Cortázar creates several conflicts in me. Sometimes I like his writing, sometimes it is wonderful nap material. But, there is a but. Some of his short stories may start really slow, may have a lot of tedious details that makes me want to finish the whole thing right away, however, in the last paragraph, or in the last two lines, he changes everything. And suddenly, because I was not paying too much attention to what I thought were boring details, I find myself lost. “Huh?” “How did I get to this?” So I have to re-read it. And THEN I GET IT. And it is amazing. Most of the times. Some other times, I still do not get it, so I have to do a little research, if my interpretation makes no sense at all.
That happened with a short story called "No se culpe a nadie". How long can you write about a pullover? On and on about a pullover, hands, hands, wool, hands, drool. And when you least expect it... that happens. And you begin to understand a little bit more until you arrive to your own interpretation.
You usually see things that the author did not actually write. He might have other intentions that you did not see. And maybe, if it really interests you, you will obsessively look for the real meaning (if it is explained) because you want to know what was in that writer's head. And then contemplate both, amazed, because a single story can create many different points of view.
And when I say "you", yes... I mean me.
Besides "No se culpe a nadie", Final del Juego contains other little gems like "Continuidad de los parques" and "El río". And bigger gems like "La noche boca arriba", where dreams and reality seems to be the same, and "Axolotl". A story about one of the creepiest living things I have ever seen.
Sólo una cosa era extraña; seguir pensando como antes, saber. Darme cuenta de eso fue en el primer momento como el horror del enterrado vivo que despierta a su destino. (198)Only one thing was strange: to go on thinking as usual, to know. To realize that was, for the first moment, like the horror of a man buried alive awaking to his fate.
Cortázar is a challenging writer. You never know where you are standing, until you finish reading the story. He created his own playful, weird, twisted, complicated, beautiful and nostalgic style. To me, there is a sense of home that never goes away. Yes, a warm homey feeling, a bit different from, for example, Borges, a favorite of mine, whose work tends to be more philosophical, equally complicated. They both play with reality and dreams until those boundaries disappear completely. They do it in their own brilliantly unique ways.
Yes. Two of the finest examples of Latin American literature.