Hopscotch

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Recently i didnt have much time to post anything, but i managed to have a bit today – so i chose one specific book – “‘Hopscotch”. Probably many of you know this book – but who doesnt – i reccomend you to repair this mistake.

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Hopscotch (Rayuela, 1963)  has open-ended structure which invites the reader to choose between a linear and a non-linear mode of reading. The author of the book is Julio Cortázar, Argentine novelist, short story writer, essayist. Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writer. Cortázar’s use of interior monologue and stream of consciousness owes much to James Joyce and other modernists, but his main influences were Surrealism.

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Hopscotch is an introspective stream-of-consciousness novel where characters fluctuate and play with the subjective mind of the reader, and it has multiple endings. 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. Cortazar also leaves the reader the option of choosing his/her own unique path through the narrative.

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Thats more or less basic information about this book, that you can find everywhere. But let me do a little “quoting” 🙂 And specially because tomorrow is the day full of looooove all around the world, some of these will be a bit conected to the topic. So here it goes:

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“She would smile and show no surprise, convinced as she was, the same as I, that casual meetings are apt to be just the opposite, and that people who make dates are the same kind who need lines on their writing paper, or who always squeeze up from the bottom on a tube of toothpaste.”

 

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“You’re like a witness. You’re the one who goes to the museum and looks at the paintings. I mean the paintings are there and you’re in the museum too, near and far away at the same time. I’m a painting. Rocamadour is a painting. Etienne is a painting, this room is a painting. You think that you’re in the room but you’re not. You’re looking at the room, you’re not in the room.”

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“Pero el amor, esa palabra… Moralista Horacio, temeroso de pasiones sin una razón de aguas hondas, desconcertado y arisco en la ciudad donde el amor se llama con todos los nombres de todas las calles, de todas las casas, de todos los pisos, de todas las habitaciones, de todas las camas, de todos los sueños, de todos los olvidos o los recuerdos. Amor mío, no te quiero por vos ni por mí ni por los dos juntos, no te quiero porque la sangre me llame a quererte, te quiero porque no sos mía, porque estás del otro lado, ahí donde me invitás a saltar y no puedo dar el salto, porque en lo más profundo de la posesión no estás en mí, no te alcanzo, no paso de tu cuerpo, de tu risa, hay horas en que me atormenta que me ames (cómo te gusta usar el verbo amar, con qué cursilería lo vas dejando caer sobre los platos y las sábanas y los autobuses), me atormenta tu amor que no me sirve de puente porque un puente no se sostiene de un solo lado…”

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“Lo que mucha gente llama amar consiste en elegir una mujer y casarse con ella. La eligen, te lo juro, los he visto. Como si se pudiera elegir en el amor, como si no fuera un rayo que te parte los huesos y te deja estaqueado en la mitad del patio. Vos dirás que la eligen porque-la-aman, yo creo que es al vesre. A Beatriz no se la elige, a Julieta no se la elige. Vos no elegís la lluvia que te va a calar hasta los huesos cuando salís de un concierto.”

“What most people call loving consists of picking out a woman and marrying her. They pick her out, I swear, I’ve seen them. As if you could pick in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard. They probably say that they pick her out because-they-love-her, I think it’s just the siteoppo. Beatrice wasn’t picked out, Juliet wasn’t picked out. You don’t pick out the rain that soaks you to a skin when you come out of a concert.”

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