The Idol of the Cyclades [El idolo de las cicladas]

Whatever I’ve said before about Julio Cortazar still applies (and – if anyone cares – I’ve said stuff here and here) except that the third time around it’s so much less impressive. The Idol of the Cyclades is simply more of the same – and because it’s Saturday morning and I’m sleepy, I don’t feel like rehashing old opinions. If you like his writing, you could spend some time with this book too – if you don’t…well, you know, don’t get the book😉 . Personally, I think I need a break from him. I still want to get around to reading Hopscotch but maybe in something like a year’s time.

Of the 20+ stories in this book (varying a lot in length – from 40 pages to a few lines) my absolute favorite was Don’t blame anyone** which is, basically, 10 pages about getting stuck in a sweater. And to take such a silly and mundane occurrence and to turn it into a disturbingly claustrophobic experience – it can only be pure art. There might be more interesting,imaginative or just plain weird stories (The season of the hand, The Idol of the Cyclades, Severo’s phases, The deepest caress ** – the last one, very kafkaesque ) but to me, none of them had the same impact.

** Not sure if/how this was ever translated in English. I got the title from the Romanian translation of the original.

~ by ameer on July 31, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Idol of the Cyclades [El idolo de las cicladas]”

  1. I was googling to find the publication date of The Idol of the Cyclades to figure out which came first, Hopscotch or this, and discovered your blog.

    Did you ever get to Hopscotch?

    And did Rabassa translate the Cortazar you have read? I’m reading the Blow-Up collection right now. And it’s good, it’s obviously Cortazar, but it’s not Rabassa Cortazar. Rabassa is to Latin American writers what the black symbiote is to Peter Parker.

    • sorry, can’t help you with the English translations – I read the book in Romanian😀 Hopscotch I never got to, but I really loved the Blow Up collection, especially House taken over, Axolotl and The continuity of parks (and more, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head). I generally enjoy this idea of dreams & reality as being interchangeable somehow.

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