Literary Birthday – 26 August – Julio Cortázar

Julio Cortázar was born 26 August 1914, and died 12 February 1984.

Nine Quotes

  1. In quoting others, we cite ourselves.
  2. Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great short story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling.
  3. The novel wins by points, the short story by knockout.
  4. What most people call loving consists of picking out a woman and marrying her. They pick her out, I swear, I’ve seen them. As if you could pick in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard.
  5. Memory is a mirror that scandalously lies.
  6. All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.
  7. The mysterious does not spell itself out in capital letters, as many writers believe, but is always between, an interstice.
  8. I think it is vanity to want to put into a story anything but the story itself.
  9. But what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously…

Julio Cortázar was an Argentine novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe.

Photograph: Sara Facio, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons   https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cort%C3%A1zar.jpg

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 26th August 2015