Hopscotch

3.17
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his istress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves " the Club. " A child 's death and La Maga 's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the brillian, freewheeling account of Oliveira 's astonishing adventures.

A novel is highly inspire by Henry Miller ’ s reckless and relentless search for truth in post-decadent Paris and Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki ’ s modal teachings on Zen Buddhism.

Cortázar 's employment of interior monologue, punning, slang, and his use of different languages is reminiscent of Modernist writers like Joyce, although his main influences were Surrealism and the French New Novel, as well as " riffing " aesthetic of jazz and New Wave Cinema.

In 1966, Gregory Rabassa won the first National Book Award to recognize the work of a translator, for his English-language edition of Hopscotch. Julio Cortázar was so annoyed with Rabassa 's translation of Hopscotch that he recommended the translator to Gabriel García Márquez when García Márquez was looking for someone to translate his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude into English. " Rabassa 's One Hundred Years of Solitude improved the original, " according to García Márquez.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
564
Original Title of the Book
Rayuela
Publication Date
Published February 12th 1987 by Pantheon (first published 1963

Public Commentary

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While reading this dizzy-making book ( the word 'vertiginous' occurs very frequently in the text), thi memoi that requires reader to hop back and forth between the 155 different sections instead of turning the pages in the usual order, I found myself latching onto certain images in the text as if to steady myself: the description of a leaf, for xample, or an old umbrella dropping from a height, or stars in the night sky, or revolving Japanese sunshades, or the flight pattern of a fly as it circles a lampshade, or blood spatters on concrete.

But since the images that attracted my attention ( see updates) often described falling or floating or revolving or spiraling, I knew I was constantly in motion just as my fingers were constantly flicking pages back and forth searching for the ext chapter number in the seemingly random sequence recommended at the eginning, while at the same time my mind was swirling with the ultitude of ideas tossed back and forth by the characters as they sat around smoke-filled midnight rooms listening to jazz improvisations, or wandered the rain-soaked streets of Paris in the company of a colorful tramp, or the sun-filled streets of Buenos Aires in the company of a circus cat, or played a kind of ultimate hopscotch in the ourtyard of a mental asylum where finishing on frame number 8 could equal soaring towards brightness as in the hole at the top of a circus tent, or alternately, could mean diving towards darkness as in disappearing down a plughole or falling down the pit of a lift shaft.

Horacio ( that name means 'time-keeper') spends a lot of time explainin the meaning of life with the Jazz-loving group described above ( je swingue donc je suis).

And just as Lucia is a random finder of odd meanings, a blind visionary as it were, Horacio is a conscious seeker of specific meanings, and he more arcane the better ( j'acide donc je suis ( it seems certain acids have a role in the act of thinking)).

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I had to writ this for a book club.

Is either worth reading?

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I hope for the latter, and I say it ha a wise decision, but there is enough logic to the second path to deduce what the straight path would have been like, since it does respect the ordering of the core chapters, with frequent and sometimes long digressions into the additional material, some of which is very odd and of limited relevance to the core story.The core plot is ver simple- it explores the world of Horacio Oliveira, an intellectual drifter.

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Maga WorldTrying to make a living by breaking through the barrier of language is called art.

is the consolation of artistry.What really fascinates an artist, and what they find infinitely annoying, is a person who already lives beyond language.

She might neve be taught about art because, were she to learn, she would no longer exist beyond language.

She would no longer be the work of art the artist craves.For the writer “ the great Logos is watching. ” For him, words always precede things: “ without the verba there isn ’ t any res. ” La Maga on the other hand is “ pneuma and not logos. ” She is pure spirit.

“ [ F ] or people like her the mystery begins precisely with the explanation. ” This is the consequenc of inexpressible personal tragedy.Naturally La Maga, that is to believ, Reality, has to be raze.

That is the inevitable fate of the painte as well as reality since Maga World is fundamentally uninhabitable.

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Here ’ s a link to the Quarterly Conversation review of Hopscotch, it ’ s honestl a very good review, and does a fine job elucidating this book ’ s ualities and its value in the realm of literature, if I ere to write a proper review of he book it would hav a shadow plagiarization of this: http: //quarterlyconversation.com/hops ... Or you could go read Jimmy ’ s review, which, as I ’ ve said below, is one of the finest and most fun reviews here on Goodreads- do yourselves a favou and get to know Jimmy ’ s writing: https: //www.goodreads.com/review/show ... For me, his second go at reading Hopscotch was a wonderful lesson in not trusting my first impressions, which, as we should all begin to realize, are at the very least always revisable as we get closer to a thing or a subject, and are often utterly overturned or reversed, and we are proved not only mistaken in our initial judgment, but sometimes laughably in the wrong altogether.

Read in this manner, the structure itself is a bliss of fragmented puzzling, where correspondences float beneath seemingly disparate sections, doublings and multiplications of resonances are given voice, illuminations rise like will-o ’ -the-wisps in the daw of reading, and the mind is kept off-kilter and at attention and attuned to receiving many tones at once- thus the obsession with jazz, how we listen to a line from Dizzy announce the theme but completely transmuted, later on in the tune, recognizable more by a feeling and instinct than explicitly drawn.It is said of Hopscotch that it is “ a young an ’ s book ”, I guess meaning that it is one of hose books better read early in life, when one is more open to oddities and playful impressionism, elements that read as whimsical or seem to lack the seriousness or gravity expected of maturity.

Sure, I wasn ’ t prepared the first go round for the simplicit of Cortazar ’ s writing, which resists categorization and cliche so strongly it often feels loose ( improvised), and brings the ( false) impression of not holding its center- again, as does great jazz, here I think Ornette Coleman comes to mind as a good analogy, his compositions feel precarious and about to spin to pieces but are pinned by the tightest of tonal structures ...

Janus-faced Hopscotch reminds us to resist this at the very core of our being, that all the paths we take will be equally mistaken- we look back and can only decide on whether we have been made crooked or straight nails ( chapter 41 is of the utmost importance to the book)- as we now, straight nails have always known their destiny and slide easily into their purpose, while crooked nails must find unique forms to fulfill themselves.

Cortazar not only incorporates these notions into the plot and characterization of Hopscotch, the structure he invented for his book makes it a literal part of the reading experience- he has made a labyrinth for us to hold in our hands, live with, carry beside us- another labyrinth, of pages and print, to accompany the labyrinth in our skulls.It gets my highest recommendation.

sometimes licking leads to liking and vice versa ...) about this book Hopscotch which I never really gave a proper chance and which I am jumping into again.

I attribute this to envy and the ham-handed convention that nowadays seems to prevail everywhere in this business that asks, Who does he think he is? " Wait, that was clearly much more Theroux 's own invective against reviewers than about Hopscotch as a memoi.

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wikipedia claims: An author 's note suggests that the ook would best be read in one of two possible ways, either progressively from chapters 1 to 56 or by " hopscotching " through the ntire set of 155 chapters according to th " Table of Instructions " designated by the poe.

WHERE WAS THAT AUTHOR 'S NOTE WHEN I READ THIS BOOK?? because i read whole 600 page book front-to-back the way one does, AND THEN i went back and hopscotched through it, thinking that there might be some secret doorway that opened or something that would illuminate why i was doing this second pass.

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© Nicole Waggonner