Cronopios and Famas

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1969 - Fiction - 161 pages
55 Reviews
"The Instruction Manual," the first chapter, is an absurd assortment of tasks and items dissected in an instruction-manual format. "Unusual Occupations," the second chapter, describes the obsessions and predilections of the narrator's family, including the lodging of a tiger-just one tiger- "for the sole purpose of seeing the mechanism at work in all its complexity." Finally, the "Cronopios and Famas" section delightfully characterizes, in the words of Carlos Fuentes, "those enemies of pomposity, academic rigor mortis and cardboard celebrity-a band of literary Marx Brothers." As the Saturday Review remarked: "Each page of Cronopios and Famas sparkles with vivid satire that goes to the heart of human character and, in the best pieces, to the essence of the human condition."

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Review: Cronopios and Famas

User Review  - Mark Folse - Goodreads

A very peculiar book, but if your taste runs to the peculiar (as mine does, or why else would I be reading Cortazar? If Rimbaud had grown to full adulthood and decided to turn to prose, and was a ... Read full review

Review: Cronopios and Famas

User Review  - Paolo Puggioni - Goodreads

It's not a book for everybody, nor it should be. A collection of short fictional stories which have common threads. Lucid folly and dull rationality creep into each story. Read full review

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About the author (1969)

Julio Cortazar is an Argentine poet, short story writer, and translator, whose pseudonym is Julio Denis. He was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1914. In 1918, he moved with his parents to their native Argentina. He taught high school and later French literature at the University of Cuyo, resigning after participating in demonstrations against Argentine President Juan Peron. He worked for a Buenos Aires publishing company and also earned a degree as a translator. Cortazar is part of the "boom" of excellence in Latin American letters in the 1950s and 1960s. He combines fantastic plots with commonplace events and characters, and looks for new ways for literature to represent life. His first novel, The Winners, tells the story of passengers on a luxury liner who are restricted to a certain area of the ship and forbidden to communicate with the crew. He explores the ways passengers react. Hopscotch has a complex narrative structure with 165 chapters that can be read in at least two logical sequences to create variations. A Change of Light and Other Stories is a short story collection dealing with themes ranging from political oppression to fantasy. We Love Glenda So Much is about a fan club murder of their favorite actress whose films do not meet their standards. A Certain Lucas is comprised of three sections of short observations, discussing the nature of reality, the exploration of literary form, and search for new ways to view the world.

Julio Cortazar (1914-1984), Argentine novelist, poet, essayist, and short-story writer, was born in Brussels, and moved permanently to France in 1951. Cortazar is now recognized as one of the century's major experimental writers, reflecting the influence of French surrealism, psychoanalysis, and his love of both photography and jazz, along with his strong commitment to revolutionary Latin American politics.

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