Julio Cortazar Letters During Hopscotch Period To Be Published in Spain

El Pais notes that the letters of Julio Cortazar written while he was writing Hopscotch will be published in July in Spain. The letters were found amongst a collection of unpublished works last year. In addition to the letters of Cortazar, the letters of his friend and corespondent Eduardo Jonquières will be included, giving a detailed account of this time of his writing career. The almost weekly letters given an excellent insight into the writer as he worked on most important work, and, I’m sure, will be an important book for Cortazar fans.

These letters are “the almost weekly chronicle of Cortazar’s time in Europe.” In them is “the humor, that blessed prose, that capacity for observation and that culture that defined the best of Cortazar.” He writes to Jonquieres “about his poverty,” but this wasn’t an obsession, nor an interruption in the search for the beauty (music, painting) that he reveled in. Carles Alvarez Garriga says tht Cortazar “the only thing he lacked were the indispensables for living: a table, a seat to read in, and most important, time to stroll through the city, go to museums, listen to music…” And it would always be this way. Bernardez explained to Julio Ortega and the audience while at the Casa de America that Cortazar was solitary and stayed in his home while his wife enjoyed Paris; and even when he went out, on returning Julio would say to him, “tell me just a little bit…”

From the little bits he was making Hopscotch which was born in the the world of silence that now remains in the letters to Jonquieres.

Esas cartas son “la crónica casi semanal de la instalación de Cortázar en Europa”; ahí están “el humor, esa felicidad de la prosa, esa capacidad de observación y esa cultura que define al mejor Cortázar”. Escribe a los Jonquières “sobre su penuria económica”, pero esa no era una obsesión, ni una interrupción de la búsqueda de una belleza (música, pintura) que le emborrachó. Carles Álvarez Garriga dice que a Cortázar “sólo le hacía falta lo imprescindible para vivir: una mesa, una silla donde leer, y sobre todo tiempo para pasear, ir a museos, escuchar música…”. Y así sería siempre. Bernárdez le contó en la Casa de América a Julio Ortega (y al público) que Cortázar era un solitario que se quedaba en casa mientras ella callejeaba por París; e incluso cuando él mismo hacía esas excursiones, al volver Julio le decía: “Contame algunas cositas…”.

De esas “cositas” se fue haciendo Rayuela, que nació en un mundo en silencio del que ahora quedan las cartas a los Jonquières.

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