Blow-Up and Other Stories is a collection of short stories, selected from the short fiction of the Argentinian author Julio Cortázar. It was originally published in. Praise. Praise for Blow-Up and Other Stories: “[Cortazar] is a unique storyteller. He can induce the kind of chilling unease that strikes like a sound in the night.”. Blow-Up And Other Stories by Julio Cortazar, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
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Praise jhlio Blow-Up and Other Stories: He can induce the kind of chilling unease that strikes like a sound in the night. It is difficult to imagine how he could improve as a writer of short stories.
Julio Cortazar is a dazzler.
Blow-Up and Other Stories
His genius here lies in the knack for constructing striking, artistically ‘right’ subordinate circumstances out of which his fantastic and metaphysical whimsies appear normally to spring. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? A young girl spends her summer vacation in a country house where a tiger roams. A man reading a mystery finds out too late that he is the murderer’s victim.
In the fifteen stories collected here—including “Blow-Up,” which was the basis for Michelangelo Antonioni’s film of the same name—Julio Cortazar explores the boundary where the everyday meets the mysterious, perhaps even the terrible. Read more Read less. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids.
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Blow-Up by Julio Cortazar | : Books
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please jhlio again later. This book was my first experience with reading Cortazar. From the first story on, the excitement of encountering a new to me brilliant writer went through me like an electric shock. The book injected an excitement and alertness into what otherwise might have been a sluggish weekend. I have found, however, that explaining the basis of this excitement to others is not easy. It comes down to the difficulty of explaining what it is that makes great writers truly great — an elusive insight.
Part of it is simple virtuosity; Cortazar possesses that which also distinguishes the writing of other greats such as Nabokov and Proust: I could perceive his virtuosity even though I read this book as an English translation.
But it goes beyond virtuosity. If Cortazar wrote about ideas to which I was indifferent, the writing would not matter to me. But his stories inspire those flashes of recognition that make reading exciting; he creates those “aha” moments through his ability to present a feeling or situation that you recognize on some level, even if it’s one that never previously made it out of your subconscious and which you might not have thought to remark upon, had not Cortazar dug it up for you.
From the general to the specific: This is a collection of short stories, most of which contain an element of the fantastic. Some of the flashes of recognition that I mention above are recognitions of mundane, daily feelings, but others are not.
Cortazar seems to have ready access as well to our subconscious fears and to our dreams. To take but a few cases in point: One story involves a brother and sister who share a large, old wooden house, once owned by their great grandparents. At one point in the story, they hear voices and commotion from another part of the house. They bolt the doors, shut off that section, and confine themselves to living in the front part of the house.
It’s all left quite mysterious: Cortazar never explains who “they” are, who have taken over part of the house. But someting about this storeis rings eerily true; it’s that bizarre combination of vivid, mundane reality, fortazar unexplained phenomena, and illogical reactions to those phenomena, that characterize dreams.
Another example is a story in which a young girl goes to live with distant relatives in their country house for a summer. The house has a tiger roaming the rooms, but let’s put that aside: In one small, but typically rendered scene, the main character finds a bug crawling in an antiquated wash basin.
She flicks at it, it curls into a ball, and she easily washes it down with running water.
This is classic Cortazxr with a few well-chosen sentences, he puts you in that world: Comparison with other writers is a bit unfair, because Cortazar has a voice all of his own. But in case it’s helpful to you, Cortazar’s precise prose reminded me a bit of Nabokov, his sense of wonder and magic recalled Steven Millhauser, and his trafficking in paradoxes a bit like Borges. But he’s not quite like any of them: Several of the stories are outstanding.
My favorites in addition to the two mentioned above: Axolotls — in which the narrator identifies very closely with an exotic amphibian species on his trips to the zoo. A Yellow Flower — an encounter with a sort of reincarnation gone awry Continuity of Parks — a very economical, very short story with an eerie, paradoxical twist The Night Face Up — a story in which reality and dreams are very difficult to distinguish Cortazar is a master of the short story form.
The title story is the basis of the Antonioni film, though the two are very dissimilar. The cinematic otherr is a work of art; the short story is intriguing and perverse. My favorite tale in Cortazar’s book is “The Night Face Up,” with its surprising and devastating ending. It’s truly disturbing and not easy to forget.
One person found this helpful. I ready many collections of short stories and I often find that they are like pop albums: But every one of these stories is entirely interesting, including “The Distances” which I admit I didn’t understand at all, even the second time through.
Many of these stories exist in the territory of terror and awe, but the three I liked best were all occasions of sustained compassion, and each revolved around a death.
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The oher “The Pursuer”, based on the last days of Charlie Parker, is so convincing that I fell for it hook, line and sinker and believed I was reading an actual memoir, that he must have actually sat in a Paris hotel room with a ranting naked Charlie Parker.
This novella is also a meditation on genius, which unfortunately does absolutely nothing to exempt one from ordinary misery. Parker fans will love the long jazz story.
I’m a big fan of Cortazar’s unique surrealistic writing style. For years, his short stories have been difficult or impossible to find in English. Though I enjoyed these stories which are rich in ideas, and the use of magic realism to some extent, I always had the feeling that I would enjoy them more if I could read them in their original language – Spanish.
Still, because Julio Julii is a very famous Argentinian author I am glad to have an opportunity to read him. Cortazar is an oft-overlooked master of the short story form. In this collection, he delivers stories befitted with beguiling metaphor, tremendous ambiguity, magical realist mind-bending, and, at the tail end of the book, some unrelenting tedium.
Like Barthelme and Kakfa, Cortazar works best when he keeps it short and sweet. Wonderful capital-F Fabulist tales in this book include the story of a man turning into a salamander and a girl on summer vacation at a decaying anf house patrolled by a Bengal tiger. These stories do not diminish the power of what has come before, but they seem a little out of place–more like padding than anything else. The book, despite its uneven nature, is a must-read, however, for fans of black humor, magical realism, and so on.
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