Julio Cortázar, known as one of the most innovative and original writers of his time, is especially famous for his short stories, in which he uniquely and memorably combines the fantastic and the everyday. His work has influenced generations of writers and readers alike.
Cortázar’s first short story book, Bestiary, plunges us into an altered reality where animals play a critical role. This is followed by End of the Game, a collection of stories in which reality interweaves with dream, leaving readers questioning the difference between the two.
In Bestiary, Cortázar takes the short story genre to new heights with his extraordinary blend of reality and fantasy. The stories that make up this book introduce us to a universe where the normal and the everyday are subverted by the strange and unexpected.
The book includes “House Taken Over”, one of Cortázar’s best-known and most emblematic stories, which encapsulates his ability to infuse the everyday with a sense of the uncanny.Buy on amazon
2. “End of the Game”
This book is a wonderful showcase of Cortázar’s ability to turn stories into authentic labyrinths of meaning. In End of the Game, everyday reality intertwines with fantasy, memory, and dream.
Each story is an invitation to cross the boundaries of the real and venture into the unknown territories of the imaginary.Buy on amazon
3. “The Secret Weapons”:
In The Secret Weapons, Cortázar uses the short story as a means to explore reality and fantasy, reason and madness, the conscious and the unconscious.
Each story is a literary gem that showcases Cortázar’s mastery of language and narrative. It includes the emblematic story “The Pursuer”, a profound exploration of genius and self-destruction.Buy on amazon
4. “All Fires the Fire”:
The eight stories in this collection transport the reader from ancient Rome to modern Paris, interweaving the ordinary and the extraordinary in a fluid, dreamlike manner.
One of the standout stories, the eponymous “All Fires the Fire”, presents a striking juxtaposition of scenarios — a Roman amphitheater and a modern highway — exploring the thin line between civilization and savagery, love, and death.Buy on amazon
5. “We Love Glenda so Much”:
This book showcases Cortázar at the peak of his creativity and innovation in the short story genre. We Love Glenda so Much is a collection of stories where each narrative is an adventure, an exploration of different styles and techniques.
From the playful linguistic gymnastics of “Tango” to the thrilling suspense of “Relato con un Fondo de Agua”, each story is unique.Buy on amazon
Julio Cortázar was undoubtedly one of the greatest short story writers of the 20th century. His ability to mix the real with the fantastic, to use language in unique ways, and his ability to captivate the reader are unmatched. His short story books are a testament to his genius and have left an indelible mark on world literature.
Through works such as Bestiary, End of the Game, The Secret Weapons, All Fires the Fire, and We Love Glenda so Much, Cortázar not only redefines the short story genre, but also challenges our perception of reality and narrative art.
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