Sunday, October 24, 2010

Julio Cortazar:

julio_cortazarImage by Zahori via Flickr
Julio Cortazar lived in a constant struggle between remembering and forgetting his homeland:  Argentina. Although he was born by accident in Brussels, Belgium, where his father worked as a technician in economics from the trade delegation of the embassy, Cortazar and his family arrived in Argentina in 1918 to escape the First World War (1914-18).

En Banfield, he had a very troubled childhood, marked by the abandonment of his father when he was just six years. Graduating as a schoolteacher, he began studies at the University of Buenos Aires, which later had to leave for economic reasons. It was then that he worked as a teacher in several provinces of Argentina; however, by disagreements with the Peronist regime, the writer left the country as a self-exiled.

When the French government gave him a grant, he moved to Paris to pursue studies. His first work was the translation of works of writers Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.) and Marguerite Yourcenar (France). Later he worked as a freelance translator for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, traveling frequently in and outside Europe. In 1938, under the pseudonym Julio Denis, he published a book of sonnets: Presence. In 1949 the drama "Kings" followed, and two years later he published Bestiary, which is a dazzling fantasy.
Among his most important works: "Awards" (1960), the novel "Rayuela" (1963), "62/Modelo to assemble" (1968) and "Book of Manuel" (1973).

Cortazar was not only a stylist, but also an innovator. His short story Axolotl (Salamander) borders on the metaphysical, where the subject and the object are fused.

The literary sophistication of the writer, his reading almost boundless and ceaseless fervor for social cause, makes him a figure of dazzling literary wealth.

Much like Mario Vargas Lllosa, Nobel 2010, Cortázar was a staunch defender of revolutionary movements, defending them through numerous articles and lectures. After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro invited him to travel to the island, as he knew about the Sandinista triumph in Nicaragua, a fact about which he wrote.

On February 12, 1984 in Paris Cortazar died as a result of leukemia.

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