

There's an old tradition of books depicting a "ship of fools", from Erasmus to Sebastian Brant to Katherine Porter to Cortazar, and I suspect Erasmus had a classical model. They're all fun; I've never read a ship-of-fools book I didn't like, though I wouldn't mind NOT being a passenger on that ship myself. Reading The Winners reminded me strongly of Herman Melville's most experimental novel, The Confidence Man. None of the critics, so far as I've noticed, draw any connection between Cortazar and Melville. Heads up, PhD grubs! There's a thesis topic for you! Likewise, lovers of reading just for its own sake! I'm giving you two recommendations: The Winners & The Confidence Man. In the climate of the upcoming American elections, books about bunko and deception are bound to be comforting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Discreet Charm of The Lottery Winners
I read and enjoy Cortazar in the same way I enjoy Luis Bunuel films, in fact I think Bunuel could have made a wonderful film of THE WINNERS. Like Bunuel, Cortazar finds the things we accept as normal to be quite absurd but also like Bunuel he has a certain affection for those he makes fun of. All those on board the Malcolm are guilty of some sort of petty prejudice or limited world view but they all mingle and tolerate one another to a point. When things go absurdly wrong the lottery winners begin to wonder what it is they've actually won. Cortazar is an existential comic. A book which succeeds because it never forgets that despite our differences we are all bound together by our not knowing exactly what is going. With a little help from Cortazar we can see that knowing is just a pretense.
Perhaps the novel like Camus Plague is a parable with many possible levels of meaning. Not the least of which is the political level. After all Cortazar left Argentina under Peron to live and write in exile.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mindful
I enjoyed "The Winners" though at times I found it a bit "heady".Its a novel that requires you keeping track as you go along. It took me while to figure out the setting, and what was happening (which means Cortazar did his job). There's so much symbolism and historical significance in his writing. I highly recommend the short stories collection "Blow Up" if you liked "The Winners."

5-0 out of 5 stars Ducks and Eagles
Cortazar places his characters in categories I've found people all fit--one or the other--like it or not--we are each either a duck or an eagle. Ducks follow of course and eagles set new paths. Ducks may haveeasier less lonely lives. Unless of course they inherit wealth andpower--in which case they must be very confused and inflict chaos on theless entitled. Eagles succeed in endeavors against all odds and aretherefore resented by those they seek to please. None of us has an easytime co-existing with others. No one wants to admit this of course! Thisbook encourages reflection that may have social value, but it doesn't offermuch in the way of a hopeful outcome for the social redemption ofmankind--at least not in this generation. Therein lies its depth. We mustexpect less from our companions in life. We're all horrifyingly flawed.Somehow we must find the path to honesty and forgiveness. The book--?--Icouldn't put it down. Now I can't get it out of my mind. If you want tolive in denial don't read it. ... Read more

15. Cuentos Completos 3, Cortazar (Complete Short Stories 3, Cortazar) (Punto De Lectura) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 432 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9875780650
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In Cortázar s book, the author plays, the narrator plays, the characters play, and the reader playshe must, because he is forced by those enchanted tricks that await him at the turn of the most unsuspecting page. Mario Vargas Llosa. This volume includes:Un tal Lucas, Queremos tanto a Glenda,andDeshoras. ... Read more

16. Save Twilight: Selected Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets Series) (Spanish Edition)
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 172 Pages (2001-01-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$8.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0872863336
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The power of Eros, the enduring beauty of art, a love-hate nostalgia for his Argentine homeland, the bonds of friendship and the tragic folly of politics are some of the themes of Save Twilight. Informed by his immersion in world literature, music, art, and history, and most of his own emotional geography, Cortázar’s poetry traces his paradoxical evolution from provincial Argentinean sophisticate to cosmopolitan Parisian Romantic, always maintaining the sense of astonishment of an artist surprised by life.

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Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring, Surprisingly Shallow
I like Cortazar, I've read two novels and definitely recommend Hopscotch.62: A Model Kit, is so-so.I recommend it if you've already read Hopscotch and love it and want another experimental novel about intellectuals lounging around and not doing much (Cortazar is not that unlike Seinfeld, but on a metaphysical and metaphorical instead of pop cultural level).These poems though let me down, I found them surprisingly shallow as you can possibly tell from the title of this review and none of them had any feeling or impact on me.None sounded great while seeming hollow to me.I think Cortazar was not much of a poet and those who say otherwise are probably fans of Cortazar more than of poetry.So unless Cortazar is one of your favorite writers, I would stay away from this one.Also its pretty expensive and once it arrives its tiny.If you don't trust me, you'll see.

4-0 out of 5 stars "If I'm to live without you, let it be hard and bloody"
Cortazar seizes the heart, the throat, the gut... every part of the body. As with most great poetry, critical and interpretive words will not suffice; poetry must speak for itself. Cortazar's simplicity and force liesin its ability to speak volumes all on its own. From his insistent "Iaccept this destiny of ironed shirts,/I get to the movies on time, I givemy seat to old ladies." in "The Good Boy" to his exquisitelysimple, "Everything I'd want from you/is finally so little/ becausefinally it's everything", Cortazar describes simply what it is tofeel.

Most importantly, this book is in Spanish and English, solinguistic purists will be able to compare the original with thetranslation (which for me is also the mark of an excellent book.)

5-0 out of 5 stars some of the best poems i've read
julio cortazar's poems are truly great. they're simple, beautiful and sad. i recommend anybody who loves or likes poetry to read this book. i keep coming back to cortazar's poems all the time. his poems are written verybeautifully. like this line " i was a tango lyric to your indifferenttune."

5-0 out of 5 stars some of the best poems i've read
julio cortazar's poems are truly great. they're simple, beautiful and sad. i recommend anybody who loves or likes poetry to read this book. i keep coming back to cortazar's poems all the time. his poems are written verybeautifully. like this line " i was a tango lyric to your indifferenttune."

5-0 out of 5 stars It'll leave you wondering...
... if you're dreaming, if you're breathing air or poetry. This book will make you want to write, it'll make you want to read it again and again, it'll sometimes leave you speechless and breathless, and some other timeseager to go and tell others to read it. I must have read it as a whole atleast eight times and some poems must've entered through my eyes at least30 times. And I always return to it. It feels like home. ... Read more

17. Around the Day in Eighty Worlds
by Julio Cortazar
Paperback: 320 Pages (1989-10)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$96.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865472041
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars yes
The review of this book in the New York Times referred to it as a "great man's doodles."I guess that's about right.It's a hodge-podge of photos, short fiction, commentary on art and music, and a story about a cat named Theodor W. Adorno.Cortazar's other books are referenced frequently, so it helps to be a fan.

For me the short story "No, no, no" alone is worth the purchase price (whatever it is).It's like a David Lynch movie compressed into one paragraph that features a showdown between two people who are obsessed with ants.Trust me, it's better than it sounds.Cortazar's writing will also make you curious to try yerba mate, which is worse than it sounds.

I've been reading this book for about 10 years, and when I'm finished I'll probably start again from the beginning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Around the World in Eighty Days
I think that the book is great. Phileas had me thinking in the beginning that he cold never do something like steal. The book I think was sooooo wonderful. Phileas is not nefarious thuogh.

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of Print, but well worth the Hunt.
After a college professor read a short segment out of this collection of short stories, I wanted to own it. However I had to search to find a copy in decent condition being the book is out of print. But it was more than well worth the hunt.I find myself constantly lending my book to others, and then checking it out from the library while they are reading it.I encourage everyone to read this, each story just gives you a new perspective on life. It's great.!

5-0 out of 5 stars Total Freedom
Julio Cortazar at his most relaxed and free.Combining
essays and fiction and poetry plus excellent visual imagery
(without ever labeling anything), this book is one I keep
on hand for thumbing through, any time.Cortazar's jazz
writing is some of the best ever, preceding by years Lester
Bangs' justly celebrated impressionistic music writing.
Cortazar reveals himself to be a "jazz writer" on a more
profound level than any of the Americans who wrote the
way they thought jazz sounded.His metaphysical approach
puts him in the company of Robert Musil, Clarice Lispector,
and Emily Dickinson, not to mention Charlie Parker, too.
Cortazar's whole approach to writing comes through in this
volume, and it's a great antidote to any outbreak of aesthetic
fussiness you might be experiencing.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Julio Speaks of Another
Julio Cortazar was named after Jules Verne who he read as a child and thus the title of the book. The book is full of photographs, drawings, engravings but most importantly Julio's words. Not really a book to read from cover to cover more like a book to sift through now and then.
If you are a Cortazar fan then you know of his other books:
Bestiario(1951) later published as End of the Game or Blow-up.
Rayuela(1963) later published as Hopscotch.
Todos los fuegos el fuego(1966) later published as All Fires the Fire. (This collection contains my favorite Cortazar story, "The Southern Thruway".) & many other books.
This book will appeal to both longtime fans and also those who want to get to know Cortazar for the first time.
I was lucky enough to find a hard cover in a used book shop and that is a nice way to own this because it is a book which will be picked up and put down often. On the cover is a wonderful painting by Paul Delvaux The Nightwatchman.
I love Julio's stories and highly recommend them to anyone. His novels I think are for a more select group of readers, those who have a lot of patience for long experiments. I like Cortazars short experiments best and this book has,well, at least eighty.
You get some of his fiction but also you get his essays on Poe(he translated the works of Poe into Spanish), Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk and Marcel Duchamp, Jose Lezama Lima.... which should give you some idea of what kind of things occupied Julios always curious mind. This more than any other of Julio Cortazars books is a collage-book.
This book is perhaps my favorite Cortazar because it is so varied in its subject matter that I never tire of it or feel like I have uncovered all its secrets. ... Read more

18. Final del Juego
by Julio Cortazar
 Paperback: Pages (1973)

Asin: B0045VKEEW
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Genial
Es uno de los mejores libros que he leido nunca. Me gusta la literatura latinoamericana en general y creo que Cortazar es uno de sus mejores representadores. Los Venenos, Final del Juego y El Rio son los cuentos que mas me gustaron. Recomiendo.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the best
wonderful, excelent, perfect. Cortazar is a GENIUS. That's all. (I recomend "Don't blame anyone")

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable collection of short masterpieces
"Final de Juego" (or Endgame) is one of the most remarkable books in Julio Cortazar's vast bibliography. A collection of 18 short stories, this book is a clear example of Cortazar's genius and mastery as astory teller. All the stories are gripping to the end, but "No seculpe a nadie" (Do not blame anyone), "El rio" (The river),"Axolotl" and "La noche boca arriba" (The night facingup), deserve special mention. Cortazar's style was truly revolutionary, andhe managed to shake the literary establishment becoming an obligatoryreference and an influence on many writers, both in Latin America and inthe rest of the world. This volume constitutes an excellent way to approachone of the best writers of the Twentieth Century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelente obra de un maestro de la pluma.
Final del juego es uno de los primeros libros de cuentos de Cortazar, en este se encuentran cuentos ya clasicos como "No se culpe a nadie", "El rio" y "Axolotl". Cortazar tiene lamaravillosa propiedad de hacerte llevar a un lugar magico, que va mas allade los sueños y este libro lo refleja. Si le gusta cortazar, compre estelibro o aun mejor, compre "Cuentos completos 1" que contiene aeste libro. No hace falta decir que la obra maestra de Cortazar es"Rayuela", asi que si este libro le gusto, "Rayuela" loatrapara aun mas. ... Read more

19. Final Exam (New Directions Paperbook)
by Julio Cortázar
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-07-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811217523
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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. It is considered one of Cortázar's best works.
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, Sententious, Tendentious... and Fun!
Stop! If you don't like talky movies and meandering conversations, you'll hate Final Exam. No point reading further. Most of the 'action' in this novel of ideas occurs only implicitly in the final pages, yet intellectually the book reaches a stunning conclusion -- the same conclusion that Julio Cortazar reached in real life the year after he wrote Final Exam. (That's a hint, my friends, in lieu of a 'spoiler'.)

The first half of Final Exam follows five Buenos Aires 'intellectuals' as they wander all night through their city, talking impulsively, compulsively, incessantly. The only forbidden subject in such conversation is silence. Juan and Clara, a young married couple, are scheduled to take important university exams the evening of the next day, so elements of their studies pop up in the conversation with quizzical irrelevance. As you'd expect from such a crowd, much is said more for style than for substance. Juan is a poet; fragments of his own and others' poetry flair up now and then. Andres, somewhat older and possibly wiser, has a "history" with Clara that leaks into the conversation in fits and starts. His current girlfriend, Stella, is too dim to follow most of the discourse; her remarks form a kind of chorus of incomprehension. One allusion leads to another; no one sticks to any topic long; the conversation hop-scotches inconclusively while the protagonists bar-hop through the increasingly ominous chaos of the city. Stilted and disjointed as it is, their conversation rings true. Believe me, English speakers, that's how the intelligentsia of Argentina - and Mexico, Spain, Italy, France - talk! There's a virtuosic realism in Cortazar's depiction.

Through all the flippancy and logorrhea, a serious theme persists: the options open to a writer/thinker in a society like that of Argentina in 1950, the year when Final Exam was written. It was apparently Cortazar's first effort at writing a novel, and it remained unpublished until 1986, long after Cortazar's reputaion was established with 'The Winners' and 'Hopscotch'. Readers who know those later novels will easily see that Cortazar was experimenting in Final Exam, formulating his own mode in the rambling discourse of his characters, each of whom foreshadows a persona in his later work. But 'Final Exam' is more than a preview of Cortazar's accomplishments; it's a very powerful impressionistic portrayal of the despair and absurdity of Argentine society lurching toward mayhem. In retrospect, Cortazar seems to have been prescient. All the vicious madness of the military coups, the repressions, the "disappearances," the hyper-inflation and corruption, the degeneration of a once progressive economy into the sump of globalized capitalism, all seem ominously imminent in Final Exam.

The most vivid presence in the novel isn't any one of the human characters but rather the city of Buenos Aires, with its vainglorious boulevards and slimy alleys, its pompous opera house and its portentous docks. A strange fungoid smog has settled over the city -- not the chilly fog of English novels but a sweltering heat in which tempers fester, ambulance and fire sirens wail unseen, streets collapse in sink holes, rampages always seem to be happening just a few blocks away, rumors of violence scuttle from bar to bar like rats, and some monstrous upheaval is ever imminent. The less seen, the more foreseen, and weariness is the dominant emotion. The 'five characters in search of identity' are in fact being shadowed, stalked, by a sixth -- Abel -- perhaps a vindictive former friend or even a lover, who seems omnipresent in the city, a concealed threat in the smog and turmoil. The possibility of escape by Clara and Juan, Cortazar suggests, is precisely what enrages both Abel and the culture Abel personifies.

Cortazar is not an easy stylist. "Examen" (the original title) is written in a melange of proper Spanish, Buenos Aires patois, French, Italian, and even a few phrases of Latin. Translator Alfred Mac Adam introduces his effort by declaring the book essentially untranslatable, and he proves himself correct. He has translated only the content and none of the verbal artistry, sticking close to school-book English throughout. Even so, this is an exciting stream-of-consciousness novel, the first half of which will challenge your intellect and the second half of which will haunt your imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars Foggy notions
Final exam is a hazy book . What the eyes of Andres Favas shows us is not only a foggy Buenos Aires but a journey into the labyrinths of the late 50's intelectuality.Where does it take him? nowhere of course... inertiais the result of extenuating thinking , so Andre and his friends talk ,read , define and redifine life but go nowhere while a surreal cityburns.

Cortazar always enjoyed playing with words ( much like Borges) butmostly he played with time. The book has brilliant words but also silenceand a stream of consciousness flows through the entire book and through animpossible Buenos Aires , a constelation of metaphores and specially a fastand corrosive intelectually challenging book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating stream-of-consciousness narrative novel.
Final Exam is a darkly funny novel set in a surreal Buenos Aires. Juan and Clara, two students at a Faculty called "The House" meet up with their friends Andres and Stella, as well as a journalist friend called"the chronicler". Juan and Clara are getting ready to take theirfinal exam, but instead of preparing, they wander the city with theirfriends, encountering strange happenings in the squares and pondering lifein cafes. All the while they are being trailed by the mysterious Abel,apparently a former lover of Clara's. Final Exam featuresstream-of-consciousness narrative techniques and is one of Julio Cortazar'sbest works. Ably translated from Spanish by Alfred MacAdam, Final Exam willserve to introduce English readers to a major literary talent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Cortazar masterpiece!
Reminding one of what would later develop into the style usedby Cortazar in "Hopscotch" and "62: A Model Kit,""Final Exam" is a nightmarish journey through Buenos Aires. As with 62, many of the most disparaging questions are left unanswered, and the reader is left wondering why this decaying reality seems so familiar.Another great novel from the Master! ... Read more

20. Hopscotch
by Julio Cortazar
 Paperback: Pages (1967)

Asin: B000JY371Q
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