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Todos los fuegos el fuego

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  7,067 ratings  ·  268 reviews
Todos los fuegos el fuego offers eight great examples of the creative fullness that encompasses Cortazar's stories. From the exasperated metaphor of human relationships that is "La autopista del sur" through the masterpiece that is "El otro cielo," Cortazar once again paves the way to stories that are a must-read for lovers of the story genre in general. "La salud de los ...more
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Fondo de Cultura Economica USA (first published 1966)
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 ·  7,067 ratings  ·  268 reviews


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Jim Fonseca
Eight stories with a touch of magical realism, like his countryman Borges. Cortazar was born in Argentina, but like so many other Latin American authors, left for Paris in his late thirties and died there in 1984.

In the title story, two stories are juxtaposed: scenes of a Roman gladiator fighting for his life in an arena with modern scenes from a man on the phone with his wife, girlfriend at his side. Both stories end in conflagrations.

Another story starts with a week-long traffic jam in Paris.
...more
Luís C.
In the Pantheon of my favorite writers, Julio Cortázar. The surrealists had invented the wonderful daily phrase, Cortázar experienced it. Everything is always subtle in time and space, not to be completely foreign to us, but not totally familiar either, so as to give rise to a slight anguish. Like this bottleneck that lasts long enough for relations of power, sex, love or hatred to arise, and which disintegrates as incomprehensibly as it had formed.. Nothing is more worrying than the fabric of ...more
Glenn Russell
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Julio Cortázar and his cat. Photo taken in the early 1960s when Julio was living in Paris.

An outstanding collection of eight short stories by one of the giants of 20th century literature – Argentina’s Julio Cortázar. In their own way, each story is a gem, with such titles as The Southern Thruway and the title piece, All Fires the Fire. Below is my write-up of one of the stories that really hit home for me. Spoiler alert: my analysis is of the entire story, beginning to end.

THE ISLAND AT NOON
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Douglas
My first Cortázar. Surreal, lyrical, and absolutely magnificent. About once a year I find a new writer I’ve never read that stays with me. 2019 will undoubtedly be the year I found Julio Cortázar. Each story in this collection is a master class in how to distill a grand, novelistic idea. The shifting voices in the title story and “Nurse Cora” were unlike anything I’ve read before. Every word was meticulously placed and each sentence the mark of a craftsman. I’ve noticed that most writers and ...more
David
I had read several recent reviews on this book and was encouraged to read this small collection of eight stories. Published in 1966, some stories are written in a very experimental style (Instructiones para John Howell and Todos los fuegos el fuego). I have read his classic Rayuela, a very experimental book and loved it. I have to admit when Cortázar uses this technique in a short story, it can get confusing fast so one needs to pay attention, or in my case read a passage to figure things out.

...more
Phyllis Eisenstadt
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent short stories. My favorite was "La Isla a mediodia." Cortazar certainly has a way with words, and he spins the most memorable tales that are more than merely short stories; they are paintings with words. I first read his short stories in college, so these are rereads for me, and enjoyed just as much the second time around. They are never to be forgotten.
Inderjit Sanghera
Reading Julio Cortazar brings back an internal debate I was having with myself after I attended a book group in which we discussed “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. Most the attendees were dismissive of the novel due to (what they felt) was an incoherent plot structure and unrealistic events within the novel, which led me to ponder the difference between naturalistic and linear Anglo-Saxon narrative techniques and the fantastical nature of Latin American nature, in which the authors instead of ...more
Darryl
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories was originally published in 1966 in Spanish, translated into English in 1973, and re-released by Marion Boyers Publishers (UK) in 2005; I picked it up at the London Review Bookshop this summer.

If I had only read the first two short stories, "The Southern Thruway" and "The Health of the Sick", I would have given this book 5 stars. The first story is about a horrific traffic jam on a major road bringing travelers back to Paris, where motorists are essentially
...more
Nikos79
This is the first book I have ever tried by Julio Cortazar. In this collection, I found the best story this one with the unbelievable traffic jam in highway to Paris which focus on the relationships being developed between people under difficult or even dangerous situations, and the melancholic taste that leaves the ending. I also liked a lot the story starring the young nurse miss Cora and admired the multiple narrators who appear with no previous warning in the text. Also the story about the ...more
Nate D
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Cortazar created a certain kind of storytelling in the work collected in Blow-Up and Other Stories, a kind of moebius strip construction that flips over and loops back without slowing. Here, he seems consciously to keep pushing his forms forward, defying the expectations he has laid out for himself and pushing in new directions, or else cutting back to avoid the expected twist by some more subtle maneuver. The results vary in success, making this a bit more uneven as a collection, but never for ...more
Maureen
Nov 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, short-stories
i like cortazar's facility with language, and inevitably, as with any latin literature, it resonates with my own understanding of how families operate and cultural proclivities. and yet, for the most part these stories did not move me. there are a few that i admired very much, most of all, the island at noon, the most simply told of the stories, of a male flight attendant who happens to glance out with the window, and espy a small island which he comes to see as the focus of his life. he calls ...more
Jimmy
This was good. Cortazar is deceptively difficult. His sentences are sometimes filled with comma splices, it makes it really hard to read and to follow his train of thought. But he doesn't do it in all the stories. And sometimes his stories are really boring, but I never feel like they are outright bad. He's always trying to figure something out in these stories.

Southern Thruway: apocolyptic traffic jam, interesting idea, kind of boring to actually read though 2/5

Health of the Sick: very good, at
...more
Jim
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In general, I am not overly fond of short stories. But there are some writers, such as Julio Cortázar who make the experience of reading their stories a memorable one. He will do strange things, such as shift the point of view within a paragraph -- even within a sentence such as in the title story, "All Fires the Fire" and in "Nurse Cora." His story "Southern Thruway" tells of a massive traffic jam lasting days, during which time couples make love, people die, and drivers scrounge for food and ...more
Cully
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps because I read a few amazingly written books before this one, I wasn't very impressed with Cortazar's writing as a whole. Though, he does have his moments. But, that's not why you should read him. There is a depth in his expression that I've never encountered in any other stories. He chooses some fundamental human experiences to explore (fear, love, obsession, jealousy, etc.), and uses some unique and creative methods that may appear at first to be frivolous, but turn out giving the ...more
Jonathan Norton
Some interesting ideas, with affinities to Camus in theme, and stylistically with Sartre. Unfortunately the writing tends toward hard-to-digest blocks that left me unengaged. Not much similarity with Borges except in nationality.
Jason
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cortázar dangles answers, alludes to them, connects characters with them; but don't think for a moment you'll be let in on them, if they really exist in the first place. Cortázar is talented, thought-provoking, and frustrating.
Dmitriy
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Anyone who hasn't read Cortazar is doomed... He would quietly become sadder, noticeably paler, and probably, little by little, he would lose his hair." -- Pablo Neruda.
Lari Bartolo
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I
Hriday
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This shall be more of a comment than a review. While Cortazar’s being a magic realist has been commented on, rather confoundingly what I noted was the skilful use of language. Who would believe that this was a work in translation? Cortazar uses enjambment, alliteration and assonance to write the sort of fluid prose which is similar to that of works narrated using the stream of consciousness technique albeit in far more coherent prose.

The stories are limpid and marked by the same fluidity. Be it;
...more
Paco
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i think that i enjoyed this more than blow-up, partly because i'm more used to cortazar's writing and partly because this was a shorter collection with less stories, and so they seemed to be of more consistent quality. the stories here are much less 'gimmicky' and have less of a fantastical edge to them, but there's still a weirdly magical quality to cortazar's writing, especially the way he's able to jump between different points of view and time periods and images. occasionally the stream of ...more
Paul
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good selection from Cortazar. Title story has this unusual device whereby the two narratives run concurrently and can flip mid-sentence. Just when you think you've come across every stylistic flourish, aye.

Of all the ones I've finished, this is probably his most consistent short story collection.
Rima
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have almost forgotten the pleasure of reading short stories... that feeling when you appear in a situation that starts from nowhere and fades away into nowhere... like a screenshot... only a moment... no conclusions... only expectations... this is my first real experience with Cortázar... except for some short excerpts during Spanish language classes... I don’t want to make any conclusions yet... but I’m happy to have discovered him...
Nicholas Su
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite short story collection yet. I love cortazar's approach of slowly drawing you in as a reader and then pulling the curtain in the last act of the story, he does a great job of crafting language around the progression of the story.
The stories that I liked the most were The Southern Thruway, The Health of the Sick, and The Other Heaven.
Trevor
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a little bit less magical than C's first three collections of cuentos, but still required reading. La señorita Cora is one of his most fun stories and pure Cortázar in the ending. La autopista del sur and El otro cielo were both strong as well, although I felt like I was missing something in the latter.
Yi An
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Frankly speaking this was better than One Hundred Years of Solitude for the names are easier to remember and the stories are shorter to read. Yet I still don't get the point of most of the plot... Or is there a plot?
Florin Catană
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While reading these short stories one can almost hear, see and smell the characters. Cortazar manages to create such 'imaginary realistic' heroes that it feels like he has created its own mythological universe.
elise anderson
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
maybe the 3rd or 4th best book of short stories ever written.
Chen Feiyue
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sexy
Paul Wooller
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really intriguing short stories and snippets into rich worlds.

Kasandra
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surreal and dreamy, these are odd stories and they grew on me, especially The Island at Noon and Instructions for John Howell. Ranging from dark and funny to dark and sad. Recommended.
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Julio Cortázar, born Julio Florencio Cortázar Descotte, was an Argentine author of novels and short stories. He influenced an entire generation of Latin American writers from Mexico to Argentina, and most of his best-known work was written in France, where he established himself in 1951.
“hasta lo inesperado acaba en costumbre cuando se ha aprendido a soportar.” 36 likes
“... mi maligna manera de entender el mundo me ayudaba a reirme por lo bajo...” 28 likes
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