Julio Cortázar


Probably Cortázar's most famous book, Hopscotch has been called "fiendishly esoteric" by Salman Rushdie.

Hopscotch (1966). Translated by Gregory Rabassa from Rayuela (1963)

A book river of 700 pages, and 155 chapters, which is given to reading in two ways, either in a linear way, from chapter 1 to chapter 56, or in the order given by the author, and which starts from chapter 73, to 1 - 2 - 116 - 3 - 84 - 71 - 5 - 81 - 74... to finish chapter 131.

The chapters between the parts are quite alternate. Precise Cortazar in the preamble that those reading according to axis 1, from chapter 1 to 56, there, in a linear way, can give up without remorse the continuation. The book is cut out in 3 parts: "Other side", "on this side", "all the sides". The last 99, collated under a section called "expendable chapters" which starts page 365 of the book, is the essay "part" of the book, whereas the two first are the account " part ". After the chapter 28, we leave for 22 chapters the story " part ", whereas before, there was an alternation between 1 or 2 chapters at the maximum.

Thus, if one chooses the axis number 2, the reading is thus carried out in a nonlinear, sailing way of chapter to chapter, stopping the story " part " to go on the essay " part " and conversely, and that on 155 chapters. The essay " part " evokes reflexions on the novel, art, the literature, the writing in general, without inevitably that there is a unit in these chapters, or at least a continuity. As for the history of the a story " part ", it acts more than one narration on the character who is also the author of the book, in his everyday life, between Paris and Buenos Aires, a kind of ambulation of a youth vis-a-vis at one time which moves, full with innovations, contradictions...

Thus jumping of chapter in chapter, CORTAZAR affirms that he wants to make the reader " male ", i.e. active, and either " female ", liability according to its terms.

Due to its meandering nature, Hopscotch has been called a Proto-hypertext novel. It was probably Hopscotch that Cortázar had in mind when he said "If I had the technical means to print my own books, I think I would keep on producing collage-books".

La página de Julio Cortázar. Great pages on Cortázar ... in Spanish

A biographical note on Cortázar

An excerpt from Hopscotch

Article: The Maternal Figure as Object of Desire in the Short Stories of Julio Cortázar

Articles on Hopscotch in the Library:

Fuentes, Carlos, and Lindstrom, Naomi. "Hopscotch: The Novel as Pandora's Box" The Review of Contemporary Fiction 3-3 (1983) 86-88

Williams, Linda L. "Edenic Nostalgia and the Play of Mirrors in Hopscotch and One Hundred Years of Solitude" Latin American Literary Review 11, (1977): p. 53-67

Other articles available through ILL

Topic for Paper # 3