Read Rayuela by Julio Cortázar Online


Rayuela (1963) es la gran novela de Julio Cortázar. El libro donde el escritor argentino supo condensar sus propias obsesiones estéticas, literarias y vitales en un mosaico casi inagotable donde toda una época se vio maravillosamente reflejada. El amor turbulento de Oliveira y La Maga, los amigos del Club de la Serpiente, las caminatas por París en busca del cielo y el infRayuela (1963) es la gran novela de Julio Cortázar. El libro donde el escritor argentino supo condensar sus propias obsesiones estéticas, literarias y vitales en un mosaico casi inagotable donde toda una época se vio maravillosamente reflejada. El amor turbulento de Oliveira y La Maga, los amigos del Club de la Serpiente, las caminatas por París en busca del cielo y el infierno tienen su contracara en la aventura simétrica de Oliveira, Talita y Traveler en una Buenos Aires teñida por el recuerdo. La aparición de Rayuela fue una verdadera revolución dentro de la novelística en lengua española: por primera vez, un escritor llevaba hasta las últimas consecuencias la voluntad de transgredir el orden tradicional de una historia y el lenguaje para contarla. El resultado es este libro único abierto a múltiples lecturas, lleno de humor, de riesgo y de una originalidad sin precedentes....

Title : Rayuela
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9786071110152
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 597 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rayuela Reviews

  • Jimmy
    2019-02-28 08:40

    Table of InstructionsThis review consists of two reviews. The first can be read in a normal fashion. Start from 1 and go to 12, at the close of which there are three garish little stars which stand for the words The End. Consequently, the reader may ignore what follows with a clean conscience.The second should be read by beginning with 1 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each sentence or paragraph. For example, if you see “> 24”, then proceed to paragraph/sentence # 24 (which is conveniently labelled and bolded).From The Other Side1 I expected this book to be more inventive than it turned out to be, based mostly on how much hoopla there was around its experimental form. I had it in my head that the book could be read in an infinite variety of ways. While it certainly can be, the ‘instructions’ at the beginning specifies only 2 official ways of reading it. And besides, they are subsets of each other (with slight inconsistencies, for example chapter 55 is left out of one version). It seemed almost like watching a movie on a DVD and having the ability to watch it with or without the deleted scenes.But as I progressed, I felt that the flipping of pages had a different effect on me. > 17 2 It lent a physical structure to the route that the book was taking. Having the expendable chapters wedged in between the normal chapters instead of at the end would have resulted in pretty much the same novel, but would also have had a slightly different, lesser effect. The need to flip constantly back and forth made the enterprise into a kind of personal search, with a possibility of getting completely lost. > 273 This is an exciting possibility. Unlike in a normal book where I could gauge my progress by the heft of pages in my right vs. left hands (almost like a subconscious scale), in this book it was clear that the page I was on meant nothing at all. In parts, where the narrative took me on a whole string of hopping-around among the expendable chapters, I felt completely disoriented, but in a good way. Like I was swimming with no sight of the shore. > 234 What’s more, the expendable chapters can be seen as a sort of appendage to the main book. In this way, the book is not a thing with defined borders, but one that flows and overflows in soft focus. Because the novel talks constantly about literature itself, it is inevitable to think of all the works that the novel references (and there are many: Oblomov, The Man without Qualities, Bouvard and Pecuchet, Under the Volcano, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, The Confusions of Young Törless, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, to name just a few off the top of my head) as “expendable novels” that are part of this one if you were to just expand those fuzzy borders slightly. > 145 So that another way of reading this book (not included in the instructions at the beginning) would be to read it straight through but at any mention of another novel, you must go immediately and read it in its entirety, then come back to this book where you left off. > 296 Similarly, one could expand the borders even further to works influenced by this book (including Cortázar’s own 62: A Model Kit, inspired by chapter 62 of this book). Or even further into fictional works that exist only in the book, like Morelli’s novels, and Ceferino’s writings. One could keep going until this book included all of literature, or you die of exhaustion, whichever comes first (guess!). > 7From This Side7 But maybe all this bullshit about form is way overblown. Maybe it’s all an elaborate distraction so that the book itself can be hidden underneath: a quilt with its little hopscotch squares performing its exquisite covering-over-nature. > 208 Because the form of the book is so dazzling, its shimmering surface attracts the reviewers’ full attention. They can’t look away. What ends up being ignored are the things hidden underneath, which sheds light on the whole reason for the circuitous form to begin with. > 169 Throughout the book, Cortázar is concerned not only with literature and writing itself, but with the possibility of writing at all. Is it even possible to say a thing, to communicate with an ‘other’?If the person you are communicating with is truly an ‘other’, then communication would not be possible at all. For how can you talk unless you have some kind of shared experience? And yet if the other person was not an ‘other’ then they are the same as you, and you are in essence just talking to yourself. And what is the point of that? Mental masturbation. Therefore, is not the only worthy venture for language to communicate the impossible? To attempt interactions with an ‘other’ who will always misunderstand? > 2410 Then again, isn’t it sometimes harder to communicate with someone you’re close with? > 3111 At the center of this question is a deliberately silly scene. It’s morning and Oliveira wants some fresh maté as well as some straight nails. His best friend (Traveler) and wife (Talita) are just across the way, also on the same floor, but in an opposite apartment building. It would be easy for him to go downstairs, then go back up the stairs in Traveler’s apartment building, get the maté and nails, go back downstairs, then go up the stairs in his own apartment. Instead, they build an elaborate bridge from planks of wood and rope, weighing it down with the bed and the dresser and their own bodies like a scale. On this precarious contraption, Talita is asked to deliver the goods by crawling across the planks, risking a fall to her bloody death. This is a circus act made only more funny by its inelegant obviousness: Traveler and Talita actually work in a circus! > 2512 Even the simplest communications require a circus act. And yet, we all carry within ourselves some morsel of deep understanding about everything, some essence that is impossible to share. Is Cortázar saying it is not worth trying? No, he obviously went through the circus act of writing this book, and made you go through the circus act of flipping through the pages. Because, for Cortázar, this bridge (across what he calls the “unbridgeable distance”) is never achieved elegantly (but so humanly in its inelegance), and never completely. And precisely because of that, we should try all the harder. He seems to be saying “Look what fun can be had along the way!” (but watch out, you can also fall to your death) > 21***From Diverse Sides (Expendable Sentences):13 page 307: “The unbridgeable difference, a problem of levels that had nothing to do with intelligence or information” > 3314 “At the center is the metaphor of imaginative numbers. Torless learns of them in math class, and spends some pages thinking about how we can start with something completely real, apply an element that does not exist to it (but we pretend it does, temporarily, just for the sake of conjecture) and that the logical result of that (because the imaginative numbers eventually cancel each other out on both sides of the equation) is a real result. But that the bridge between the two real worlds is one that's completely made up.” -- from my Goodreads review of The Confusions of Young Törless > 2615 “All great works of literature either dissolve a genre or invent one.” --Walter Benjamin > 316 page 438: “Feeling that Heisenberg and I are from the other side of a territory, while the boy is still straddling with one foot in each without knowing it, and that soon he will be only on our side and all communication will be lost. Communication with what, for what?” > 917 By any literal definition, this book can be called a page turner. > 218 page 281: “that you would have given me such an urge to be different...” > 1219 “In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland the game is called Himmel und Hölle (Heaven and Hell) although there are also some other names used, depending on the region. The square below 1 or the 1 itself are called Erde (Earth) while the second to last square is the Hölle (Hell) and the last one is Himmel (Heaven). The first player throws a small stone into the first square and then jumps to the square and must kick the stone to the next square and so on, however, the stone or the player cannot stop in Hell so they try to skip that square.” -- Wikipedia > 2820 page 287: “This all seemed perfect to Talita and at the same time there was something like a bedcover about it, or a teapot cover, or some kind of cover, just like the recorder or Traveler’s satisfied air, things done or decided, to be put on top, but on top of what, that was the problem and the reason that everything underneath it all was still the way it had been before the half-linden, half-mint tea.” > 821 “For me, literature is a form of play. But I’ve always added that there are two forms of play: football, for example, which is basically a game, and then games that are very profound and serious. When children play, though they’re amusing themselves, they take it very seriously. It’s important. It’s just as serious for them now as love will be ten years from now. I remember when I was little and my parents used to say, “Okay, you’ve played enough, come take a bath now.” I found that completely idiotic, because, for me, the bath was a silly matter. It had no importance whatsoever, while playing with my friends was something serious. Literature is like that—it’s a game, but it’s a game one can put one’s life into. One can do everything for that game.” -- Julio Cortázar > 1222 p160: “The actors speak and move about no one knows why or for what reason. We project our own ignorance into them and they seem like madmen to us, coming and going in a very decided way.” > 1923 “I’m about half way through the first part/side, and I remember what frustrates me about Cortázar. His prose is so delicious, but I find myself enjoying the back-and-forth of the characters’ dialogue much less. Especially in some sections in here I just want to be reading Cortázar’s hypnotic prose where he’s inside one of his character’s head, describing a feeling or idea rather than the constant chatter between characters. Within this chatter, the rhythm drops off, and my enjoyment does too.” > 2224 page 279: “ draws back, from his best friend, no less, who is the one we have the most trouble telling such things to. Doesn’t it happen to you, that sometimes you confide much more in just anybody?” > 3125 In this picture, Oliveira and Traveler are two faces in a mirror, and yet Talita is the bridge that joins them. Only through her is communication possible. The whole scene is ridiculous and ridiculously obvious, but this awkwardness is precisely its charm. No, this is not an elegant metaphor with a poetic flourish. It's a messy one, with all these extra appendages. > 1826 With all the deliberate fragmentation going on in here, Cortázar seems unusually obsessed with the rather old fashioned idea of unity, or shall I say whunity. That “coherent scheme, an order of thought and life, a harmony” (p 291) > 527 page 442: “What good is a writer if he can’t destroy literature?” > 3028 Sometimes these characters and their philosophical prattle annoy me, but I think Cortázar doesn’t always like them either, and is kind of making fun of them, which makes it suddenly OK to read 600 pages of it. (Or does it? It does if you love Cortázar’s prose to begin with I guess) Like all ‘big books’ this is a flawed one, but one which is so willing to make fun of itself, it seems. Even though on the surface it seems much more pretentious (the talks in the cafe about literature and philosophy might give this impression) underneath it all, there is a voice that never takes itself too seriously, a voice of loving laughter that is intensely self aware of its own pretensions (but realizes that those pretensions need to be said, that there is some limited (though dangerous) truth in them also). > 3429 page 179: "Gregorovius had given up the illusion of understanding things, but at any rate, he still wanted misunderstandings to have some sort of order, some reason about them." > 630 page 286: “It couldn’t be (there’s a reason for logic) that Horacio was interested and at the same time was not interested. The combination of the two things should have produced a third, something that had nothing to do with love ... something that was close to being a hunt, a search, or rather a terrible expectation, like the cat looking at the canary it cannot reach, a kind of congealing of time and day, a kind of crouching” > 1531 page 279: “The burden is the fact that real understanding is something else. We’re satisfied with too little. When friends understand each other well, when lovers understand each other well, when families understand each other well, then we think that everything is harmonious. Pure illusion, a mirror for larks.” > 3232 page 291: What is being compared between Pola and La Maga? There seems to be always some kind of measurement between two people, and perhaps not only of lovers. That we put them on a scale. This side, the other side, and beyond it: “a race or to a people and a language at least” > 1333 “You’re just like Horacio,” Talita says to Traveler. And while we're at it, what is the comparison being made between La Maga and Talita, whom Horacio mistakes for the former several times? Can a person serve as a bridge to be crossed over to another person? Or is the true metaphor here a scale, and not a bridge? Or is a bridge always a type of scale? When the scale tips over, the bridge crumbles. > 1134 It's ironic that in all their talking about literature, the Club refers to a lazy reader as a "feminine" reader. For all the blatant sexism in this novel, none of the male characters ever do anything. They talk a lot, but even an empty threat to take the sardines away from Celestin is never followed through (the most active thing done by a male character in this novel, that I can recall, is when Traveler fetches a hat for Talita from another room). It seems all they do is talk and travel (and drink maté), while the women do all the work. > 4

  • Andrea Carolina
    2019-02-26 03:38

    Rayuela, libro terminado muy despaciosamente, releído muchas veces por partes, leído al revés y al derecho, de la mitad en adelante o hacia atras. Este si es el libro de mi adolescencia, este es el libro de mis amores imposibles, este es el libro de mis obsesiones, es el libro que refleja mi estupidez, mi terquedad, mis deseos más profundos, mis imposibilidades, este libro soy yo. El libro que refleja mis trastornos, mis alegrías, mis pasiones, mis penas, mis terquedades, lo que quiero ser y lo que soy, lo que puedo ser en mi totalidad. En este libro están todos y cada uno de mis amores pasados y presentes reflejados. Aquí esta reflejado mi hastío por el mundo, mi accidentalidad enferma y mi incapacidad de abandonarla del todo. Cuando empecé a leer este libro no podía creer lo que leía, en ese entonces apenas tenía 15 años, ¿yo leyendo a Rayuela a los 15?, este libro fue como una visión del futuro ahora que lo pienso, y cuando empecé a leerlo estaba medio hipnotizada, no quería acabarlo nunca y por eso tarde tanto en terminarlo, leía cada una de sus páginas una y otra vez como no creyéndome lo que leía, en esa desgarradora soledad e incomprensión de la adolescencia Rayuela fue mi mejor compañía, creo que nunca nadie me ha entendido tanto como Julio Cortazar. Rayuela y la música, Rayuela y los hijos, Rayuela y la racionalidad, Rayuela y la emocionalidad, Rayuela y lo occidental, Rayuela y el azar, Rayuela y el amor, Rayuela y los amigos, Rayuela y la soledad, Rayuela y la supervivencia, Rayuela y lo insoportable que somos, Rayuela y el alcohol, Rayuela y las calles, Rayuela y el dolor de la patria, Rayuela y el querer largarse, Rayuela y el querer volver, Rayuela y el orgullo, Rayuela y la pobreza, Rayuela y los libros, Rayuela y el sexo, Rayuela y el amor pasional e imposible, Rayuela y el amor posible y duradero, Rayuela y la adolescencia, Rayuela y la adultez, Rayuela todo.***2016 Update ***Que quede claro que esto corresponde a una adolescencia oscura y tormentosa, de la cual no puedo decir ni que me sienta orgullosa, ni que no, pero esto fue hace un siglo, por otro lado este libro ya no me gusta tanto, y las palabras de la reseña me parecen exageradas y excesivamente románticas, no quiero decepcionados, o tal vez si, pero es la verdad***

  • Hugh
    2019-03-02 01:00

    I wanted to read this because I had seen it included in some lists of the twentieth century's great novels. It is a very interesting book, quite entertaining in places but I can't pretend it is an easy read. Before one even starts there is a preamble which explains that you have at least two choices - either to read the first 56 chapters in sequence (presumably ignoring the rest) or to follow an alternative path through the book which is listed at the start and misses out Chapter 55. I opted for the latter, and I think it was a wise decision, but there is enough logic to the second path to deduce what the straight path would have been like, since it does respect the ordering of the core chapters, with frequent and sometimes long digressions into the additional material, some of which is very odd and of limited relevance to the core story.The core plot is fairly simple - it explores the world of Horacio Oliveira, an intellectual drifter. The first part of the book is set in Paris in the 1950s, and although it seems quite episodic and random, the nature of this appears to reflect Oliveira's own experiences and his state of mind, and those of his friends - there are also lengthy digressions on music (jazz, classical and popular), literature, philosophy and much else, with a lot of surreal episodes reminiscent of some of the pataphysical/Oulipo writers of the time.After a bizarre episode in which Oliveira is arrested after befriending a tramp, he is deported back to Argentina, and the remainder of the book charts his mental disintegration. The writing is fragmented and often wilfully obscure (though not as obscure as Joyce, who is clearly an influence) and there are chapters which are literary games, for example a chapter in which the odd numbered lines follow one story and the even numbered lines another (with breaks in mid sentence). My impression was that as long as one does not get too obsessed with following everything in detail or understanding the many references, the whole is a pleasurable and stimulating reading experience, so not without a little reluctance I am awarding a full five stars..., paff, the end.* * *Expendable appendices:(i) I realised about halfway through that there were a lot of unfamiliar words (in addition to much quoted French, Spanish and Latin). I made this list of unfamiliar words that appear after this point: antinomy, aulic, auscultation, cadastral, catoblepas, chitterling, chryselephantine, cinerary, coenaesthesis, columbarium, coprolite, cuniculture, cuspidation, echolalia, eclogue, elution, epistomology, epithelial, exordium, extravasation, geometrid, gnoseologist, helicoid, incunabula, macaronic, mana, mantic, mnemotechny, nebiole, nephelibate, obolus, oneiromancy, palmiped, promissoration, propedeutic, rotogravure, ruleman, satori, serape, soteriology, stupa, teleleological, tragacanth, trismegistic(ii) Chapter 55, which is omitted from the "hopscotch path" is effectively reproduced elsewhere, but without the lengthy but entertaining digressions on a bizarre treatise postulating an idealistic system of world government, which a character is reading while the action goes on around him...(iii) I found that when following the "hopscotch path" I still wanted to know where I was in terms of overall progress, so I put the chapter lengths into a spreadsheet so that I could say how much I had read at any stage. Since this may be useful to other readers, here are the numbers:Chapter, Pages, Total, Percent73, 3, 3, 0.531, 10, 13, 2.302, 5, 18, 3.19116, 2, 20, 3.553, 5, 25, 4.4384, 4, 29, 5.144, 6, 35, 6.2171, 5, 40, 7.095, 4, 44, 7.8081, 1, 45, 7.9874, 2, 47, 8.336, 2, 49, 8.697, 1, 50, 8.878, 2, 52, 9.2293, 4, 56, 9.9368, 1, 57, 10.119, 4, 61, 10.82104, 1, 62, 10.9910, 2, 64, 11.3565, 2, 66, 11.7011, 3, 69, 12.23136, 1, 70, 12.4112, 6, 76, 13.48106, 1, 77, 13.6513, 3, 80, 14.18115, 1, 81, 14.3614, 3, 84, 14.89114, 1, 85, 15.07117, 1, 86, 15.2515, 6, 92, 16.31120, 2, 94, 16.6716, 3, 97, 17.20137, 1, 98, 17.3817, 6, 104, 18.4497, 1, 105, 18.6218, 4, 109, 19.33153, 1, 110, 19.5019, 5, 115, 20.3990, 5, 120, 21.2820, 11, 131, 23.23126, 1, 132, 23.4021, 5, 137, 24.2979, 3, 140, 24.8222, 3, 143, 25.3562, 3, 146, 25.8923, 25, 171, 30.32124, 2, 173, 30.67128, 1, 174, 30.8524, 5, 179, 31.74134, 1, 180, 31.9125, 2, 182, 32.27141, 3, 185, 32.8060, 1, 186, 32.9826, 3, 189, 33.51109, 2, 191, 33.8727, 4, 195, 34.5728, 33, 228, 40.43130, 1, 229, 40.60151, 1, 230, 40.78152, 1, 231, 40.96143, 3, 234, 41.49100, 4, 238, 42.2076, 2, 240, 42.55101, 2, 242, 42.91144, 2, 244, 43.2692, 3, 247, 43.79103, 1, 248, 43.97108, 6, 254, 45.0464, 3, 257, 45.57155, 6, 263, 46.63123, 3, 266, 47.16145, 1, 267, 47.34122, 3, 270, 47.87112, 2, 272, 48.23154, 6, 278, 49.2985, 1, 279, 49.47150, 1, 280, 49.6595, 3, 283, 50.18146, 1, 284, 50.3529, 5, 289, 51.24107, 1, 290, 51.42113, 1, 291, 51.6030, 2, 293, 51.9557, 5, 298, 52.8470, 1, 299, 53.01147, 1, 300, 53.1931, 6, 306, 54.2632, 4, 310, 54.96132, 2, 312, 55.3261, 2, 314, 55.6733, 2, 316, 56.0367, 2, 318, 56.3883, 2, 320, 56.74142, 3, 323, 57.2734, 7, 330, 58.5187, 1, 331, 58.69105, 1, 332, 58.8796, 4, 336, 59.5794, 1, 337, 59.7591, 1, 338, 59.9382, 1, 339, 60.1199, 11, 350, 62.0635, 4, 354, 62.77121, 1, 355, 62.9436, 15, 370, 65.6037, 7, 377, 66.8498, 1, 378, 67.0238, 2, 380, 67.3839, 2, 382, 67.7386, 1, 383, 67.9178, 4, 387, 68.6240, 4, 391, 69.3359, 1, 392, 69.5041, 30, 422, 74.82148, 1, 423, 75.0042, 2, 425, 75.3575, 1, 426, 75.5343, 4, 430, 76.24125, 3, 433, 76.7744, 5, 438, 77.66102, 1, 439, 77.8445, 4, 443, 78.5580, 2, 445, 78.9046, 6, 451, 79.9647, 5, 456, 80.85110, 1, 457, 81.0348, 5, 462, 81.91111, 3, 465, 82.4549, 4, 469, 83.16118, 1, 470, 83.3350, 3, 473, 83.87119, 1, 474, 84.0451, 7, 481, 85.2869, 2, 483, 85.6452, 2, 485, 85.9989, 3, 488, 86.5253, 4, 492, 87.2366, 1, 493, 87.41149, 1, 494, 87.5954, 10, 504, 89.36129, 6, 510, 90.43139, 1, 511, 90.60133, 11, 522, 92.55140, 2, 524, 92.91138, 3, 527, 93.44127, 2, 529, 93.7956, 23, 552, 97.87135, 1, 553, 98.0563, 1, 554, 98.2388, 1, 555, 98.4072, 1, 556, 98.5877, 1, 557, 98.76131, 1, 558, 98.9458, 2, 560, 99.29(131 again...)~55, 4, 564, 100.00

  • karen
    2019-02-21 02:35

    8 years after i read this book, i finally understand why i didn't like it. apparently, this is an "either/or book", but i read it as an "and then" book.dr. wikipedia claims:An author's note suggests that the book would best be read in one of two possible ways, either progressively from chapters 1 to 56 or by "hopscotching" through the entire set of 155 chapters according to a "Table of Instructions" designated by the author. Cortázar also leaves the reader the option of choosing a unique path through the narrative. WHERE WAS THAT AUTHOR'S NOTE WHEN I READ THIS BOOK??because i read the whole 600 page book front-to-back the way one does, AND THEN i went back and hopscotched through it, thinking that there would be some secret doorway that opened or something that would illuminate why i was doing this second pass. but there's no doorway - spoiler alert. and i resented that i seemed to be reading the whole fucking book again for no fucking reason, and i was so baffled about why people seemed to value this book so much when, to me, it just seemed like an elaborate nose-thumbing time wasting prank. and i assumed that people liked it because they were trying to be all douchey-elitist and pretending to like something just because it was difficult or challenging or whatever, and they cherished their shiny gold star for enduring the tedium of repetition. but it's not difficult. it's a playful and lyrical schtick if you only have to read it through once, whichever way you choose. but reading it twice, back-to-back, just with the scenes all shuffled in a different order is not something i recommend because it will just be infuriating and you will howl: "dude, i KNOW!!!! WE JUST COVERED THIS!!!! WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THE SAME SHIT ALL OVER AGAIN, FORGETFUL GRANDPA????"and afterward, all you will remember is the howling, and not the reading. so there - that's my explanation/discovery/psa

  • Geoff
    2019-03-01 00:52

    Here’s a link to the Quarterly Conversation review of Hopscotch, it’s really a very good review, and does a fine job elucidating this book’s qualities and its value in the realm of literature, if I were to write a proper review of the book it would be a shadow plagiarization of this : you could go read Jimmy’s review, which, as I’ve said below, is one of the finest and most fun reviews here on Goodreads - do yourselves a favor and get to know Jimmy’s writing: me, this second go at reading Hopscotch was a wonderful lesson in not trusting my first impressions, which, as we should all begin to realize, are at the very least always revisable as we get closer to a thing or a subject, and are often utterly overturned or reversed, and we are proved not only mistaken in our initial judgment, but sometimes laughably in the wrong altogether. Here I was altogether in the wrong when I gave up early on this book a few years ago. After finishing this reading, I feel Hopscotch is an essential book - there were so many mysteriously beautiful moments, so many freshly sculpted images immune to cliche, so many passages that exhaled great gasps of Life, so much vitality and energy vibrating on each page… It enters the pantheon as one of the Great Books of Failure (really, all books are failures, but very few books are Great Books of Failure). I hopscotched through Hopscotch, meaning, I took Cortazar’s recommended leapfrogs through Oliveira’s labyrinth. Read in this manner, the structure itself is a bliss of fragmented puzzling, where correspondences float beneath seemingly disparate sections, doublings and multiplications of resonances are given voice, illuminations rise like will-o’-the-wisps in the dusk of reading, and the mind is kept off-kilter and at attention and attuned to receiving many tones at once - thus the obsession with jazz, how we listen to a line from Dizzy announce the theme but completely transmuted, later on in the tune, recognizable more by a feeling and instinct than explicitly drawn.It is said of Hopscotch that it is “a young man’s book”, I guess meaning that it is one of those books better read early in life, when one is more open to oddities and playful impressionism, elements that read as whimsical or seem to lack the seriousness or gravity expected of maturity. I totally disagree, or, I disagree that losing the love of play should be considered a mark of maturity. Sure, I wasn’t prepared the first go round for the originality of Cortazar’s writing, which resists categorization and cliche so strongly it often feels loose (improvised), and gives the (false) impression of not holding its center - again, as does great jazz, here I think Ornette Coleman comes to mind as a good analogy, his compositions feel precarious and about to spin to pieces but are pinned by the tightest of tonal structures... This book is precisely Janus-faced (see the quote in the QC review), a forward- and backward-, upward- and outward-oriented gaze that seems not attached to a youthful perspective as much as it imparts the wisdom that the secret to timelessness is in keeping young eyes. And as a Great Book of Failure, it came to me, 38 years old, at what seems an ideal time - an age when it is tempting to ease into habits, narrow our lives, stabilize our personas, stultify and ride inertia out into oblivion. Janus-faced Hopscotch reminds us to resist this at the very core of our being, that all the paths we take will be equally mistaken - we look back and can only decide on whether we have been made crooked or straight nails (chapter 41 is of the utmost importance to the book) - as we know, straight nails have always known their destiny and slide easily into their purpose, while crooked nails must find unique forms to fulfill themselves. Hopscotch reminds us of the inevitability, and thus the worth, of our mistaken path, that our failures are our only possible successes, because there only failures, false starts, misdirections, and that the one thing that seems to be consistently true in life is that questions are far more valuable than answers. Cortazar not only incorporates these notions into the plot and characterization of Hopscotch, the structure he invented for his book makes it a literal part of the reading experience - he has made a labyrinth for us to hold in our hands, live with, carry beside us - another labyrinth, of pages and print, to accompany the labyrinth in our skulls.It gets my highest recommendation. It is a favorite. Play Hopscotch - it’s a game, it’s only meant for play (and what is art but the most serious of playtimes?) - all you need is a toe and a pebble and some chalk and little square opening up to Heaven. It’s simple.~~Below is some extraneous crap better avoided, but it got some 'licks' so, like, whatever...~~Mais une autre UPDATE!: Below is some dumb shit I wrote a long time ago, that somehow 21 people 'liked' (or 'licked', not sure about that- I lick things I like all the time, how about you?... sometimes licking leads to liking and vice versa...) about this book Hopscotch which I never really gave a proper chance and which I am jumping into again. (Let's say I'm "jumping aboard," to counteract the update below...) Any case, I ain't no Real Good Art Critic - heaven forbid! - actually, I have learned to not trust my instincts, to play with opposite inclinations, and to sink slowly with a lascivious enjoyment in the warm bath of the oh so many times I have erred! To err is human, to lick divine! So in the service of divine reversals, back I go into Hopscotch, avast, aboard, ahoy, sails amast!! ... ~~UPDATE: I'm jumping ship on this one. This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, which is high-quality wordsmanship, and I'm enjoying the leapfrog structure- but the Ultra-Amplified-Bohemian-Paris atmosphere is too drunk on its own Bohemianeninity(??) for me right now. It's just not where my head is at. I am feeling nothing but contempt for these characters who wander rubbish piles at midnight to find trash boxes and throw-away coat hangers and paint them yellow to make mobiles for their disorderly apartments they somehow afford even though they don't work and every second reference in their conversation is to an obscure Hungarian silent film and they're always bringing gifts of Surrealist or Post-Impressionist post-cards or when they can't afford those just leaves of trees(!-"thanks") and having very deep conversations in abandoned parking lots and wine-stained cafes (once again, if you can't afford a postcard how are you eating in cafes much less paying rent?) and doing coy things like destroying umbrellas as some gesture of infinity. I would hate these people if I knew them. The book is written very well, and I have kept it as a "to-read", but I want to give it the reading it deserves, which I am not capable of at this moment. Perhaps being juxtaposed with reading Žižek these characters just feel enormously... frivolous?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MJ Nicholls and Richard give this caustic one-star reviews, while Jimmy supplies an ecstatic 5 bright superterrestrial polygons accompanied by one of the greatest reviews ever to grace the digitized pixels of the Goodreads continuum. Ever-stalwart Nate D seems to stride the star-poles, gifting us a review that intrigues as well as cautions. Here's what Alexander Theroux has to say on the subject:"I love that novel. Now that is a book that is full of puzzles and codes. I wish I could have been a member of “The Serpent Club.” What amazes me is that Cortázar invariably received praise and admiration for the high style, lists, loquacity, boldness, ingenuity, and encyclopedic invention in his fiction, particularly that book, while the mediocre book-reviewers and invidious drabs to whom I am inevitably assigned by the New York Times—drab and hateful ink-stained failures, for the most part—only scowl at my work. I attribute this to envy and the ham-handed convention that nowadays seems to prevail everywhere in this business that asks, Who does he think he is?"Wait, that was clearly much more Theroux's own invective against reviewers than about Hopscotch as a book. Apologies. Perhaps I can square the circle? Reconcile the divergences? Give at least one insight approaching validity?? We shall see.

  • Luís C.
    2019-02-19 02:53

    To enter in Hopscotch, one must accept the rule of the game: one throws a stone and by hopping one jumps from box to box. Then perhaps, if one is skilful, patient and persevering, one will reach heaven ... So I read by jumping from one chapter to another, according to the non-linear order proposed at the beginning of the work by the author himself. And I must say that it is a disturbing experience: the reader must constantly interrupt himself in his reading of the novel which constitutes the first part, to read a page on literary creation, or an extract of almanac dealing with the difference between French and English gardens, or two stories that intersect on a page, forcing him to read every other line before returning to the start... Yes, my annoyance was at first profound: the category of "female readers" of which Cortazar speaks when he evokes the passive, traditional reader, will always remain outside Hopscotch because incapable of playing. But I must say that, curiously enough, I let go: I began to sail freely, agreeing to renounce the linearity of a story, the logic of the sequences, and I realized that my mind took pleasure this course full of surprises. I ended up having fun. However, an amusing, interesting, or even intellectually stimulating text would not have sufficed to hold me back. What really touched my heart is the poetry of certain pages, breathtaking beauty. Because Hopscotch is also a great love story. The architecture of the novel fascinates, but some passages undoubtedly upset: Oliveira and the Sibylle wandering in Paris each on their own but still meeting, a kiss ending with the image of a moon trembling in the water, a trip in the depths of a mental hospital that looks like a descent into hell, a love scene between a man and his mistress where everything is rediscovered, the evocation of a night that seems to have no end, full of smoke and alcohol, where the writing itself is miraculously hear Jazz pieces listened to by the characters... Then, of course, one can be put off by the "metaphysical rivers" in which Oliveira and his friends are drowned, as is the reader elsewhere; sometimes you just want to escape this maze, like Daedalus, taking off towards the sun, closing the book to go to other places where you can breathe better. And then one falls on a nugget which leaves speechless and which revives the wandering, in search of the following. We realize then that we have become a different reader: not a passenger embarked on a cruise ship comfort, but an explorer, an adventurer, a true gold seeker. And certainly, that's what Cortazar expects of us.

  • MJ Nicholls
    2019-03-17 02:52

    I have never been more wrong about a novel I was about Hopscotch. A baffled first reading took place seven annums past, and a vexed and unfair one-star review lingered on my profile for a half that period until three years ago (the shame!), when I suspected there to be more to Cortázar and issued a partial retraction for the slander. Recent encounters with Cronopios and Famas and A Manual for Manuel showed me that Cortázar was in fact an essential writer of some magical powers, and a cheap encounter with this Harvill edition in a Chipping Norton bookshop (£2.50!) urged me to reappraise this masterpiece. And on the second reading: sheer bliss as I hopped from chapter to chapter. This is a full retraction, and if you will accept my grovelling apology, I would be honoured to receive acceptance into warm impish bosom of the Cortázaristas.

  • Maria Bikaki
    2019-03-12 08:34

    Άργησα λίγο αλλά τα κατάφερα. Στην πραγματικότητα είναι κανά 2-3 μέρες που έχω τελειώσει την ανάγνωση αλλά για να μαι απολύτως ειλικρινής δεν ήξερα τι ακριβώς ήθελα να γράψω ως κριτική για το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο. Δεν ήξερα πως ακριβώς να σας περιγράψω πως κύλησε η ανάγνωση του δεδομένου ότι θεωρώ ότι το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι από κείνα τα βιβλία που «μιλάνε» όπως λέμε στον καθένα με διαφορετικό τρόπο ή που μπορεί να μη μιλήσουν καθόλου χωρίς αυτό βέβαια να σημαίνει ότι σαν ανάγνωσμα χάνει τη σπουδαιότητα του. Αν δεν έχετε διαβάσει πολύ στη ζωή σας, αν δεν έχετε παιδευτεί στο χώρο της ανάγνωσης, αν δεν έχετε περάσει τα βράδια σας σπάζοντας το κεφάλι σας να αποκωδικοποιήσετε κάτω από τις λέξεις του βιβλίου που διαβάζετε, αν διαβάζετε απλά για να περάσει ή ώρα χωρίς να χρειαστείτε να σκεφτείτε τότε το κουτσό φίλοι μου δεν είναι ακόμα για σας. Ο Χούλιο Κορτάζαρ λοιπόν αποφασίζει να παίξει ένα από τα αγαπημένα παιχνίδια των παιδικών μας χρόνων με τον αναγνώστη του το κουτσό. Όπως εμείς ως μικρά παιδιά πηγαίναμε από το ένα τετράγωνο στο άλλο μέχρι να φτάσουμε στο τελευταίο έτσι και ο συγγραφέας στήνει το δικό του παιχνίδι και μας προσφέρει ένα βιβλίο άλλοτε μεταφυσικό άλλοτε μυθιστορηματικό και άλλοτε ένα φιλοσοφικό παραλήρημα με την καλή έννοια συγνώμη δε μπορούσα να βρω μια καλύτερη λέξη . Δεν είναι άλλωστε τυχαίο ότι ο συγγραφέας στην εισαγωγή του βιβλίου να παίξουν μαζί το κουτσό εντός εισαγωγικών αφού μας καλεί αυτή τη φορά αντί για τα ζωγραφισμένα με την κιμωλία τετράγωνα να βαδίσουμε τα κεφάλαια του βιβλίου με έναν τρόπο που εκείνος μας υποδεικνύει. Για να σας πω την αλήθεια μου αρχικά με έψησε πάρα πολύ να το διαβάσω έτσι και να ξεφύγω αν θέλετε και από την παθητικότητα που συνήθως διαβάζουμε ένα βιβλίο μέχρι να φτάσουμε στο τέλος του. Τελικά όμως λόγω έλλειψης χρόνου και φόβου ότι αυτά τα πισωγυρίσματα θα με κουράσουν (τώρα το μετανιώνω) αποφάσισα να διαβάσω το βιβλίο με τον παραδοσιακό τρόπο πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι στο μέλλον επιβάλλεται μια 2η ανάγνωση με τον άλλο τρόπο αυτή τη φορά γιατί νομίζω ότι για να έχει κανείς σωστή άποψη γ ι αυτό το βιβλίο χρειάζονται παραπάνω από μία αναγνώσεις. Δε θα σας πω δηλαδή ψέματα ότι είμαι σίγουρη ότι κατάλαβα τα πάντα που ήθελε να πει ο Κορτάζαρ, ότι κάποιες φορές δε χάθηκα στο μονοπάτι της ανάγνωσης και δεν αναρωτήθηκα αν στα αλήθεια ήταν η στιγμή κατάλληλη να διαβάσω το κουτσό δεδομένου ότι η ψυχολογία μου δεν ήταν η καλύτερη και βρισκόμουν σε αναγνωστική καθίζηση όμως τελικά με κέρδισε υποθέτω ο εγωισμός μου ότι δε μπορώ να αφήσω ανοιχτούς λογαριασμούς με το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο και έτσι έφτασα στο τέλος του προσπαθώντας να σας πω αν και μάλλον δεν τα πολυκαταφέρνω σήμερα στα λόγια ότι το κουτσό είναι από κείνα τα βιβλία που θα πρέπει να περιλαμβάνονται στις λίστες των βιβλίων που πρέπει να διαβάσεις στη ζωή σου. Κανείς δε σας πει ότι πρέπει να το αγαπήσετε και να το λατρέψετε αλλά θα σας βγάλει σίγουρα από το comfort zone της ανάγνωσης όπως την ξέρατε μέχρι τώρα. Κλείνω παραθέτοντας αποσπάσματα που εμένα προσωπικά τη δεδομένη χρονική στιγμή μου μίλησαν ξυπνάς με τα υπολείμματα του παραδείσου που μισοείδες στο όνειρο να κρέμονται πάνω σου σαν τα μαλλιά ενός πνιγμένου: τρομαχτική ναυτία, άγχος, μια αίσθηση του επισφαλούς, του ψεύτικου και ιδίως του μάταιου. Πέφτεις μέσα ενώ πλένεις τα δόντια σου, είσαι πραγματικά δύτης των νιπτήρων, είναι σαν να σε ρουφάει η άσπρη λεκάνη, γλιστράς σε αυτή την τρύπα μαζί με το πουρί των δοντιών, τις μύξες, τα φλέγματα, την πιτυρίδα, τα σάλια και αφήνεσαι να παρασυρθείς με την ελπίδα πως έτσι θα επιστρέψεις στην προηγούμενη κατάσταση, σ’αυτό που ήσουν πριν ξυπνήσεις και το οποίο συνεχίζει να επιπλέει, βρίσκεται ακόμα μέσα σου, ταυτίζεται με σένα, αλλά έχει αρχίσει να απομακρύνεται. Πέφτεις για μια στιγμή μέσα ώσπου οι αμυντικοί μηχανισμοί της αφύπνισης, αχ τι όμορφη έκφραση, αχ τι γλώσσα, αναλαμβάνουν να σε συγκρατήσουν.Ο έρωτας όμως αυτή η λέξη…. Αγάπη μου δε σε αγαπώ για χάρη σου ή για χάρη μου ούτε για χάρη μας, σε αγαπώ γιατί δεν είσαι δική μου, γιατί βρίσκεσαι στην άλλη πλευρά, εκεί όπου με προσκαλείς να πηδήξω και εγώ δε μπορώ να κάνω το άλμα, γιατί στο πιο βαθύ σημείο της κατάκτησης δε βρίσκεται μέσα μου, δε σε φτάνω δεν περνώ μέσα από το κορμί σου, μέσα από το γέλιο σου και είναι στιγμές που το γεγονός ότι με αγαπάς με βασανίζει, με τυραννάει ο έρωτας σου που δε μου χρησιμεύει ως γέφυρα γιατί ή γέφυρα δεν είναι δυνατόν να έχει μόνο ένα στήριγμα και μη με κοιτας με αυτά τα πουλίσια μάτια για σένα η ιεροτελεστία του έρωτα είναι τόσο απλή, θα θεραπευτείς πριν από μένα και από το γεγονός ότι με αγαπάς όπως εγώ δε σε αγαπώ.Όχι δηλαδή τώρα που το σκέφτομαι ειλικρινά το πιο παράλογο σε αυτή τη ζωή που παριστάνουμε πως ζούμε είναι οι ψεύτικες επαφές. Απομονωμένες τροχιές, κάθε τόσο δύο χέρια σφίγγουν το ένα το άλλο, μια κουβέντα 5 λεπτών, μια μέρα στις ιπποδρομίες, μια βραδιά στην όπερα, μια νεκρική ξαγρύπνια που όλοι νιώθουν τόσο ενωμένοι (αλήθεια είναι αυτό μόνο που τελειώνει μόλις σφραγίσουν το φέρετρο). Και ταυτόχρονα να ζεις βέβαιος πως εδώ είναι οι φίλοι, πως η επαφή υπάρχει, πως οι συμφωνίες και οι διαφωνίες είναι βαθύτατες και διαρκείς. Πόσο μισούμε τον εαυτό μας όλοι, χωρίς να ξέρουμε ότι η τρυφερότητα είναι η καθημερινή μορφή του μίσους και πως η αιτία του βαθιού μίσους είναι αυτή η αποκέντρωση, το αγεφύρωτο χάσμα ανάμεσα στο εγώ και το εσύ, ανάμεσα σε αυτό και σε εκείνο. Κάθε τρυφερότητα είναι μια οντολογική γρατζουνιά, μια απόπειρα να προσεταιριστούμε το απροσεταίριστο

  • Richard
    2019-02-24 06:47

    AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I had to read this for a book club. I read about 80 pages of this and threw it across the room. Wish I didn't. Maybe I could've gotten more for it when I traded it in. pretentiousness wrapped/uptight faux beatness. What I remember: expat intellectuals crying over jazz records having an "artistic" time in paris. Well read guy pines for girl who doesn't catch all his references but, you know, feels things. The cover blurb makes it look like it will change your life and then make sandwiches for you. Is this book pretentious or just about pretentiousness? I couldn't tell. Is either worth reading?

  • Ian
    2019-03-12 03:01

    1. "A General Idea is Enough" (First Impressions)When I started reading this novel, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing. (-871)Each short (!) chapter seemed like an extrapolation on a single image in a photo album or a contribution to a literary almanac. Unlike a chronological album of holiday snaps, it didn't seem to matter much in what order the images were displayed. I adapted to jumping around the chronology pretty quickly.The first part of the book was a panoramic view of the domestic lives of a small group of Hispano-Argentine expatriates living in Paris in the late 1950's. There was too little of the proceedings of the Serpent Club (a collection of would-be artists, writers and hobby philosophers whose debates I'd looked forward to) for my liking. In the second part of the first half, one of them (Horacio Oliveira) returns to Buenos Aires.I peeked at the chapters in the second half of the book in the suggested hopscotch order, but they didn't really add much of interest to what I'd already read, at least initially. They seemed to be more of the same. Mere footnotes. Cortazar described them as "expendable". Maybe he was right?These later chapters originally ended up on Cortazar's cutting room floor. Then he (or his editor) left them in and built the hopscotch structure around them, as if to salvage some value from his writing time and the secondary images in his album. (-741) The question is whether this is merely a gimmick and whether it weakens or strengthens the work as a whole.2. Dramatic Intermission"Hopscotch" challenges you to conclude that it would be better fiction if it had been:* read differently;* written differently; * written by somebody else;* read by somebody else.3. Nominal AlterityCortázar must have been confronted by a number of titular options for his work:* "Hopscotch";* "Hotchpotch";* "Topnotch";* "Deathwatch";* "Stopwatch".4. Owed to Post-Modernism[In the words of Julio Cortázar]"Oh, they came from behindOh, they came from behindAnd they stuck a pole up his aaass-holeIt wouldn't come outIt wouldn't come outThe poor man was out of his mind.(Repeat)"5. From Circus to ClinicOne of the qualities that appeals to me about Post-Modernist fiction is its sense of playfulness. (-791) The sense of play here (in the first half, at least) is infrequent and not particularly convincing. (-901) While humour often counteracts the excesses of rationality, here it accompanies a slow decline into madness, both of the protagonist and of this reader.The first half of the novel is 350 pages long, which is not especially long for a maximalist (postgraduate hipster jargon for "long") work. But it was more than enough to make me question whether I could or should continue with the offcuts (against my better judgement, I decided to continue). Maximalism seems to challenge the author to simply fill the available space with words, regardless of whether they make for a vivid language (or any other) experience. (-732)I've seen this novel described as "exhilarating" and "mysteriously beautiful". (-735) It's a mystery how anybody could form this opinion, even though I accept that reading is a subjective pleasure. But when it comes to opinions about the merits of a book, can't you show us, don't just tell us. Isn't literary opinion and judgment more than just imperious assertion and declaration? (-781)It took me gargantuan determination and persistence to work my way through the tedium. (-731) This was like observing a human imagination, word by word, page by page, converting ephemera into detritus. (-841) I don't think I've ever been so relieved to finally put down a book (William T Vollmann excepted). (-761) Have these authors no respect for language or readers or time? (-792) How is it that the maximalist novel has become just a way for a so-called writer to expend or spend their time in vast, expansive quantities? Any wonder that half of the book, even in the author's opinion, is "expendable"! Why does inspiration suffer when too much perspiration is devoted to it or to its avoidance? Why do we readers so willingly contribute our time as well? (-931) Why do we indulge the self-indulgent? (-1414) Haven't we all got better things to do and think and create and enjoy? (-733)6. Narrative Self-ReflectionMuch Post-Modern fiction contains at least one sentence that acts as a description or review of the entire work. There are many in "Hopscotch". In fact, they're just about the only sentences worth quoting. "Everything was perfect in the circus, a spangled fraud with wild music...""I'll have to tell you all about it someday if it's worth the trouble, and it isn't...""This sounds like a dialogue between two idiots...""What I really am is a bad parody of Faulkner...""A fixation, a touch of idiocy. REWIND. This will be funny: Faulkner. Cheap effects. STOP. It isn't very funny listening to myself again. All this should take time, time, time. All this should take time. REWIND...""Pure corn...Misapplied tenderness...""All the words he used to fill the notebook along with great flourishes in the air and shrill whistles made him laugh like a madman...""It would have been so easy to organise a coherent scheme, an order of thought and life, a harmony...""The episode was cute and didn't have much to offer...""Both of them knew that the other one was thinking that this was all a comedy of idiots...""Do you think we're in some kind of kindergarten here?""Can't you see it's a bad dream?""Let's not fall into any quick swoon over it."7. An Explanation of the Impossibility of Being UnderstoodPerhaps, on the other hand, a reader can glean some sort of meaning or understanding amidst the sheer volume of words (-734). However, at the same time, the novel questions the concepts of meaning and understanding, as if they are pointless quests:"Who climbs up to the hole unless it is to wish to come down changed and find one's self again, but in a different way, with one's people...""Problems are like Primus heaters, everything is fine until they blow up. I could tell you that there are teleological problems on this earth. They don't seem to exist, like right now, and what happens is that the clock in the bomb is set for twelve o'clock tomorrow. Tick-tock, tick-tock, everything's fine. Tick-tock...""But it's as if something is talking, something is using us to talk. Don't you get that feeling? Don't you think we're inhabited in some sort of way? I mean...It's hard to explain, really...""You understand, sometimes it occurs to me that I might be able to tell you...I don't know, perhaps right now words would be good for something, could be useful to us. But since they're not words from everyday life and mate in the courtyard, well-oiled conversation, one draws back, from his best friend, no less, who is the one we have most trouble telling such things to. Doesn't it happen to you, that sometimes you confide much more in just anybody...""You talk about understanding each other, but basically you realise that I also want to come to some sort of understanding with you, and you means much more than you yourself. The burden is the fact that real understanding is something else. We're satisfied with too little. When friends understand each other well, when lovers understand each other well, when families understand each other well, then we think that everything is harmonious. Pure illusion, a mirror for larks. Sometimes I think there's more understanding between two people punching each other in the face than among those who are there looking on from outside...""You think you're going to explain something, and it gets worse every time...""Explanation is a well-dressed mistake. Make a note of that...""Everything could have meaning just as long as it was extrapolated, the whinevitable whextrapolation at the metaphysical whour, that stately word was always on time...But how many times had he gone through the same cycle on dozens of corners and in cafes in so many cities, how many times had he reached similar conclusions, felt better, thought he could begin to live in a different way?""The change from circus to [mental] clinic was like a step forward...""Oliveira appeared, and they had to explain to him with whispers and hidden gestures that everything was going along fine and that nobody understood much of anything...""It all means you don't exist or I don't exist, or that we're so stupid we believe this..."8. Crazy Stupid Love's Labour's LostIn the end, I couldn't help being reminded of the film "Betty Blue", in which love is conquered by madness. Here, love is plagued by misunderstanding, incomprehension and impossibility."Maybe love was the highest enrichment, a giver of being; but only by bungling it could one avoid its boomerang effect, let it run off into nothingness, and sustain one's self alone again on this new step of open and porous reality. Killing the beloved object, that ancient fear of man, was the price paid for not stopping on the stairs, just as Faust's plea to the passing moment would not have made sense if he had not abandoned it at the same time, just as one puts down an empty glass on the table.""At the same time he understood that it was certain, that in one way or other he had transgressed the world of Talita and Traveler, without acts, without intentions even, nothing more than giving in to a nostalgic whim...""The three of them loved reading with commentaries, each in his own way, polemics from the Hispano-Argentine pleasure in wanting to convince and never accepting contrary opinion, and the undeniable possibilities of laughing like crazy and feeling themselves above suffering humanity under the pretext of helping it come out of its shitty contemporary situation...""Look at him, making the three of them dance a slow, interminable pattern..."9. Himmel und HölleA suggestion to the author and the reader about playing "Hopscotch":"Pick up a pebble and try again..."Or, at least, try something different, something else. (-801)(-1411)10. Expendable Notes, Quotes and Wall LabelsMuch Post-Modernist art is accompanied by wall labels that explain the work or the artist's intent. This assumes that their intent is not adequately conveyed by the work itself or detectable by the viewer. It also seeks to add a verbal credibility to a visual work.Much of Part 2 of "Hopscotch" consists of wall labels that express Cortazar's writing goals (in the guise of manifestoid musings by the writer, Morelli, mainly in chapter 99). (-891) Some of it supplies details of the characters in the novel that are dispensable or could have been incorporated into part 1. (-861)The hopscotch structure isn't important enough to describe as a gimmick, but its aesthetic role is overstated. You don't have to read it in the suggested order of reading chapters, if you don't want to. The distinction between the two parts could be removed, as well as the suggested order, and the novel would make just as much sense, if not more (this is, after all, how most of us will read it the first time). Despite Morelli's manifesto in chapter 99, Cortazar does little to make the reader an accomplice in any metafictional enterprise he might have in his mind. It remains there, to his and our frustration. Chapter 99 contains a manifesto that the novel doesn't really live up to. 11. "A Fusion of Parts"Ultimately, you could almost say that the novel is a unity that tricks readers into believing that it is made up of fragments. Which it might be/is/does. Without any desire for coherence.---------------------------------------731 Yes, but who will cure us of the dull fire?732 How often I wonder whether this is only writing, in an age in which we run towards deception through infallible equations and conformity machines.733 Too easy a solution.734 An invented fire burns in us.735 We invent our conflagration.741 Acceptance of the pebble and of Beta Centauri, from the pure-as-anodyne to the pure-as-excess.761 Oh, you know, fear is not my forte.781 All endearment is an ontological clawing, yes, an attempt to seize the unseizable.791 To attempt a text that would not clutch the reader but which would oblige him to become an accomplice as it whispers to him underneath the conventional exposition other more esoteric directions.792 The reader would be able to become a coparticipant and cosufferer of the experience through which the novelist is passing, at the same time and in the same form.801 I mean something else, almost impossible to grasp.841 Imagination has been praised to excess.861 It was easier to understand Morelli from the quotes he used than from his personal meanderings.871 Why is it necessary at certain times to say: 'I loved that'?891 Explain me something before I fall asleep.901 The whego and the whother.931 A sea of tongues licking the ass of the world...1411 It didn't take many pages to see that Morelli was aiming at something else.1412 The apparent paradox lay in that Morelli was accumulating episodes that were imagined and focused in the most diverse forms, trying to attack them and resolve them with every skill of a writer worthy of the name.1413 It was hard to deny belief in the fact that a flower could be beautiful to no end; it was bitter to accept the fact that one could dance in darkness. Morelli's allusions to an inversion of signs, to a world seen with other and from other dimensions, as an inevitable preparation for a purer vision (and all of this in a resplendently written passage, and at the same time suspicious of the farce, of icy irony before the mirror) exasperated them as it offered them the most of an almost hope, of a justification, but at the same time denied them total security, keeping them in an unbearable ambiguity. If there was any consolation left it was the thought that Morelli too moved about in that same ambiguity, orchestrating a work whose legitimate first hearing could well have been the most absolute of silences.1414 That's how they went along through the pages, cursing and fascinated...1471 To have the strength to plunge into the midst of parties and crown the head of the dazzling [lady/lord] of the house with a beautiful green frog, a gift of night, and suffer without horror the vengeance of [her/his] lackeys.1541 A sensitive freemasonry, the voluptuous feeling of being one of so few partaking of an adventure.1551 Why be ashamed of masturbating? A lesser art next to the other one, but in any case it does have its divine proportions, its unities in time, action, and place, and any other rhetoric you might want to apply.1552 We can't sit on this bench all day.001. "I jes hope what I been writin down hear do somebody some good so he take a good look at how he livin and he dont be sorry when it too late and everythin is gone down the drain cause it his own fault."THE NOVEL GIVES BOTH WRITERS AND READERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS.

  • Lau
    2019-03-08 05:49

    No es sencillo escribir sobre Rayuela porque éste definitivamente no es un libro común ni para todo el mundo. Por empezar, hay dos formas posibles de lectura: siguiendo la guía del principio del libro que nos hace saltar de atrás para adelante entre los 155 capítulos, o leyendo de corrido (y en versión más breve) del 1 al 56.Me pareció una genialidad el sistema y un lío bárbaro también. Es muy original e inteligente, y me gustó aún más cuando, mirándolo con más atención, me di cuenta de que ese desorden de la guía no es tan desordenado como creí (pero parece).Lo leí dos veces seguidas primero de forma ordenada y luego desordenada. La versión más extensa ayuda a comprender algunas cosas, como por ejemplo el por qué este libro está compaginado así. Hay un personaje que me pareció que podría ser el mismo Cortázar participando de su novela: un escritor llamado Morelli que le pide al protagonista que reuna los fragmentos de su libro que están distribuídos en su departamento, y supongo que esa es la razón de que la tabla de direcciones nos haga saltar tanto. Claramente Oliveira y compañía confundieron el orden de los capítulos.El primer capítulo es maravilloso.Mi primer pensamiento fue que los ojos se deslizaban sobre el texto como si fuera seda. Nos encontramos junto a Horacio Oliveira recorriendo las calles de París y pensando en La Maga.Con ella hay una relación de amor-odio que nunca queda clara, aunque en la versión extensa parece un poco más profundizada o explicada. Al leer los "capítulos prescindibles" que aparecen a partir del 56 da la sensación de que Oliveira realmente estuviese enamorado de ella. Leyendo la versión breve no parece tan así. No hay un esquema verdadero en este libro y por eso es dificil hablar de un argumento, además de que cambia de tipo de narrador constantemente. Lo dice Morelli: «Intentar en cambio un texto que no agarre al lector pero que lo vuelva obligadamente cómplice al murmurarle, por debajo del desarrollo convencional, otros rumbos más esotéricos.» y «Provocar, asumir un texto desaliñado, desanudado, incongruente, minuciosamente antinovelístico (aunque no antinovelesco).»Este libro es un caos organizado. Pero para encontrar lo organizado hay que traspasar el caos, y eso puede costar, especialmente el capítulo 34 donde intercala la lectura de un libro con los pensamientos de Horacio y que produce un efecto similar a un licuado cerebral.Y así me había encontrado con la Maga, que era mi testigo y mi espía sin saberlo, y la irritación de estar pensando en todo eso y sabiendo que como siempre me costaba mucho menos pensar que ser, que en mi caso el ergo de la frasecita no era tan ergo ni cosa parecida, con lo cual así íbamos por la orilla izquierda, la Maga sin saber que era mi espía y mi testigo, admirando enormemente mis conocimientos diversos y mi dominio de la literatura y hasta del jazz cool, misterios enormísimos para ella. Algunos capítulos son un terrible delirio y mezcla de frases extrañas que contra todo pronóstico tienen sentido y atrapan. Le da sentido a lo inconexo. Otros son diálogos o narraciones normales que mas o menos llevan una historia que nos muestra melancolía, jazz, alcohol y sensualidad. Oliveira, La Maga y los extraños miembros de El Club de la Serpiente son mentes solitarias y perdidas intentando ignorar el paso del tiempo y eligiendo que parte de la realidad contemplar. Hay conversaciones tan intelectuales en un punto como incoherentes pocas frases después. Es terrible lo que Cortázar divaga, se enrosca y se desenrosca para ciertos conceptos, y sin embargo hay algo atractivo y lleno de melancolía que no es sencillo ignorar. Por momentos incluso tuve la sensación de que simplemente se estaba riendo de los lectores, haciéndonos leer algunos de los recovecos de su mente en la voz de Oliveira. Es interesante y desconcertante por partes iguales. Pasa del delirio inconexo a la poesía tan abruptamente que hay que hacer un sacudón/despeje mental para darse cuenta de que el texto volvió a tener sentido. Es raro el efecto de esos capítulos, ahora comprendo por qué a este libro o lo aman o lo odian. Tardé sus buenas páginas en darme cuenta de que los momentos más delirantes pertenecían a la mente de Horacio. Cuando uno piensa lo hace de forma caótica y desordenada, y eso es precisamente lo que está escrito, muchas veces sin comas ni ningún otro signo de puntuación. De forma inesperada intercala frases en inglés, francés y pedazos de canciones. Todo es posible en esta contra-novela surrealista.Seamos serios, Horacio, antes de enderezarnos muy de a poco y apuntar hacia la calle, preguntémonos con el alma en la punta de la mano (¿la punta de la mano?) En la palma de la lengua, che, o algo así.  Tiene algo que hace caer el ánimo y me costó mucho darme cuenta de qué era, pero creo que finalmente lo entendí.En principio creí que era porque están todos los personajes sumidos en la melancolía, porque ninguno realmente parece saber qué hacer con su vida o porque en el fondo son un grupo de no-adaptados que se juntan para hablar y no hacer mucho más que quejarse y opinar sobre todo pero sin que nadie realmente se mueva. Lo dice en el texto mismo: «Bueno, él era un argentino que llevaba un tiempo en parís, tratando de... Vamos a ver, ¿qué era lo que trataba de?»Pero finalmente llegué a la conclusión de que Rayuela es como un tango, y que lo que Cortázar buscó transmitir fue la melancolía porteña. Es curioso el efecto, te va volteando de a poco con melancolía, sentimentalismos de macho y una visión considerablemente negativa de todo. Hubo momentos en que tuve que cambiar de libro y leer algo más liviano porque mi ánimo se estaba cayendo de forma considerable.Además está lleno de argentinismos, cosa que me resultó muy raro al principio. Hay mucho lunfardo y una enorme cantidad de referencias a costumbres nacionales que a un extranjero le pueden resultar un poco desconocidas. Me pregunto cómo será la versión traducida a otros idiomas.De alguna manera habían ingresado en otra cosa, en ese algo donde se podía estar de gris y ser de rosa, donde se podía haber muerto ahogada en un río (y eso ya no lo estaba pensando ella) y asomar en una noche de Buenos Aires para repetir en la rayuela la imagen misma de lo que acababan de alcanzar, la última casilla, el centro del mandala, el Ygdrassil vertiginoso por donde se salía a una playa abierta, a una extensión sin límites, al mundo debajo de los párpados que los ojos vueltos hacia adentro reconocían y acataban. Me gustó haberlo leído en orden primero, es interesante la sensación de infinito que produce releer lo ya leído. No pasa como con otras novelas porque ésta es tan compleja y desestructurada (en sentido de que no hay realmente una linea cronologica demasiado palpable) que es dificil recordar qué había en cada capítulo. Además ahora ya conocía a los personajes y entendí mejor algunas de las cosas que dicen, o que se dice de ellos.Y así como hay dos formas de leerlo, también hay dos finales. Uno está en el capítulo 55 y es tan extraño como el resto del libro, y el otro... el otro es una especie de broma que una vez más nos juega Cortázar. Noté que en la versión extensa nunca pasamos por el capítulo 55, aunque ese mismo texto está incluído (o casi todo) en otro de los capítulos "prescindibles" y sigue adelante. Y es tonto porque todo eso duerme un poco en vos, no habría más que sumergirte en un vaso de agua como una flor japonesa y poco a poco empezarían a brotar los pétalos coloreados, se hincharían las formas combadas, crecería la hermosura.Decidirme por una nota fue complicado. Mi gran conflicto interno se generó por lo siguiente: objetivamente no cabe duda de que Rayuela es un libro excelente. Desde el sistema extraño hasta la forma de escribir es magnífico, tiene pasajes y frases maravillosas (muchas de las cuales me guardé)... pero por alguna razón no me logré conectar realmente ni con la historia ni con los personajes... así que opté por promediar.Y paf, se acabó.Reseña de Fantasía Mágica

  • Harry Collier IV
    2019-03-19 00:42

    Hopefully no spoilers but this book really cannot be spoiled.This book is most likely a 5 star book. When I do a reread and read the 100+ extra chapters I am sure I will have a much greater opinion of this book than I already do. I started not really caring for Cortazar's style in the first two chapters and 56 chapters later I am a convert. Some good powerful stuff was done here - and not just the language but the themes and the ideas were mind-blowing.I loved The Club and didn't find them as bad as other reviewers but Horatio was a total dick to everyone there. I do not feel he was a bastard at his core but he was in a situation in Paris and he became what he felt he had to become.I loved after he had returned to Argentina as the book became a comedy of sorts. He and Traveller trying to build a plank bridge is a scene that will stay with me.Buying the mental hospital seemed strange. Anyone can just walk in and take control of a mental hospital with no qualifications? Also the mental patients had to agree to their taking over?I believe this is in someone in reference to the political situation of Argentina at the time and if it was it is genius. What a great way to show it.Of course, I know very little of the political situation in Argentina now, let alone when Cortazar was writing so if anyone wants to clue me in on that much appreciated.Finally, I have developed a love of mate while reading this book. I will definitely order a gourd and some proper mate for my reread in April.

  • Hakan
    2019-03-03 02:02

    romanda bizzat bahsedildiği gibi klasik yazarlar öğretmek, romantik yazarlar anlaşılmak istiyor. üçüncü ihtimalde ise okurla yol arkadaşlığı talebi olan yazarlar var. okur bu seçeneklerin hepsinde yazarla anlaşmak durumunda. yazar öğretiyorsa öğrenmeye çalışacak, yazar anlaşılmak istiyorsa anlamaya çalışacak, yol arkadaşlığı istiyorsa yazara arkadaş olacak. cortazar seksek'te okuru bu anlaşmasını bozmaya zorluyor. önce, daha romana başlamadan iki farklı okuma biçimi olduğunu belirtiyor, "öbür kitaplar gibi" bir kitap okumak isteyen okurlarla iddialı okurları ayırıyor. sonra sıçramalı anlatısıyla okurun karşısına dikiliyor adeta. okurun kendini hikayeye bırakmasına izin vermiyor. yazar yazma coşkusuna kapılmıyorsa okur okuma keyfine dalmasın, yazar arıyorsa okur da arasın, düşünsün ve hatta bir noktadan sonra okur bu döngüden de yazardan da kurtulsun ve ne yapıyorsa, o noktadan sonra ne yapabiliyorsa yapsın. zor mu zor, karmaşık mı karmaşık ama sadece romanın dünyasının sorunu değil bu, okurun bizzat yaşadığı dünya da böyle. romanın biçim oyunları değil söz konusu olan, dünyanın parçalanmışlığı, insanın dağılmışlığı...seksek zamanındaki deneysel-devrimsel etkisi bir tarafa bugün bizler için de farklı, özel bir okuma deneyimi sunuyor bu sebeple, birçok sebeple. okunmalı.

  • Mariel
    2019-03-08 01:40

    I've been looking for symmetry in places, likely as not unlikely. Counting every crack in the ceiling OCD, counting the walls to see if there's a third wall to break, carpet burn for the crawling knees. Missed one and have to go back and start from the beginning OCD. Hopscotch is about thinking. The ugly patterns (rug burn patterns? Probably ugly orange carpet that was recalled in the 1970s) and perverted loops. Don't think that, take two steps back or one leap forward. I found break your mama's back holes all over the place. I don't know if I love Hopscotch or if it just meant a lot to me. Sometimes I hated it. It was a comforting kind of hate. Like checking my pulse to see if I was still alive. Hey, I was thinking. I'm not a vegetable. I could put my hand on my heart and swear it still beats. (I was worried after some of the coma books I've been reading...)I don't know if I felt when I was supposed to feel, or if I was in Cortázar's loop exactly. If I hit the same musical notes on the music sheet (please not jazz! See, there's a time when I was a belligerent reader. My eyes glazed over the jazz descriptions. Freaking jazz! I crossed my arms in protest. My mental feet did not tap. I didn't bum a cigarette off the phantoms of the club that I refused to mind and I didn't sip anything, cool or hot, coolly. Or hotly. I mean sexily.)Okay, Cortázar's book is famous for the playful (or is it played? Probably a bit of both) hopscotch alternative method of what to read. Do you need someone to tell you what to think? Or to challenge you. How do they know what your sore spots are?For me the choice is making up your own mind of what to look for, what matters to you. What would you want to step over? So I forgot about the hopscotch method after a while. It's not important. I want to forget that I'm reading and become in my own way an active reader (Cortázar's words). I don't want to lose the part of myself that looks for symmetry and what's alike and what's different. If there's something between me and the book that could be all mine. At first I crossed my heart and hoped to die that I would not live with these people. It was deliberate, that distance. La Maga, the bohemian lady from Montevido boheming it up in Paris would stand in front of paintings to try and look like them. I rolled my eyes (a gesture that is exaggerated whenever I've spent time with family members. We are a family of eye rollers. Ideally, I want to feel like I'm with characters enough to know about that stuff to pick up on). Please. So Oliveira came off to me as a twat, pretty much. He hung out with "The Club", other seeming twats (I'm sure they are nice when you get to know them), who name dropped and quoted. Some stuff I knew and some stuff I didn't (I decided a long time ago that anything I don't know about is a potential great night with a book or film. I don't want to feel like the kid who misses out because it's past her bed time anymore). How much was their own opinion and how much was quoted from a big name? The Club despised what they took for idiocy in La Maga. She took on faith that she did not know how to think because she didn't think the same way they did. I didn't take on faith that Oliveira admired her thinking. It's like how do you know that dogs are colorblind? How did they know that La Maga didn't think. She asked a lot of questions. That's thinking if you cared enough to ask a question. I would have said that she did not try to find her own puzzles to work out. If it was presented to her she would wonder about it and if it took place outside the corners it did not exist. I related to La Maga (the part about the purple bruise moment she feels when she is told or tells herself she doesn't understand what might come easier to others was exactly a moment of knowing how someone else felt. It passes. It has to. It turns yellow or brown or whatever color bruises turn next). She thought that she was too stupid to be around these super smart people. Oh, La Maga! I've been that person. I would tell La Maga that there isn't a mystery to what they were doing. It's something you can reach for, if you want it. There are other questions they don't ask too. She wanted to leave some of La Maga in another person. That's what I took from her. It wasn't that different from Oliveira who wanted to find himself in another. If he allowed himself to admit it he wanted to find a better him inside himself. That's hard to admit, I think, the part of yourself that hopes for something within. It's not a mystery like holding your breath underwater for as long as you can and you can break a record, drown or feel lightheaded high. It's okay to breathe. It meant a lot to me to pick these things up over their interactions like a flow (Cortázar sure does love river analogies so how about water flow). Why did Oliveira feel afraid to want? It's the same as not thinking to ask questions, is my guess. That's new world territory. Scary.So I didn't feel that what worked somewhat before wasn't working anymore about La Maga and Oliveira. Or his questions. I didn't feel it when Cortázar said it was so outright. I felt it in that he thought a whole freaking lot about everything. All of those thinking pages. Hopscotch is about thinking, and more than that it is thinking about how you think. What's the mystery? It came on me that I liked this book when I felt a loss that La Maga and Oliviera were ending. No, don't go, I thought. Something in between taking sides history. I really hated The Club when they mocked La Maga for telling her story about her childhood rape. I thought that Cortázar might be a sexist. It's hard to tell if it is him or the characters, sometimes. I could feel more of a presence in the thinking than in the talk. A mouthpiece for whom?Like another character, Talita, is introduced as a support for the male. There are twinges and then it's the mystery again. How do you go about being with another person? It's all in the setting up the parallel sidewalk lines (La Maga would run into the middle of the road, forsaking the sidewalk altogether). Talking and no one listening... There are some breathtaking passages in Hopscotch. There are some pretty bad ones too. I guess one could play another "game" with this book and open up pages to randomly find examples of both. Probably side by side. It works for this. It's what Isaac Brock said about "No one really knows the ones they love. If you knew everything they thought about you'd wish they'd just shut up." It's pretty much that. To write a book about all of this drowning thinking you kind of have to have that feeling. You can't live without it and it might not be worth it. That's what I feel about Oliveira. He was thinking in a little circus wheel and the hamster was dying. Maybe the whole of The Club wanted someone to tell them what to think. Is that the ugly side of finding in others? Them, supplanting you? "In a word, five thousand years pull me back again and I have to start all over. That's why I feel that you're my doppelganger, because all the time I'm coming and going from your territory to mine, if I really ever do get to mine, and in those weary passages it seems to me that you're my form staying there looking at me with pity, you're the five thousand years of man piled up into six feet, looking at that clown who wants to get out of his square. Amen." That's my favorite part of Hopscotch. When Oliveira goes back to Argentina and is with his best mate Traveler and Traveler's wife Talita. They are the part that looks within others and each other for something to relate to. My favorite part of Hopscotch is the you that's in someone else. I'll think more about being lost and I'll think about how to recognize when you have the doppelganger.I so wish that La Maga had not left the way she did. (I could write about this book for ages. Her son, Rocamadour. Why she did not feel it was important for that relationship with her son as with her lover?) I had a feeling that I might have been more willing to listen to her than Oliveira or The Club were. It must have made a kind of La Maga sense to seem to halfheartedly live and feel wholeheartedly bad about it. I don't want to take Oliveira's word for it. What he finds would not be the same for me, I get the feeling.How much is habit to return to bad patterns? Can you return to the good one? The part that is wholehearted? If you think about why you do it can you stop it from happening again? If you do it together maybe you could borrow breath to live. Yeah, a lot of this book is theory and a lot of thinking. There's a lot of talking. I think a lot about this kind of thing too and I have hope that the breath thing could happen. So Hopscotch got me in the end. I even fought the side of myself that felt sick over pretentious name droppers. Maybe because I'm afraid there's a mystery I couldn't get no matter how hard I looked. I also got Oliveira's sickness of thought... (I'm still thinking!) (Cortázar's Blow-Up collection got to me, over time, because of the way he writes mental paranoia. Scattered thoughts... That's me too.) (I get self conscious that I read and write the same into too much, come from lonely and no other place. This could have been written for me.)

  • Guido
    2019-03-17 00:58

    La nota di Cortázar all'inizio di Rayuela spiega come questo libro possa essere letto in almeno due modi: il primo tradizionale, ordinato, dal capitolo 1 al 56 e senza capitoli aggiuntivi; l'altro apparentemente molto sperimentale, partendo dal capitolo 73 e seguendo di volta in volta le indicazioni per saltare da un capitolo all'altro. Lui stesso ha scritto il libro in modo quasi involontario, rendendosi conto soltanto dopo la stesura di diverse parti che queste potevano essere raccolte per formare un romanzo.Il valore sperimentale di quest'opera è il primo punto interessante, e indubbiamente quello più discusso. E' diventato facile e tremendamente popolare considerare le stramberie artistiche del secolo passato come provocazioni gratuite e ormai antiquate, un po' ridicole, esperimenti falliti a metà. Questo libro fa pensare che forse, in realtà, abbiamo fatto dei passi indietro. Cortázar non vuole demolire il romanzo tradizionale, né il suo linguaggio: li vuole scomporre per poi dar loro nuova vita ricostruendoli secondo regole nuove, vuole mettere in evidenza delle cattive abitudini che affliggono lettori e scrittori da secoli, e costringerci ad abbandonarle.Saltando da un capitolo all'altro ci si dimentica che il libro ha un determinato numero di pagine. Nessuno, leggendolo seguendo il secondo metodo - l'unico davvero interessante, a mio avviso - riuscirà a capire quante pagine ha già letto e quante ne manchino alla fine. Inoltre, non si può fare affidamento sul libro come un insieme ordinato, una stratificazione di eventi in ordine cronologico; i capitoli appartengono al passato, al presente o al futuro in un modo imprevedibile e quindi molto più realistico: è il Gioco del mondo con le sue caselle, disegnate per terra coi gessetti colorati. Leggete e divertitevi, non pensate al numero di pagine, all'inizio o alla fine del racconto: l'inizio e la fine sono sempre una truffa.Il secondo punto interessante è che questo romanzo non è illogico o privo di senso: ha una sua trama, per quanto improvvisata e involontaria per ammissione dello stesso autore, ma interessantissima e piena di domande (e non di risposte: questo è un punto fondamentale, Cortázar non intende insegnare nulla). Soprattutto, non si riesce mai a classificarla come "commedia" o "dramma" o altro: è una sorta di "Bohème" avanguardista che si svolge tra Parigi e Buenos Aires, il cui protagonista, Horacio Oliveira, è un eterno studente che vive con la sua compagna, la Maga; e con lei e altri squattrinati intellettuali ha fondato il Club del Serpente, i cui membri si riuniscono per ascoltare jazz, blues e musica da camera e discutere d'arte, di filosofia e letteratura. Oliveira è un eterno studente proprio perché le sue conoscenze e la sua cultura lo rendono del tutto inconcludente: pensa sempre troppo prima di agire e alla fine non fa mai nulla, mentre la Maga sembra avere già compreso tutto ed è capace di autentiche imprese senza aver bisogno di leggere o farsi una cultura.Oliveira è condannato come tutti coloro che usano troppo la propria immaginazione, a suo modo è un anarchico: la sua non è certo un'anarchia da bombaroli, ma una semplice quanto fatale consapevolezza della follia presente in qualsiasi ordine. Non riesce a considerare una determinata struttura (sociale, politica, artistica, architettonica, letteraria...) come ragionevole e dichiarare le altre prive di senso. Per Oliveira nessun ordine è più razionale o più assurdo di un altro - non a caso è uno che cerca, ma non sa cosa, e anche il suo bisogno di tornare a casa non è motivato da un sentimento preciso.Per concludere, devo aggiungere che questo libro mi mancherà perché è poetico e meraviglioso e più di una volta avrei voluto condividere quello che stavo leggendo con qualcuno, che si trattasse di gioia o di commozione o malinconia o risate. La preparazione del mate, la caña, il metodo romantico e dolcissimo con cui Oliveira e la Maga si davano gli appuntamenti, Talita e Traveler e il gioco delle domande-a-dondolo, i matti e il circo col gatto calcolatore, Etienne e i suoi dipinti, le note pedanti e contorte di Morelli che in fondo parlavano proprio del libro che stavo leggendo, il modo in cui mi sono sentito complice dello stesso Cortázar, sono soltanto alcune delle cose a cui ripenso.E perché si è usciti dall'infanzia (...) si dimentica che per arrivare al Cielo occorrono, come ingredienti, una pietruzza e la punta di una scarpa.Credo che terrò sempre questo libro molto vicino.

  • Jonfaith
    2019-03-07 01:41

    He went back to sleep like a person who is looking for his place and his house after a long road in the rain and the cold.I should pen an untimely aphorism detailing my experiences with Hopscotch. This is not that effort. It appears that I read the linear, sequential version of this novel in my mid-20s. I suspected such about midway through my more spirited reading of this last week. A phone call to Stephen J. Powell confirmed it. Apparently I gave Mr. Powell a copy of the novel and raved about it for weeks during the Clinton years. I barely recall such. Our reading group samizdat attempted a group read in the summer of 2001 but abandoned such after Roger growled that the characters should all get a job. I felt inspired for my return to Rayuela by the curious examples of his short fiction and early novel Final Exam. That said, I don't think I anticipated depth of joy I would encounter. Maybe Morelli was waiting for my return as well. I'd like to visit him in the hospital, even if I don't like hospitals.Nothing easier than putting the blame on what's outside, as if one were sure that outside and inside are the two main beams of the house. But the fact is that everything is in bad shape, history tells you that, and the very fact that you're thinking about it instead of living it proves to you that it's bad, that we've stuck ourselves into a total disharmony that the sum of our resources disguises with social structure, with history, with Ionic style, with the joy of the Renaissance, with the superficial sadness of romanticism, and that's the way we go and they can turn the dogs on us.I listened to a great deal of Fats Waller and Sonny Clark during my reading. I'm conflicted on the assurances but heartily endorse this novel and a concurrent pondering of meaning and failure. I think differently now, especially towards strands of thread on the sidewalk.

  • Fatema Hassan , bahrain
    2019-03-06 06:37

    من يقرأ هذه الرواية منكم سيرى معنى أن يتوه المرء- كاتب كان أم قارئ- في جيب معرفته، و أن يخشى حدود المعرفة عند الآخرين مهما كانت ثقته بمعرفته الخاصة. سيُفرِق بين المعرفة و تصور المعرفة، و يدرك كم هو مربك استخدام المعرفة العشوائي سواء كانت أطنان أم محض تصورات.أخيرًا انتهى هذا الجحيم الأشعث من الأوراق المتوالدة، هذه الرواية بها ثلاثة أقسام وكل قسم رواية ( على الجهة الأخرى/ على هذه الجهة / من جهات أخرى) موزعة فصول، كل فصل له ترتيبين منفصلين في بداية الفصل و نهايته، هنالك أكثر من طريقة لقراءة الأقسام بفصولها -الواثبة للأمام و الخلف- مدرجة في جدول الدليل في بداية الرواية،طريقة كفيلة - و للأبد- بتخدير حاسة العد لديك، القسم الأول مكتظ و مسلٍ نوعًا ما- يفتح النفس باختصار-، بينما الثاني خاوٍ فقير الأحداث و متطفل على نعمة الأول، لكن المصيبة أن قسمها الثالث كما نقول بالدارج في كلامنا- قسم الأكو و الماكو- كالمخزن العمومي تمامًا لن تفقه ترتيبه الطائش لأن ذلك يعتمد على اليد أو الأيدي التي سبقتك إليه، ولأن الرواية عشوائية الفصول تخيل الحرق المسبق للأحداث الذي سيوترك، القصة تدور حول هجرة أرجنتيني -أوليفيرا- من بلاده لفرنسا، و من الجهتين سينقل لنا صراع أفكاره و بحثه الدؤوب عما يسميه المركز، أظن أن خوليو كورتاثار يعتبر المركز هو الإدانة ل ( أنا أفكر إذًا أنا موجود ) فالوجود لا يرتبط بالتفكير فقط و ان كان خطوة أولى، الفعل هو البينة على سلامة الفكرة، أوليفيرا يتعرف على ماغا الأورغوانية و ينضمان لنادي الأفاعي المتشكل من عدة كُتاب و رسامين ومفكرين يشكلون عناصر النادي العقلية بينما تشكل ماغا لوحدها عنصره العاطفي، لن نتفاجئ ب كم الحيوية الذي تضفيه ماغا فهي العنصر العاطفي في تلك المجموعة ، و العنصر العاطفي قوة مظلمة أينما كان ما دامت العناصر العقلية مملوكة لثقافات متضاربة و آداب مُسيسة.لاشك أن التفكير سيتطور مع هكذا صحبة إلا تفكير ماغا، لأنه مركز النادي فهو من يوحي بعظمتهم كلما تصاغر و أُحِبط و عِدم هدفه في الحياة أو تفاوتت قدرته الجدلية مع أقرانه، وهذا التخلخل في التجمعات يمتد ليشمل العناصر الذكورية و النسوية على حد سواء في الرواية، ويتضح لنا هذا في القسم الثاني أكثر و أكثر.التآخي في المهجر لا يشبع بطن مغترب، عودة أوليفيرا لبلاده - مجبرًا- كانت نقطة لابد منها، عودة جسد مقتنع بنعيم بلاده و جحيمها، عاد ليخسر تفكيره، عاد لتأخذ أفعاله مجراها الطبيعي خلف فكر مشتت. اقتبس لكم منها:- لو كنت أعمى لبعض الوقت، لكان ذلك من حسن حظك.- أجل بالطبع، البصر بدلاً من الفهم، ما دامت الغريزة لا تقف عند حدود العقل، فهذا هو الطريق الموصل لدياجير الروح.- إن فكرة قتل نفسي كانت تطمئنني دائمًا.- إنها الفضيلة، و يجب أن ندفع ثمنها.- المشكلة تتجسد في أن ما هو طبيعي، يصبح معاديًا، بسببٍ ما، لما هو حقيقي و واقعي. و مع مرور الزمن يأخذ الطبيعي نغمة الزيف الفظيع.- المحبة طقس جماعي، يتضمن في جوهره، المقدرة على العطاء.- أتدري ما هو السيء فيك، أن ما تفعله الآن، تربطه بطفولتك .- إن جوهر المسألة لا يتعلق بالكلمات، بل في نظرتنا للأشياء.- إن أدمغتنا مصابة بالجرب.- الأفضل أن تعطيني رأسًا غير رأسي.- لقد عرف من أعماق نفسه أنه لا يجوز أن يتخطى الحدود، لأنه لن يجد أي شيء هناك.- إن عالمنا هذا عبارة عن ذكرى يجب قراءتها بتمعن.- ان أولئك الذين ينوروننا يكونون عمياناً، فغالبًا ما يحدث، ان يدلنا أحدهم على الطريق الصحيح، من غير أن يدري، في حين أنه هو نفسه لا يسير عليه.- أن أفضل ما فعله أجدادي، أنهم قد ماتوا، بكل تواضع، و لكنني أنتظر بفارغ الصبر تلك اللحظة، التي أرث فيها هذا المصير عنهم.- الخرافات- هي الأعمدة التي يرتفع عليها المجتمع.- لقد كانت حمقاء، و ما أسعد الحمقى!

  • Agnieszka
    2019-03-21 03:37

    From the Other SideIn my teensHopscotchhad a status of cult novel and maybe still it has. To its popularity in Poland contributed such accurate and reckless translation that even Cortazar had said once jokingly that he would love to know what translator really had written there. Along with Dostoyevsky and Camus it was my youthful reading. I loved that existential climate, these days spent on wanderings, night’s never-ending conversations on art, philisophy and life, in fumes of cigarettes, washed down with vodka. These moments when Oliveira desperately traverses Parisian streets in hope to meet Maga, this entering in Maga-world and succumbing to some existential melancholy and decadency. These snippets on jazz, surrealism and cubism, these wordplays and, I know it's a cliché, that Paris of clochards and lovers, cafes and bridges, cheap wine and Gauloises cigarettes. From this Side Even though I wasn’t any angry or rebellious teenager but it was natural to me in that age to have doubts and dilemmas, to seek answers and challenge adult’s outlook and ideas on life. So I foundHopscotchvery appealing and its experimental to me then structure and multidimensional character also the liberty to choosing my own way of reading was a great bonus. I found it neither over intellectualized nor pretentious gibberish. Never I thought of time devoted to contemplation human nature, art and seeking own place in the world to be barren or useless. Though today, and I’m much older, I remember rather general mood of that story, sense of freedom, sadness and loneliness, than particular scenes or dialogues nonetheless still consider this one as one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. As you see it’s not a proper review, rather note from my younger self, a record of some emotions and state of mind, but my friend Mala encouraged me to write some words about my very first literary fascination and I allowed myself to scribble that. But for more sophisticated and insightful critique ofHopscotchplease do visit Mala’s write-up.From Diverse Sides I even smoked Gauloises cigarettes. It tasted awfully ! But meeting Cortazar resulted in long lasted romance with Ibero-American literature.

  • Francisco H. González
    2019-02-25 05:04

    A estas alturas creo que todo lo que uno pueda decir, incluso pensar, sobre Rayuela ya lo han dicho o pensado otros. Dicho lo anterior, decir que la novela me ha gustado, mucho. Nada había leído de Cortázar hasta la fecha y esta novela es un artefacto narrativo deslumbrante y subyugante por muchos motivos. Lo he leído siguiendo el tablero de dirección, leyendo todos los capítulos, con la edición de Cátedra, donde el prólogo de casi 100 páginas resulta muy interesante y provechoso, y donde las abundantes notas al pie de página que hay luego en el texto, proporcionan datos de sobra sobre la infinidad de músicos, cantantes, pintores, escritores, etc, que aparecen en la novela. Aunque pienso que como sucede con los chistes, que pierden la gracia si te los explican, con los juegos de referencias y de palabras, o los coge uno al vuelo o luego, a toro pasado, tienen escaso mordiente.Me ha gustado mucho el personaje de la Maga, su sencillez, su honestidad, su ansia de saber, de conocer, su forma de entender y vivir la vida. Contrasta su personaje con el de Horacio, su amante en París, el presunto intelectual que junto a sus amigotes hace de menos a Maga, ridiculizándola, poniendo en evidencia su falta de “cultura”. Una relación amorosa con niño de por medio, el inolvidable Rocamadour, donde Cortázar narrará la muerte del niño de una manera inolvidable, donde se cifra la habilidad de Cortázar para abundar en lo trágico sin hacer concesiones a lo sentimentaloide. Una relación la de la Maga y Horacio a su vez inolvidable, en ese arañar y desentrañar el alma humana y las contradicciones que nos constituyen, la pugna que mantenemos con el Doppelgänger, ese otro que nos posee y nos reemplaza, porque si Rayuela es muchos libros, los humanos también somos muchos humanos, mucho más que la (a menudo única) máscara con la que nos presentamos a diario, porque como dice Horacio “yo en realidad no tengo nada que ver conmigo mismo”. La vida entendida como búsqueda, como desencuentro, como incertidumbre, Horacio siempre buscando el centro, ¿el centro de qué?. Me gustan las reflexiones de Morelli, que habla por boca de Cortázar para reflexionar sobre el acto de escribir, sobre el papel de la literatura, sobre la posibilidad de acabar con la novela desde dentro. Rayuela es un artefacto narrativo, que rompe las reglas de la novela al uso, la narración lineal, ese FIN que tanto consuela. Rayuela es un paréntesis, un jirón, un desgarro, un juego, un cosmos jibarizado y durante algo más de una semana, mi pasatiempo favorito. ...le revienta la novela rollo chino. El libro que se lee del principio al final como un niño bueno. Ya te habrás fijado que cada vez le preocupa menos la ligazón de las partes, aquello de que una palabra trae la otra...Rayuela es el universo en una dimensión, el encuentro entre el cielo y la tierra, y nosotros arrieritos, que moviendo el tejo, moviendo la piedra, nuestra cruz, tratamos de dar el salto definitivo al más allá, al cielo, o al limbo, o quizás a la nada de la que vinimos.Las páginas están llenas de música, de canciones de jazz, que suenan en vivo, o que nos asaltan desde un vinilo. Una música, un swing, que Cortázar también dice buscar en sus relatos, y que también está contenido en las páginas de esta novela, que puede resultar a ratos más o menos inteligible pero siempre fluida. Una novela que se da el lujo de meter de rondón las palabras de Ceferino, y su nuevo orden mundial, una ida de olla literaria memorable, donde Cortázar dotado por el don de la oportunidad y la ocasión, como su Horacio, coge cosas que encuentra por ahí y las recicla, las embute en el texto, que este devora.Más que abundar en la reseña (donde podía estar hasta mañana a estas horas transcribiendo los múltiples párrafos que he subrayado), sirvan estas letras para animaros a leer Rayuela, a perderle el miedo a la novela, a disfrutar de Cortázar, de su inteligencia, de su humor, de su imaginación, de su sensibilidad, de la pulpa de su prosa; ese espejo donde reconocernos, espejo roto, sí, pero espejo. Una prosa imantada capaz de aglutinar las limaduras de la realidad, capaz de enhebrar el universo.Pienso en el escritor como en aquel socorrista que practicando el boca a boca, salva una vida. Cortázar hace algo parecido, coge un texto, un alud de palabras, y las vivifica, y entonces el lector tiene la sensación de estar leyendo con la misma ilusión de la vez primera. Dijo Cortázar: “Bueno, hay un libro, esto es prosa, que yo salvaría, y es el Ulises. Yo pienso que el Ulises en alguna medida resume toda la literatura universal”.Próxima parada: Dublín.Pd. En el libro Fin de Poema, de Juan Tallón, tenemos a Pizarnik encargada de pasar a máquina Rayuela de Cortázar, ensimismada de tal manera con la lectura de la novela, al punto de hacer dejación de sus funciones de mecanógrafa y finalmente desapareciendo (temporalmente) el manuscrito en su casa, para desesperación del escritor.

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-03-07 05:43

    Many writers of the twentieth century tried to make literature resemble many other things… Thus Julio Cortázar turned his novel into a children’s game Hopscotch so that a reader would be obliged to leap from chapter to chapter like a flea.Writers go in a voluntary exile not to see exotic places – they seek birds of a feather, they want to be in a flock of those who would understand them and reciprocate…“…under the eaves of vomity nights of music and tobacco and little meannesses and all kinds of exchanges, because underneath and on top of it all I had refused to pretend like normal bohemians that the chaos of my affairs and finances was some sort of higher spiritual order or something else with an equally disgusting label, nor had I accepted the notion that all one needed was just one split second of decency to crawl out from the midst of so much filthy cotton.”But bread of exile remains bitter all the same…Ultimately Hopscotch becomes a metaphor of cognizance and unconscious, of order and chaos, of searching and finding, of finding and losing…

  • Simona
    2019-03-20 01:38

    O experienţă literară dificilă, complexă, cu două variante posibile de lectură. Cartea nu se citeşte cursiv, începând cu pagina 1 si terminând cu ultima, ci se urmează indicaţiile autorului: "acum sari la pagina 116"; "acum treci la Capitolul 8"; "acum citeşte Capitolul 2", acum revino la pagina 1" etc. şi fiecare din cele două variante de a o citi are propria ei poveste, propria trăire, propriul mesaj, diferite de ale celeilalte, plăsmuindu-ți astfel propriul Șotron, cel personal și extrem de intim.Punțile se multiplică la final și, la capătul Șotronului, vei constata că ai fost in egală masură autor si cititor, păpușar si păpușă, vânător si vânat. Și vei vedea că ai compus singur o întreagă simfonie a eșecului, a ratării, a eforturilor inutile de umplere a golurilor existențiale, bucurându-te mai apoi că nu ți s-au făcut țăndări neuronii și te-ai salvat de capcanele afective bipolare în care a călcat și, în cele din urmă, a eșuat sărmanul Horacio Oliveira: „Paşii mei de pe această stradă Răsună pe o alta.“

  • Leonel
    2019-03-01 06:51

    Rayuela es distinto a todo lo que leí hasta ahora. Cortázar va mas allá, no solo por el plus de poder leerlo desordenado, va mas allá en la forma de narrar. Es un escritor especial, con cada renglón te hace pensar las cosas desde otro plano. Es un grandísimo observador, tiene esa habilidad que tienen los niños y los grandes artistas, de ver una cosa y a partir de ella descubrir millones. Los humanos normales perdemos esa habilidad cuando crecemos, Cortázar la mantiene intacta. Leer este libro es una oportunidad de interactuar con una persona así, con un niño que creció, que maduró, que ahora está inmerso en una vida de adulto, con experiencias y dilemas a los cuales nos lleva la vida moderna, pero que mantiene toda esa imaginación, curiosidad y perspectiva de un chico.

  • A.J. Howard
    2019-02-21 05:39

    Coming up with an adequate reaction to Hopscotch involves a bit of a paradox. For instance, try this: Hopscotch is a really great book, but I would have liked it more if I didn't hate it so much. How about this, Hopscotchis a bore and a struggle to get through, but it's also one of the most brilliantly breathtaking books I've ever read. The best analogy I can think of to explain this reaction to Cortázar's novel is that Hopscotch like an incredibly great computer or device application with an interface that makes it almost inoperable. If you have the patience, and the endurance, you can get a hang of it. But if you don't it's not worth the frustration. So, I guess the three star rating is an average. The novel itself probably deserves at least four stars, but I'm giving myself two stars as a reader of Hopscotch. I've talked before about the notion of a "difficult" novel. I'm not sure how the difficulty Cortázar presents compares to other things I've read, but I can say that Hopscotch is the most aggressively non-reader friendly novel I've ever read. By that, I'm not saying that the novel sneers at you with contempt or calls your mother ugly names. What I mean is that it's very hard to "get lost in a book" with Hopscotch. You're forcibly reminded throughout almost the whole experience that you're reading a book, it's a real struggle to get into that zen-like trance where you can read for an hour and not notice the time go bye. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps most notably, Cortázar structures his novel in an innovative way. The 'proper narrative,' which is around 350 pages long, is followed by another 200 pages of additional material. Before the narrative begins, Cortázar explains that the novel was designed to be read in one of two ways. Either straight through, stopping at the end of the 'proper' narrative, or 'hopscotching' around the book, alternating between the 'proper' chapters and the 'additional' chapters. Seems fun, right? Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book for big kids! Except, not really. There are three things that make this less fun than it would first appear. First, Cortázar's prose, while at times brilliant, is incredibly dense. Dense on multiple levels actually: long clause-stuffed sentences, use of archaic or specialized terms, paragraphs that go on for pages without much happening (plus the font is really small). For me, Cortázar's writing both evokes Pynchon and Kerouac, with both the good things and the bad things that those comparisons entail. Secondly,, the vast majority of the chapters are very short, often no more than a paragraph long. While this may seem welcome on some level, it can lend to a disruptive reading experience, when you have to flip through the book to another short chapter soon after. Finally, there really isn't any plot to speak of, and to the extent that there is one, it doesn't matter. While there is a beginning, middle, and end in Hopscotch if you need some kind of traditional narrative, you'd be best to avoid this book. Each of the se elements, taken on their own may aren't really deal-breakers. But their combination creates a perfect storm of unreadability, at least to readers like me who might not have the longest attention spans unless they are completely engaged in something. That being said, there are parts of Hopscotch that are really, really great. Like, highlighting every word on two pages in a row great. Like, some of the greatest set pieces I ever read great. I couldn't help but notice that I enjoyed the book a lot more at night, when I had nothing to distract me. I've read five-star reviews that cited specific scenes that I completely agree with. I'm willing to admit that I may have missed on the intrinsic worth of some parts that I hated merely because I wasn't in the right frame of mind. The novel is like certain difficult family members, you really love them, but you just can't stomach being in the same room as them. That being said, I'm really glad that I have read Hopscotch while I never want to read it again. Well, maybe in some circumstances, I'd be willing to give it another go. In fact perhaps the truest thing I can say is that Hopscotch would be a great book to be have on a shelf if you were trapped alone in a nuclear bunker with nothing but, a supply of mate, and gallons of amphetamine.

  • Agustina
    2019-02-25 05:53

    "Andábamos sin buscarnos pero sabiendo que andábamos para encontrarnos"Bello, bello, bello. Uno de mis libros favoritos que leería mil veces, ordenado y desordenado.

  • RK-ique
    2019-03-22 01:57

    Six weeks later. There are lots of reviews to read about Hopscotch here so these are just my impressions. A much read and highly rated book. I’ve given it four stars because six weeks or so after finishing it, it’s still with me. Plenty of images - plenty of questions - plenty of nostalgia. The principal character, Horacio, is apparently on a quest. He, and all of his Parisian friends, are looking for something in life. “What is he searching for? Is he searching for himself? He would not be searching for himself if he had not already found himself.”But Horacio is over 40 and has not managed to find any idea as to how to live in the world. (Even I had at least managed to settle some aspects of myself by age 35.)(But maybe I just gave up.) I am left with the question here as to how the author, Julio Cortázar, viewed his own creation. Complete loser? Mentally ill? Horacio is definitely not a sympathetic character. Indeed, I simply never liked him. He showed no empathy for anyone. He used others. He took no responsibility for himself. A strange leading character. And yet ....I identify with Horacio and his quest, as do many other readers apparently ... especially younger readers ... and maybe those like me who are on an endless quest for ... something that will make life ... a good life? But what is, or isn’t, a “good life”? I’m well beyond Horacio’s age and still struggle with the question. “If he had made any choice when he was young it was that he would not defend himself with the rapid and anxious accumulation of ‘culture’, the favorite dodge of the Argentine middle class to avoid facing national reality, or any other reality for that matter, and to think of themselves as safe from the emptiness surrounding them.”Is Cortázar criticizing Horacio or sympathizing with him in his stand against the world? Horacio is never a sympathetic character despite his obvious (heroic?) struggles to confront life’s deepest questions.To a large extent, I see the book as being a product of time and place. It takes place in the 1950s. (If we were in New York the background would be Beatnik or Beat.) The Club , Horacio’s group of confrères in París, is influenced by the intellectual ambiance of the time: Jazz, literature, art, Buddhism. There is a sense of potential growth of the individual, something Horacio craves but is unable to grasp. Of course, there is a generational pattern here that many young people want to reject the mores of their parents, of their society, and search for something better. Why would any conscientious young person not question the world they are inheriting and their own role in it. There must be a better way. Thus the ongoing appeal of this book, those of Jack Kerouac, Hermann Hesse, Nietzsche and on and on. Yes, I am able to relate to Horacio’s quest. I am not able to relate to his attitude, his selfishness, his lack of responsibility to others ... he’s over forty and has no idea of his own role in the lives of others. I still don’t like him. What is the “good life”? Cortázar seems to believe that there is none, at least for Horacio who appears to be doomed to screwing up. Horacio fails completely in Paris. The promise of the questing for that holy grail with the Club is lost ... literature, jazz, love, alcohol hold no answers. The parts of the book in Buenos Aires are very different. For Horacio, the quest seems to be over. Here that strange, wonderful place called Buenos Aires sets its own ambiance on the story. Horacio is no longer searching for a ‘good life’. He only seeks to live. But he is still not a sympathetic character to me. He is my lost brother.

  • Guille
    2019-03-22 05:45

    En una entrevista, Cortázar exponía que su mayor sorpresa después de publicar Rayuela fue que este encajó más con la juventud que con los lectores de su generación. A mí me sorprende que esto le sorprendiera. Yo me enamoré de él en mi juventud. Después he cuestionado muchos de sus planteamientos, pero ello no ha impedido que me siga magnetizando su libertad, su pasión, y la forma tan maravillosa de exponerlas. Rayuela es una novela inclasificable, que se escapa de cualquier análisis, un libro que se lee con la piel. Algo así como esto (parafraseando a Cortázar):En realidad no pasa nada grave pero ser idiota lo pone a uno completamente aparte, y aunque tiene sus cosas buenas es evidente que de a ratos hay como una nostalgia, un deseo de cruzar a la vereda de enfrente donde amigos están reunidos en una misma inteligencia y comprensión, y frotarse un poco contra ellos para sentir que no hay diferencia apreciable y que todo va benissimo. Lo triste es que todo va malissimo cuando uno es idiota, por ejemplo con Rayuela, yo leo Rayuela con amigos y es seguro que apenas empiece a leer voy a encontrar que todo es una maravilla. Me divierto o me conmuevo enormemente, los diálogos o las digresiones del autor me llegan como visiones sobrenaturales, y a veces me lloran los ojos o me río hasta el borde del pis, y en todo caso me alegro de vivir y de haber tenido la suerte de encontrarme con este libro que me muestra cosas que jamás se habían imaginado antes, inventando un lugar de revelación y de encuentro, algo que lava de los momentos en que no ocurre nada más que lo que ocurre todo el tiempo. Y así estoy deslumbrado y tan contento cuando llega el momento de comentarlo entusiasmado, y digo a mis amigos que el libro es una maravilla y que la escena en que la Maga, o cuando Oliveira dice. Mis amigos también han disfrutado, pero de pronto me doy cuenta (ese instante tiene algo de herida, de agujero ronco y húmedo) que su diversión no ha sido como la mía, y también me doy cuenta de que están diciendo con suma sensatez e inteligencia que el libro es bonito y que los personajes están muy bien caracterizados, pero que desde luego no hay gran originalidad en las ideas y cosas y cosas. Cuando mis amigos dicen eso -lo dicen amablemente, sin ninguna agresividad- yo comprendo que soy idiota, y comprendo perfectamente cuánta razón tienen y cómo el libro no ha de ser tan bueno como a mí me parecía (pero en realidad a mí no me parecía que fuese bueno ni malo ni nada, sencillamente estaba transportado por lo que ocurría como idiota que soy, y me bastaba para salirme y andar por ahí donde me gusta andar cada vez que puedo, y puedo tan poco). Y jamás se me ocurriría discutir con mis amigos porque sé que tienen razón y que en realidad han hecho muy bien en no dejarse ganar por el entusiasmo, puesto que los placeres de la inteligencia y la sensibilidad deben nacer de un juicio ponderado y sobre todo de una actitud comparativa, basarse como dijo Epicteto en lo que ya se conoce para juzgar lo que se acaba de conocer, pues eso y no otra cosa es la cultura y la sofrosine. Rayuela es dos personajes, la Maga y Horacio Oliveira.Horacio es un ser egotista, angustiado por encontrar su centro de gravedad permanente (“Se puede matar todo menos la nostalgia del reino, la llevamos en el color de los ojos, en cada amor, en todo lo que profundamente atormenta y desata y engaña), alguien cuya alma quiere, intuye, y su razón, su inteligencia, no puede, no alcanza, Oliveira es la pura contradicción, es la intelectualidad que, sin embargo, desde que era un niño y "se me cae algo al suelo tengo que levantarlo, sea lo que sea, porque si no lo hago va a ocurrir una desgracia, no a mí sino a alguien a quien amo y cuyo nombre empieza con la inicial del objeto caído". La Maga, con ese aire como de unicornio, vive en un mundo simple, intuitivo, primario, un mundo en el que uno se puede mover "como un caballo de ajedrez que se moviera como una torre que se moviera como un alfil"; es la libertad, la que encuentra sin buscar mientras que Oliveira busca incansablemente sin encontrar. La maga es una posible luz para Horacio pero también el espejo donde Horacio ve su terrible verdad. Horacio envidia y desprecia el mundo de la Maga. No le vale la lotería que te otorga o te niega el poder creer sin ver, "el estar dentro de la pieza, el ser pez río abajo, hoja en el árbol, nube en el cielo, imagen en el poema. Pez, hoja, nube, imagen: exactamente eso, a menos que...". Horacio ama a la Maga y tiene miedo de ese amor que encasilla, como tiene pavor a todo lo sentido por otros, a todo lo que les vale a los otros, únicamente porque es de otros. Horacio necesita a la Maga y se aleja de ella porque sería “una traición vestida de trabajo satisfactorio, de alegrías cotidianas, de conciencia satisfecha, de deber cumplido”. No le valen ninguna de las “verdades” ya inventadas. Sentir, actuar como los otros le parece sospechoso, le parece que no es sentir ni actuar sino ser empujado por caminos ya abiertos y por tanto artificiales, no sinceros, moldes que otros han construido y utilizado innumerables veces. Y siempre, siempre, siempre con la amarga intuición de que quizás solo sea necesario quedarse arrobado delante de la cola de un modesto 3.

  • FotisK
    2019-03-07 06:58

    Γιατί "Κουτσό"; Η απάντηση σχετίζεται με την ανάγνωση του έργου που… χοροπηδά από το ένα κεφάλαιο στο άλλο, μεταφέροντάς μας βήμα το βήμα σε διαφορετική κατεύθυνση και προσανατολισμό. Η γραμμική πορεία του κειμένου, όπως έχουμε συνηθίσει να την αντιλαμβανόμαστε και να την περιμένουμε, διαρρηγνύεται εκούσια στο "Κουτσό", το οποίο επιζητά την εγρήγορση και την ενεργό συμμετοχή του αναγνώστη του. Εξ ου και η προτροπή του συγγραφέα να διαβαστεί το έργο ξανά και ξανά με διαφορετικούς τρόπους, μέχρις ότου ο αναγνώστης ανακαλύψει τη δική του αρίθμηση, αναδιατάσσοντας το κείμενο στο δικό του τρόπο σκέψης… nunc et semper. Η εμπειρία της ανάγνωσης τελικά για τον Κορτάσαρ είναι "δίκοπο μαχαίρι".Από τη μια πλευρά έχουμε τον παθητικό αναγνώστη που αφήνεται στην απόλαυση αποκλειστικά μέσω των δεξιοτήτων και της εμπειρίας του συγγραφέα, αναμένοντας την οργασμική πνευματική κορύφωση, για την οποία έχει εξάλλου πληρώσει το αντίτιμο. Από την άλλη έχουμε τον "Κορτασικό" αναγνώστη, οτρηρό, ενεργητικό, "εις έγκαυλον περιπάθεια" (κατά Εμπειρίκο) που τρυγεί σταλιά-σταλιά την ηδονή της τυπωμένης σελίδας, αναζητώντας ταυτόχρονη κορύφωση με τον συγγραφέα.Ναι, τελικά για τον Κορτάσαρ και το ανεξάντλητο "Κουτσό" ο καλός Αναγνώστης είναι αυτό που περιέγραψε ο άλλος Μέγας Αργεντινός ως "το σπανιότερο είδος κύκνου, ακόμα σπανιότερο και από έναν καλό συγγραφέα".

  • Mala
    2019-03-15 05:48

    4.5 stars.Must one stay in the center of the crossroads, then, like the hub of a wheel? What good is it to know or to think we know that every road is false if we don’t walk with an idea that is not the road itself? We’re not Buddha, and there are no trees here to sit under in the lotus position. A cop appears and asks for your identity card.Only by living absurdly is it possible to break out of this infinite absurdity.Once all roads led to Rome, later they led to Paris.The 'City of Lights' where the bohemians arrived, hoping to absorb its culture & sophistication as if by osmosis. Such is the Serpent Club — a ragtag bunch of artists, musicians, & self-styled philosophers in '50s Paris, who spend all their time in 'deep' & freewheeling discussions on the nature of reality, meaning of life, search for unity & so on. It's not that they are not aware of the empty nature of their existence: (view spoiler)["He (Horatio) walks around here the way other people look for flight in voodoo or marijuana, Pierre Boulez or Tinguely’s painting-machines. He guesses that in some part of Paris, some day or some death or some meeting will show him a key; he’s searching for it like a madman. Note that I said like a madman. I mean that he really doesn’t know that he’s looking for the key, or that the key exists. He has an inkling of its shapes, its disguises; that’s why I was talking about a metaphor.""Underneath it all,” Ronald said, “what bothers you is legality in all its forms. As soon as a thing begins to function well, you feel trapped. But all of us are a little like that, a band of what they call failures because we don’t have professions, degrees, and all that. That’s why we’re in Paris, man, and your famous absurdity is reduced once and for all to a kind of vague, anarchic ideal that you’ll never be able to define in concrete terms.""You and the others …” murmured Gregorovius, looking for his pipe. “What a bunch, my God. Thieves of eternity, atmospheric frauds, hounds of God, cloud-chasers. It’s good we’ve got an education and can define them. Astral swine." (hide spoiler)]One feels all this endless sterile talk, the dissolute lifestyle, is to keep the terror of reality/life at bay, most concretely presented in chapter 28. Pretty Dostoevskian that!Hopscotch deals in dialectics — thought/action, order/chaos, success/failure, etc; the opposing ideas/forces in life & their respective pull & the need to find meaning in their synthesis, metaphorically presented in the humble hopscotch drawing:Hopscotch is played with a pebble that you move with the tip of your toe. The things you need: a sidewalk, a pebble, a toe, and a pretty chalk drawing, preferably in colors. On top is Heaven, on the bottom is Earth, it’s very hard to get the pebble up to Heaven, you almost always miscalculate and the stone goes off the drawing. But little by little you start to get the knack of how to jump over the different squares (spiral hopscotch, rectangular hopscotch, fantasy hopscotch, not played very often) and then one day you learn how to leave Earth and make the pebble climb up into Heaven. After a tragic incident in Paris, protagonist Horatio Oliveira returns to his native Buenos Aires & reunites with his old buddy & foil Traveler and his wife Talita. Complications ensue...Like Meursault, Horatio will not have others pity:It would have been so easy to organize a coherent scheme, an order of thought and life, a harmony. All that was needed was the usual hypocrisy, elevate the past to the value of experience, derive profit from the wrinkles on one’s face, from the knowing look one sees in smiles and silences after forty years. Then one would put on a blue suit, comb one’s graying hair, and go to art galleries, to the Sociedad Argentina de Escritores and the Richmond bar, reconciled with the world. A discreet skepticism, an air of having returned, a measured entrance into maturity, into matrimony, into the paternal sermon at carving time or on receipt of an unsatisfactory report card. I am telling you this because I have lived longer than you. I’ve been around. When I was a boy. They’re all alike, te lo digo yo. I’m telling you this from my own experience, son. You don’t know what life is yet.Existential nature of this book would appeal to young ones who are forging their identities, making sense of the world around them, but it's rather pathetic when characters in their forties are still confused about who they are, what they want & how they want it!Shakespeare's Horatio was happy being a man of thought; Cortázar's Horatio has to contend with Hamlet's dilemma as well— to be or not to be. Mahabharata's Arjuna, whom Horatio often invokes, chose righteous action as guided by Krishna, but Horatio is doomed with the half-baked theories of his idol - the writer Morelli.The 'expendable' chapters flesh out the arbitrary gaps in the normal version & provide insight into Horatio's mental makeup & the reason for his irrational behaviour. They also provide a meta commentary as Hopscotch novel shares many of Morelli's fictional theories: (view spoiler)[ Chapter 79 - is Cortázar here describing his own book? Morelli's notes seem to suggest that.To provoke, assume a text that is out of line, untied, incongruous, minutely antinovelistic (although not antinovelish). Without prohibiting the genre’s great effects if the situation should require it, but keeping in mind the Gidean advice, ne jamais profiter de l’élan acquis. Like all creatures of choice in the Western world, the novel is content in a closed order. Resolutely opposed to this, we should search here for an opening and therefore cut the roots of all systematic construction of characters and situations. Method: irony, ceaseless self-criticism, incongruity, imagination in the service of no one.Also chapter 62:If I were to write this book, standard behavior (including the most unusual, its deluxe category) would be inexplicable by means of current instrumental psychology. The actors would appear to be unhealthy or complete idiots. Not that they would show themselves incapable of current challenges and responses: love, jealousy, pity, and so on down the line, but in them something which Homo sapiens keeps subliminal would laboriously open up a road as if a third eye were blinking out with effort from under the frontal bone. Everything would be a kind of disquiet, a continuous uprooting, a territory where psychological causality would yield disconcertedly, and those puppets would destroy each other or love each other or recognize each other without suspecting too much that life is trying to change its key in and through and by them.And chapter 124. (hide spoiler)]Hopscotch is a sad, beautifully written book that accurately captures the loneliness of people who belong neither here nor there. It's a book enhanced by its playful structure & a highly impressive translation by Gregory Rabassa. The book mimics the game of hopscotch & becomes an adventure in reading.Ultimately it's about experimenting with & amalgamating two (or maybe more) modes of narrative structures & likewise experiencing a higher mode of consciousness where the real & the fantastical coexist. Language often fails at conveying that heightened state of being & that is what Cortázar is grappling with.4.5 stars for the overall reading experience, nicking .5 for that atrocious chapter 41, yeah that bridge-building one, and to think Cortázar started Hopscotch with that chapter! For the skeptics I'd suggest sampling chapters 8, 21, 23, 28, 34, & 48, although chapter 28 would be spoilerish. In fact, I'm surprised by the easy popularity of this book because it makes no concession to the popular taste. There's chapter 133 which will drive you up the wall!It's a terrible job, splashing around in a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, to use the language of scholasticism. What is being searched for? What is being searched for? Repeat it fifteen thousand times, like hammer-blows on the wall. What is being searched for? What is that conciliation without which life doesn’t go beyond being an obscure joke?****************One question from the readers of Hopscotch - The members of the Serpent Club discuss art, music, philosophy, life, etc, & without exception we hate them & call them vain & pretentious. Yet these very topics, when discussed on the various threads on GR are taken to be robust dialogues!Why the distinction? Is it because we know about the inner lives of these fictional characters but not when it comes to the GoodReaders?!I think in the virtual world, Horatio & his gang would've been treated as hipsters & the former would've found no dearth of La Magas to choose from. Just sayin...

  • Eirini D
    2019-03-13 04:03

    Θα ήθελα να είμαι στην ευχάριστη θέση να γράψω μια ''σοβαρή'' κριτική για Το Κουτσό αλλά αυτό θα προϋπέθετε μια δεύτερη απαραιτήτως ανάγνωση. Το αναφέρουν εξάλλου οι οδηγίες ανάγνωσης του βιβλίου (έχει και από αυτές!). Για να γίνω πιο σαφής, το βιβλίο αυτό μπορεί να διαβαστεί με δυο ή και παραπάνω τρόπους. Αυτόν που γνωρίζουμε όλοι: ξεκινώντας από την πρώτη σελίδα και καταλήγοντας στην τελευταία και έναν δεύτερο που προτείνεται από τον συγγραφέα αφού έχει διαβαστεί πρώτα με τον συνηθισμένο τρόπο. Στην περίπτωση αυτή ο αναγνώστης ακολουθεί μια μη κανονική-αύξουσα σειρά των κεφαλαίων: ξεκινάει από το κεφάλαιο 73, συνεχίζει στο 1 και προχωράει στην ανάγνωση των κεφαλαίων, σύμφωνα με τη σειρά που δίνεται στην εισαγωγή. Σαν να παίζεις δηλαδή κουτσό, όχι όμως στα ζωγραφισμένα κουτάκια του πλακόστρωτου αλλά μεταξύ των κεφαλαίων. Για ποιο λόγο γίνεται όλο αυτό; Σύμφωνα με τον συγγραφέα, σκοπός του είναι να ενεργοποιήσει τον παθητικό αναγνώστη που διαβάζει μηχανικά και ενδιαφέρεται μόνο για το τέλος.Για να είμαι ειλικρινής ξεκίνησα να το διαβάζω με το δεύτερο τρόπο αλλά με κούρασαν τα συνεχή μπρος πίσω και επιπλέον έχανα τον ειρμό και το νήμα της πλοκής. Έτσι αποφάσισα να το διαβάσω με τον κανονικό τρόπο. Στα δυο πρώτα μέρη που εκτυλίσσεται η πλοκή της υπόθεσης δεν είχα πρόβλημα. Στο τρίτο όμως μέρος που είναι συμπληρωματικό-επεξηγηματικό, στοχαστικό και δεν ξέρω και εγώ τι άλλο, καταλαβαίνεις κανείς ότι η ανάγνωσή του έχει νόημα μόνο σε συνάρτηση με τα δυο πρώτα μέρη. Λίγα λόγια για την υπόθεση. Στο πρώτο μέρος, που διαδραματίζεται στο Παρίσι, διαβάζουμε τις φιλοσοφικές, υπαρξιακές και κυρίως λογοτεχνικές αναζητήσεις μια παρέας σχετικά νέων ανθρώπων με βασικό πρωταγωνιστή τον αργεντινό Ολιβέιρα. Ο Ολιβέιρα ζει μαζί με την Μάγα και το μωρό της, με την οποία επικοινωνούν καλά στο ερωτικό κομμάτι, όχι όμως και στο πνευματικό. Ο Ολιβέιρα δεν σταματά να ειρωνεύεται την Μάγα γιατί δεν έχει ούτε αρκετές γνώσεις ούτε μπορεί να καταλάβει τους περίπλοκους συλλογισμούς και την σκέψη του. Βέβαια παραδέχεται κάποιες στιγμές ότι εκείνη καταφέρνει να βλέπει την ουσία των πραγμάτων χωρίς να σκέφτεται ιδιαίτερα, σε αντίθεση με τον ίδιο. Αυτοί οι δύο περιστοιχίζονται από τους φίλους τους με τους οποίους συνευρίσκονται σε μια άτυπη λέσχη, την Λέσχη του Φιδιού. Ένα από τα θέματα που τους απασχολεί, είναι το πώς πρέπει να γράφεται ένα μυθιστόρημα και αναφέρονται συχνά σε έναν συγγραφέα, ονόματι Μορέλι, ο οποίος αναζητά τη φόρμα, τη γλώσσα και το ύφος που πρέπει να έχει το ιδανικό μυθιστόρημα. Πολύ πιθανό, ο Κορτάσαρ επινοώντας τον Μορέλι, να επικοινωνεί με τους αναγνώστες τις δικές του ιδέες περί λογοτεχνίας.''Σε κάποιο σημείο ο Μορέλι προσπαθούσε να δικαιολογήσει την έλλειψη αφηγηματικού ειρμού, υποστηρίζοντας ότι η ζωή των άλλων, έτσι όπως φτάνει ως εμάς μέσα από τη λεγόμενη πραγματικότητα, δεν είναι κινηματογράφος αλλά φωτογραφία, πράγμα που σημαίνει πως δεν είμαστε ικανοί να συλλάβουμε τη δράση, παρά μόνο τα ελεατικώς καταχωρημένα θραύσματά της''.Στο δεύτερο μέρος ο Ολιβέιρα εγκαταλείπει το Παρίσι και την Μάγα μετά από ένα τραγικό γεγονός, και γυρίζει στην Αργεντινή. Εκεί, περνάει τον καιρό του με τον φίλο του Τράβελερ και τη γυναίκα του Ταλίτα, με τους οποίους αναπτύσσει μια πολύ καλή φιλική σχέση. Στο πρόσωπο όμως της Ταλίτας, ο Ολιβέιρα αρχίζει να βλέπει τη Μάγα και κάπου προς το τέλος του βιβλίου (της υπόθεσης) χάνει κατά κάποιο τρόπο τα λογικά του. Το τρίτο μέρος, όπως ανέφερα και πιο πάνω έχει περισσότερο νόημα όταν διαβάζεται με τον δεύτερο τρόπο ανάγνωσης . Σε αυτό ο συγγραφέας, πέρα των άλλων, παραθέτει αποσπάσματα από κείμενα άλλων στοχαστών και συγγραφέων που επίσης δίνουν έμφαση στις ιδέες που προσπαθεί να μεταφέρει στον αναγνώστη.Για να πιάσει κανείς το Κουτσό στα χέρια του, πέρα του ότι πρέπει να είναι απόλυτα συγκεντρωμένος, θα πρέπει να έχει διαβάσει αρκετά στη ζωή του, να γνωρίζει τα ονόματα και το έργο αρκετών συγγραφέων, αρκετά γαλλικά (το τελευταίο γιατί ο μεταφραστής δεν μπήκε στο κόπο να τα μεταφράσει για εμάς τους μη γνωρίζοντες) και πάνω από όλα να είναι έτοιμος να αντιμετωπίσει ένα δύσκολο σε φιλοσοφικά νοήματα βιβλίο. Για να είμαι ειλικρινής, δεν κατάφερα σε αρκετά σημεία του βιβλίου, να μπω στο μυαλό του συγγραφέα και δεν ήταν λίγες οι φορές που νόμιζα ότι γράφει μόνο για τον εαυτό του, προσπαθώντας να βάλει σε τάξη όσα τον απασχολούσαν. Παρ’ όλα αυτά υπήρχαν πολλά σημεία που θα τα χαρακτήριζα διαμαντάκια μόνο και μόνο γιατί σε βάζει να σκεφθείς πράγματα μη συμβατικά, και γενικά γιατί σε βάζει να σκεφθείς, πολύ. Δεν απορώ που αρκετοί το θεωρούν ένα αριστουργηματικό βιβλίο.4 αστεράκια για την πρώτη ανάγνωση και ίσως, αν ξαναπέσει στα χέρια μου μελλοντικά, να του χαρίσω και το 5ο. Και κάτι ακόμα: είμαι σίγουρη ότι αυτό το βιβλίο ''μιλάει'' διαφορετικά στον καθένα που θα το διαβάσει…

  • Glire
    2019-03-16 01:44

    "Sólo viviendo absurdamente se podría romper alguna vez este absurdo infinito." Capítulos sin orden especifico, poesía, música y metáforas, millones de metáforas, conforman esta maravillosa obra, en la que Horacio recorre las calles de París y nos cuenta de su relación con la Maga, una mujer ignorante, pero que, si nos damos cuenta bien, sabe más que Horacio, porque la Maga sabe vivir. Adicionalmente Horacio y la Maga conviven con un grupo de amigos bohemios, con quienes tienen conversaciones repletas de frases incoherentes y memorables.Una vista a un París teñido de gris, de puentes, de encuentros y desencuentros. Una vista a un mundo real y melancólico. Una vista a tu propia mente, porque este libro te hace pensar y cambiar tu forma de ver la vida.Rayuela se ha convertido en mi biblia; nada como abrir el libro en un capitulo al azar y, maravillosamente, encontrar el mensaje, la respuesta, que buscabas. Este libro puede leerse como se desee, de principio a fin, de fin a principio, con el orden determinado o sin orden alguno. Cada capitulo encierra su propia historia, de principio a fin, por lo que es como un combinado de historias que se tejen para conformar una totalidad. ¡Y que totalidad!No recomendado si buscas una lectura ligera, o una historia estructurada. Lee y relee todo lo necesario. Lee Rayuela como si se tratara de un gran poema y así podrás disfrutar de su gran belleza. Si tuviera que cruzar mil puentes para encontrar este libro, lo haría, y sería una divina casualidad.