Julio Cortázar: credit: Jerry Bauer

Julio Cortázar

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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

[T]he lectures, at times, do feel cobbled together—but in the best way, in the way of art that thrives in complexity and contradiction. They are made from pieces of Cortázar’s life, his writing, his experiences as a young writer in Argentina and an as exile in Paris, his deep engagement with literature and cinema and politics, and they show the mind of a writer at work, asking questions and unearthing new possibilities.

The Rumpus

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.

Culture Trip

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

He was, perhaps without trying, the Argentine who made the whole world love him.

—Gabriel García Márquez

A first-class literary imagination.

The New York Times

Anyone who doesn’t read Cortázar is doomed.

—Pablo Neruda

This book is a golden nettle.

Christian Science Monitor

I’m permanently indebted to the work of Cortázar.

—Roberto Bolaño

Deeply touching, enjoyable, beautifully written and fascinatingly mysterious.

The New York Times

Anyone who doesn’t read Cortázar is doomed.

—Pablo Neruda

Anyone who doesn’t read Cortázar is doomed. Not to read him is a serious invisible disease which in time can have terrible consequences. Something similar to a man who has never tasted peaches. He would quietly become sadder… and, probably, little by little, he would lose his hair.

—Pablo Neruda
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