Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Julio Cortázar was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1914, to Argentine parents. When he was four years old, his family returned to Buenos Aires to a section of town called Banfield . After finishing his studies at the University of Buenos Aires, he became a professor of French literature at the University of Cuyo, Mendoza, in the middle 1940s.
In 1951, in opposition to the Perón regime, Cortázar emigrated to France, where he lived until his death. From 1952 he worked for UNESCO as a translator. He translated among others Robinson Crusoe and the stories of Edgar Allan Poe into Spanish; indeed, Poe's influence is recognizable in his work.
In his later years he suffered a political transformation, becoming actively engaged with leftist causes in Latin America, and openly supporting the Cuban Revolution and the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. As a result of his new found political commitments, his literary production diminished.
He married three times, with Aurora Bernardez (in 1953), Ugné Karvelis and Carol Dunlop.
Cortázar died of leukemia in Paris in 1984. It has recently been suggested, however, that AIDS (contracted through a blood transfusion before this disease was identified and given a name) may have been the real cause of his death.
Although Cortázar is best known as a masterful writer of short stories within the so-called fantastic genre, with Bestiario (1951) and Final de Juego (1956) (published as 'End of Game and Other Stories' in English) amongst the best, he also published several novels such as: The Winners (1965), Hopscotch (1966, English edition) and A Manual for Manuel (1978).
Cortázar's masterpiece, Hopscotch, is a dazzling literary experiment that ranks amongst the best novels written in Spanish in the past century, widely admired by contemporary Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa or José Lezama Lima. The novel, which loosely recounts the story of Argentine intellectual Horacio Oliveira's exile in Paris and that of his return to Buenos Aires, has an open-ended structure that invites the reader to choose between a linear reading or a non-linear one (alternating chapters from two different sections). Cortázar's use of the interior monologue, punning, slang, and his use of different languages is redolent of Modernist writers like Joyce, although his main influences were Surrealism and the French New Novel.
Cortázar's strengths as an author reside in his delightful and irreverent sense of humour, his impressive technical skills, his poetical and innovative use of language, and his carefully balanced deployment of the uncanny in his short fiction.
Although his poetic and dramatic production is considered to be of inferior quality compared to his prose he also published poetry, drama, and various works of non-fiction .
Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up is based on a short story by Cortázar, entitled Las Babas del Diablo and translated as Blow-Up in English, this story is to be found in Blow-Up and Other Stories.
- Los Reyes (1949)
- Bestiario (1951)
- Final de Juego (1956)
- Las armas secretas
- Los premios (The Winners)
- Historias de cronopios y de famas
- Rayuela (Hopscotch) (1963)
- Todos los fuegos el fuego(1966)
- La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos (1967)
- 62, modelo para armar (1968)
- Último round (1969)
- La prosa del Observatorio (1972)
- Libro de Manuel (1973)
- Octaedro (1974)
- Alguien anda por ahí (1977)
- Territorios (1978)
- Un tal Lucas (1979)
- Lucas, sus pudores
- Queremos tanto a Glenda (1980)
- Deshoras (1982)
- Nicaragua tan violentamente dulce (1983)
- Divertimento (1986)
- El Examen (1986)
- Diario de Andrés Fava (1995)
- Adiós Robinson(1995)
- El perseguidor (spanish)
- Rayuel-o-matic (spanish)
- París en Rayuela (spanish)
- Sitio en Clubcultura (spanish)
- El sitio de Bruno Szister(spanish)
- Cortazar textual (spanish)
- La página de los enlaces a Julio Cortazar (spanish)
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