Julio Cortázar quotes

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Julio Cortázar

Birthdate: 26. August 1914
Date of death: 12. February 1984

Julio Cortázar, born Jules Florencio Cortázar , was an Argentine novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe.

Works

„Now I am an axolotl.“

—  Julio Cortázar

Source: Blow-Up and Other Stories

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„We went around without looking for each other, but knowing we went around to find each other.“

—  Julio Cortázar, book Hopscotch

Original: (gl) 'Andábamos sin buscarnos pero sabiendo que andábamos para encontrarnos.'
Source: Rayuela (Hopscotch) (1963), Chapter 1.

„Nothing is lost if one has the courage to proclaim that all is lost and we must begin anew.“

—  Julio Cortázar, book Hopscotch

Nada está perdido si se tiene el valor de proclamar que todo está perdido y hay que empezar de nuevo.
Source: Rayuela (Hopscotch) (1963), Chapter 71.

„"Hair loss and retrieval" (Translation of "Pérdida y recuperación del pelo")


To combat pragmatism and the horrible tendency to achieve useful purposes, my elder cousin proposes the procedure of pulling out a nice hair from the head, knotting it in the middle and droping it gently down the hole in the sink. If the hair gets caught in the grid that usually fills in these holes, it will just take to open the tap a little to lose sight of it.


Without wasting an instant, must start the hair recovery task. The first operation is reduced to dismantling the siphon from the sink to see if the hair has become hooked in any of the rugosities of the drain. If it is not found, it is necessary to expose the section of pipe that goes from the siphon to the main drainage pipe. It is certain that in this part will appear many hairs and we will have to count on the help of the rest of the family to examine them one by one in search of the knot. If it does not appear, the interesting problem of breaking the pipe down to the ground floor will arise, but this means a greater effort, because for eight or ten years we will have to work in a ministry or trading house to collect enough money to buy the four departments located under the one of my elder cousin, all that with the extraordinary disadvantage of what while working during those eight or ten years, the distressing feeling that the hair is no longer in the pipes anymore can not be avoided and that only by a remote chance remains hooked on some rusty spout of the drain.


The day will come when we can break the pipes of all the departments, and for months to come we will live surrounded by basins and other containers full of wet hairs, as well as of assistants and beggars whom we will generously pay to search, assort, and bring us the possible hairs in order to achieve the desired certainty. If the hair does not appear, we will enter in a much more vague and complicated stage, because the next section takes us to the city's main sewers. After buying a special outfit, we will learn to slip through the sewers at late night hours, armed with a powerful flashlight and an oxygen mask, and explore the smaller and larger galleries, assisted if possible by individuals of the underworld, with whom we will have established a relationship and to whom we will have to give much of the money that we earn in a ministry or a trading house.


Very often we will have the impression of having reached the end of the task, because we will find (or they will bring us) similar hairs of the one we seek; but since it is not known of any case where a hair has a knot in the middle without human hand intervention, we will almost always end up with the knot in question being a mere thickening of the caliber of the hair (although we do not know of any similar case) or a deposit of some silicate or any oxide produced by a long stay against a wet surface. It is probable that we will advance in this way through various sections of major and minor pipes, until we reach that place where no one will decide to penetrate: the main drain heading in the direction of the river, the torrential meeting of detritus in which no money, no boat, no bribe will allow us to continue the search.


But before that, and perhaps much earlier, for example a few centimeters from the mouth of the sink, at the height of the apartment on the second floor, or in the first underground pipe, we may happen to find the hair. It is enough to think of the joy that this would cause us, in the astonished calculation of the efforts saved by pure good luck, to choose, to demand practically a similar task, that every conscious teacher should advise to its students from the earliest childhood, instead of drying their souls with the rule of cross-multiplication or the sorrows of Cancha Rayada.“

—  Julio Cortázar

Historias de Cronopios y de Famas (1962)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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