on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 14 Jan

About jazz, jazz, jazz, friendship, love, sex, tea, and loss

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Julio Cortazar’s RAYUELA is one of the best books I ever read aside from a dozen others, among them Steve Erickson’s „Rubicon Beach“. In England it has been translated under the title „Hopscotch“. Here’s someone writing about the book without giving away too much – he doesn’t even mention the key themes mentioned in the title above. i found it very easy ro read. The German translation is brilliant, too. And, while reading, you might get addicted to Mate Tea, and very old jazz records!  Oliveira is a disenchanted Argentine intellectual, who goes to Paris in search of ‚the centre‘ which will cure his metaphysical angst. He spends his time with a group of similar spirits, who call themselves The Serpent Club, but his destructive behaviour splits the group forever and results in his being sent back to Argentina. Once in Buenos Aires, he meets an old friend and progresses through a circus and a mental asylum on the way to a tense ending in which he finds meaning through a ball of string, several buckets of water and a staple gun.

Cortazar’s acclaimed masterpiece represents his attempt to redefine both the novel form and the Spanish language. This is a novel whose chapters can be read in any order, although the author does suggest a preferred sequence which leads to the shattering climax described above. This is not an easy novel to read; Cortazar explicitly dismisses the passive reader, and in this text makes it impossible for him/her to understand what is happening. The effort required is well worth it, however, as the depth behind this, the quintessential ‚Boom Novel‘, is incredible, and it will keep you coming back for years. The best intellectual work-out I have yet experienced; give it a go!“

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