Hopscotch, a novel or “anti-novel” by Julio Cortázar, was published in the summer of. Now, 54 summers later, we propose revisiting this innovative book. Translated by Gregory Rabassa, winner of the National Book Award for Translation, Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with. . Julio Cortazar .. DOWNLOAD PDF . Hopscotch remains the most famous of Cortázar's longer ﬁctions, but I fear that it eventually will seem a period piece.
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, English, Spanish, Book edition: Hopscotch / Julio Cortázar ; translated from Rayuela. English. Author. Cortázar, Julio. Other Authors. Rabassa, Gregory. Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of Bohemian friends. Read "Hopscotch A Novel" by Julio Cortazar available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. Translated by Gregory Rabassa.
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Soon after this incident, the owner of the circus sells the operation to a Brazilian businessman and invests in a local mental institution. Traveler, Talita and Horacio decide to go to work there despite the irony of the situation, or perhaps because of it. Horacio jests that the patients in the hospital will be no more mad than the three of them, anyway. On the day the ownership of the hospital is to be transferred, they are told that all the inmates must agree to the deal by signing a document, and that the three of them must act as witnesses.
They meet a good-natured orderly named Remorino as well as a Dr. Ovejero, who manages the facility.
The former owner of the circus and his wife, Cuca, are also present. One by one the inmates are led into the room where the document is to be signed, a procedure that lasts well into the night. The patients are usually referred to by their room numbers rather than their names, and they demonstrate mostly placid natures. Talita becomes the resident pharmacist at the hospital, while Horacio and Traveler act as either orderlies or guards at night.
The place is dark and eerie in the long hours before dawn, with the three often seeking refuge in alcohol and conversation in the pharmacy's warmer atmosphere. Remorino shows Horacio and Traveler the basement, where dead bodies are kept and cold beer can be had.
One night Horacio is smoking in his room when he sees Talita crossing the moonlit garden below, apparently heading to bed. A moment later, he thinks he sees La Maga appear and begin a game of hopscotch in the same general area; but when she looks up at him, he realizes it is Talita, who had turned and recrossed the garden.
A kind of guilt, fed in part by the institution's gloomy atmosphere, begins to steal into his musings, and it is not long before he conceives of the idea of someone's trying to murder him while he is on duty—perhaps Traveler. Later in the night, while Oliveira is on the second floor pondering over the symbolic implications of the mental institution's elevator, Talita approaches and the two talk about holes, passages, pits, and La Maga, of course, and as they do, the elevator comes to life, ascending from the basement.
One of the mental patients is inside. After sending the man back to his room, Horacio and Talita decide to go down, ostensibly to see what he was up to. Alone with Talita and the dead bodies, Horacio finds himself talking to her not as if she reminded him of La Maga, but as if she were La Maga.
Returning to her room, Talita tells Traveler about it, who surmises that something may be seriously wrong with his friend.
Meanwhile, having retreated to his own room, Horacio is now convinced that Traveler is coming to kill him. He begins to construct a kind of defense line in the dark room that is intended to confuse and irritate an attack, rather than deter it: water-filled basins placed on the floor, for example, as well as threads tied to heavy objects which are in turn tied to the doorknob.
Horacio then sits in the dark on the opposite side of the room, near the window, waiting to see what will happen. The hours pass slowly and painfully, but finally Traveler does try to come in, and the tumult that results brings Dr. Ovejero and the others out into the garden, where they find Oliveira leaning out the window of his room as if intending to let himself fall. Traveler tries to talk Horacio out of doing what he, for his part, insists he doesn't intend to do, though at the conclusion of this part of the book, he suddenly muses that maybe he does mean to do such a thing after all, that maybe it is for the best, and the end of the passage is wholly open to this interpretation.
Only by proceeding to read the Expendable Chapters will the reader be able to place Horacio firmly back inside mental institution, where, after being sedated by Ovejero, he succumbs to a lengthy delirium.
The "Expendable Chapters" The third section of the book, under the heading "From Diverse Sides," does not need to be read in order to understand the plot, but it does contain solutions to certain puzzles that arise during the perusal of the first two parts.
For example, the reader finds out a great deal more about the mysterious Morelli, as well as finding out how La Maga and Emmanuele first became acquainted. Through Morelli's writings, Cortazar hints at some of the motives behind the actual construction of Hopscotch such as a desire to write a work in which the reader is a true co-conspirator.
The inner workings of Horacio Oliveira himself are described in a much less evasive manner than in any previous chapters, as well. The section, and the book, ends with Horacio visiting Morelli in the hospital, who asks him to go to his apartment and organize his notebooks while he is away.
Most of these notebooks are unpublished and Oliveira not only considers doing this work as a great honor to himself personally, but also as perhaps the best chance yet of his attaining the ninth square in his lifelong game of spiritual, emotional, and metaphysical hopscotch.
Characters The main character, Horacio Oliveira, is a well-read and loquacious bohemian.
He enjoys a mostly intellectual participation in life instead of pursuing an active role and appears to be obsessed with attaining what is referred to as a unifying conception of life, or center in which he can contentedly exist. Oliveira's lover in Paris, she is lively, an active participant in her own adventures, and a stark contrast to Horacio's other friends, with whom he has formed a philosophical social circle called the Serpent Club.
She eventually develops into an indispensable muse for Horacio and a lens he employs to examine himself and the world in a more three dimensional manner. The club meets either in La Maga's apartment or the flat Ronald and Babs share. When Horacio returns to Argentina he is greeted by his old friend Manolo, nicknamed "Traveler," and his wife, Talita.
The two are employed at a circus and seem to enjoy a mostly serene existence. Oliveira desires to inhabit Traveler's life, while Traveler appears to be mostly concerned with his friend's deteriorating mental health. Other major characters include Pola, another Parisian love interest of Horacio's, who is diagnosed with breast cancer after being cursed by La Maga; Gekrepten, Horacio's lover in Argentina; and Morelli, an Italian writer much discussed by the Serpent Club.
Minor characters of note include Madame Berthe Trepat, a composer who mistakes Horacio's attention for sexual interest, and a homeless woman named Emmanuele with whom Oliveira has a brief, disastrous tryst with shortly after La Maga's disappearance.
Main themes Order vs. Horacio's life follows this description as he switches countries, jobs, and lovers.
The novel also attempts to resemble order while ultimately consisting of chaos. It possesses a beginning and an end but traveling from one to the other seems to be a random process.
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Horacio's fate is just as vague to the reader as it is to him. The same idea is perfectly expressed in improvisational jazz. Over several measures, melodies are randomly constructed by following loose musical rules.
Horacio vs. He is always isolated: When he is with La Maga, he cannot relate to her; when he is with the Club, he is superior; when he is with Traveler and Talita, he fights their way of life. Even when with Morelli, the character he relates to most, there exists the social barriers of patient and orderly. At the end of chapter 56, he realizes that he is neither on 'the territory' Traveler's side, with society nor on 'the bedroom' what would be his side, his real place, if he had reached it.
Does art prove consciousness?Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club. Ein Beitrag zur Systematisierung und Typologisierung Stuttgart, , p.
University of Technology Sydney. I would have to speak with Delaunay, it would be regrettable if an imprudent statement about a sane, forceful criticism that In this sense, Hopscotch is a devastating criticism of rationalism: The emotionally charged, jazz-infused language whirls about the narrative centre of each chapter in a manner which is only enhanced by the pendulum swing of the chapters themselves.
Oliveira accepts some of their characteristics and tendencies and subtly criticizes others. Oliveira has the will to go beyond everyday reality but fails to act. In another example, at a time when La Maga feels pity for Oliveira, she has no self-interest.