Jeff Scott's Reviews > Blow-Up and Other Stories

Blow-Up and Other Stories by Julio Cortázar
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's review
Jul 22, 13

bookshelves: latin-america-fiction, short-stories
Read from July 16 to 18, 2013

Cortazar’s bizarre, surreal, and Borges-esque stories delve deeply into the psyche. In some stories, we are to guess which aspect is real and which is a dream. In the titular story, we must guess what is happening between a woman and a child. Even with blowing-up a picture, we cannot divine any more knowledge. It’s this mystery and the surreal nature of Cortazar’s stories that make him a master. A simple turn of phrase reveals the true marksman.

Axolotl, Continuity of Parks, and The Night Face Up reminded me the most of Borges. These are stories where the reader can become part of the story or feel as if part of the story happened to them. Blow-up and The Pursuer are probably my favorites. I like how the author can describe what is going on, but reveal nothing about the characters. You keep trying to reach for the answer, but it is always out of reach, no matter how hard you look. I liked the Pursuer as analysis of great artists. How they can create something beautiful, but think it is terrible. How everyone around them can be transfixed by the talent, but to the creator it is junk, never good enough.

Some of the stories even reminded me of Ray Bradbury. This ability to create mystery even in the simplest of circumstances was enchanting. I love these kinds of stories where nothing is definite and it is left up to the reader to interpret what is intended.

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Reading Progress

07/16/2013 marked as: currently-reading
07/22/2013 marked as: read

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