El Paraguas — The Umbrella

El Paraguas — The Umbrella

Friday, October 23, 2020

23 de octubre de 2020 — Fotografías — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Cortázar and Donna Leon

Julio Cortázar — an obsession — una obsesión

While I have read James Joyce’s Ulysses and found it very difficult if not impossible I believe that Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela ( Hopscotch) is not only difficult and all but impossible (the second time around) but the novel in 1963 broke grounds as a counternovel. Cortázar called it a contranovela.

Because he has long sentences in other languages besides Spanish and mentions writers (obscure ones of the 19 thand 20 century) this is a book that is best read with a smart phone set to Google.

Ulises Aunque he leído el deJames Joyce y para mí no solo era difícil pero diría que imposible de leer opino que la Rayuela de Julio Cortázar está en el mismo territorio. La leí en 1963 y no dejó paradero de contenido en mi cabeza. Ahora, gracias a un teléfono “smart” a mi lado puedo buscar las palabras raras, oraciones en otros idiomas y los nombres de escritores que sólo en su casas los conocían.

La Rayuela va ser desde ahora parte de lo que he vivido en este 2020 de la pandemia. Es una obsesión con la cual sufro todas las noches. Anoche llegué al fin del capítulo 56. Cortázar nos dice en el prólogo que allí basta y puedo cerrar la novela con toda calma o (¡¡!!) ir al capítulo 73 y de allí seguir las instrucciones de ir de aquí para allá hasta terminar lo que será una odisea.

This novel in this 2020 will be part of what I will remember of it henceforth. It is almost an obsession as I struggle every night. Last night I arrived at the end of Chapter 56. Cortázar indicates in the foreword that I can now close the book or I can now proceed to Chapter 73 and then take the instructions at the end of it to go back and forth until Hopscotch is truly finished. It will be my Odyssey of the year.

But curiously as I went to my final eye examination (6 weeks after a left-eye cataract removal) I was let into Dr. Simon Warner’s examination room and told to sit down. As perhaps there would be a longish wait I was told that I could read as the assistant noticed my copy of Rayuela. I placed my wet but valuable (the store closed some years ago) Vancouver Umbrella Store umbrella store in a corner and sat to read. At the end of chapter 56 ( I recalled last night that I had to start again with Chapter 1. The reason I was able to scan the relevant section on the umbrella is that I am interested in how the translator Gregory Rabassa (he won a prize for the translation) dealt with obscure Argentine words or made up language. So I purchased a copy at Pulp Fiction on Broadway not far from my house.

Curiosamente hoy fuí a mi ultimo examen con el Doctor Simon Warner después de las seis semanas de mi operacíon de quitar mi catarata del ojo izquierdo. Su asistente me indicó que me sentara y que podría leer (notó mi Rayuela en mano). Puse mi paraguas mojado en una esquina y me senté a leer el capítulo primero, según las instrucciones al terminar anoche le 56.

Originally published at http://blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:http://t.co/yf6BbOIQ alexwh@telus.net