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.