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Hopscotch (Pantheon Modern Writers Series)…
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Hopscotch (Pantheon Modern Writers Series) (original 1963; edition 1987)

by Julio Cortazar

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3,441722,242 (4.21)114
Member:clevercelt
Title:Hopscotch (Pantheon Modern Writers Series)
Authors:Julio Cortazar
Info:Pantheon (1987), Edition: 1st Pantheon pbk. ed, Paperback, 576 pages
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Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar (1963)

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» See also 114 mentions

English (34)  Spanish (33)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Romanian (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I wanted to read this because I had seen it included in some lists of the twentieth century's great novels. It is a very interesting book, quite entertaining in places but I can't pretend it is an easy read. Before one even starts there is a preamble which explains that you have at least two choices - either to read the first 56 chapters in sequence (presumably ignoring the rest) or to follow an alternative path through the book which is listed at the start and misses out Chapter 55. I opted for the latter, and I think it was a wise decision, but there is enough logic to the second path to deduce what the straight path would have been like, since it does respect the ordering of the core chapters, with frequent and sometimes long digressions into the additional material, some of which is very odd and of limited relevance to the core story.

The core plot is fairly simple - it explores the world of Horacio Oliveira, an intellectual drifter. The first part of the book is set in Paris in the 1950s, and although it seems quite episodic and random, the nature of this appears to reflect Oliveira's own experiences and his state of mind, and those of his friends - there are also lengthy digressions on music (jazz, classical and popular), literature, philosophy and much else, with a lot of surreal episodes reminiscent of some of the pataphysical/Oulipo writers of the time.

After a bizarre episode in which Oliveira is arrested after befriending a tramp, he is deported back to Argentina, and the remainder of the book charts his mental disintegration.

The writing is fragmented and often wilfully obscure (though not as obscure as Joyce, who is clearly an influence) and there are chapters which are literary games, for example a chapter in which the odd numbered lines follow one story and the even numbered lines another (with breaks in mid sentence). My impression was that as long as one does not get too obsessed with following everything in detail or understanding the many references, the whole is a pleasurable and stimulating reading experience, so not without a little reluctance I am awarding a full five stars..., paff, the end.
* * *
Expendable appendices:

(i) I realised about halfway through that there were a lot of unfamiliar words (in addition to much quoted French, Spanish and Latin). I made this list of unfamiliar words that appear after this point:
antinomy, aulic, auscultation, cadastral, catoblepas, chitterling, chryselephantine, cinerary, coenaesthesis, columbarium, coprolite, cuniculture, cuspidation, echolalia, eclogue, elution, epistomology, epithelial, exordium, extravasation, geometrid, gnoseologist, helicoid, incunabula, macaronic, mana, mantic, mnemotechny, nebiole, nephelibate, obolus, oneiromancy, palmiped, promissoration, propedeutic, rotogravure, ruleman, satori, serape, soteriology, stupa, teleleological, tragacanth, trismegistic

(ii) Chapter 55, which is omitted from the "hopscotch path" is effectively reproduced elsewhere, but without the lengthy but entertaining digressions on a bizarre treatise postulating an idealistic system of world government, which a character is reading while the action goes on around him...

(iii) I found that when following the "hopscotch path" I still wanted to know where I was in terms of overall progress, so I put the chapter lengths into a spreadsheet so that I could say how much I had read at any stage. Since this may be useful to other readers, here are the numbers:
Chapter, Pages, Total, Percent
73, 3, 3, 0.53
1, 10, 13, 2.30
2, 5, 18, 3.19
116, 2, 20, 3.55
3, 5, 25, 4.43
84, 4, 29, 5.14
4, 6, 35, 6.21
71, 5, 40, 7.09
5, 4, 44, 7.80
81, 1, 45, 7.98
74, 2, 47, 8.33
6, 2, 49, 8.69
7, 1, 50, 8.87
8, 2, 52, 9.22
93, 4, 56, 9.93
68, 1, 57, 10.11
9, 4, 61, 10.82
104, 1, 62, 10.99
10, 2, 64, 11.35
65, 2, 66, 11.70
11, 3, 69, 12.23
136, 1, 70, 12.41
12, 6, 76, 13.48
106, 1, 77, 13.65
13, 3, 80, 14.18
115, 1, 81, 14.36
14, 3, 84, 14.89
114, 1, 85, 15.07
117, 1, 86, 15.25
15, 6, 92, 16.31
120, 2, 94, 16.67
16, 3, 97, 17.20
137, 1, 98, 17.38
17, 6, 104, 18.44
97, 1, 105, 18.62
18, 4, 109, 19.33
153, 1, 110, 19.50
19, 5, 115, 20.39
90, 5, 120, 21.28
20, 11, 131, 23.23
126, 1, 132, 23.40
21, 5, 137, 24.29
79, 3, 140, 24.82
22, 3, 143, 25.35
62, 3, 146, 25.89
23, 25, 171, 30.32
124, 2, 173, 30.67
128, 1, 174, 30.85
24, 5, 179, 31.74
134, 1, 180, 31.91
25, 2, 182, 32.27
141, 3, 185, 32.80
60, 1, 186, 32.98
26, 3, 189, 33.51
109, 2, 191, 33.87
27, 4, 195, 34.57
28, 33, 228, 40.43
130, 1, 229, 40.60
151, 1, 230, 40.78
152, 1, 231, 40.96
143, 3, 234, 41.49
100, 4, 238, 42.20
76, 2, 240, 42.55
101, 2, 242, 42.91
144, 2, 244, 43.26
92, 3, 247, 43.79
103, 1, 248, 43.97
108, 6, 254, 45.04
64, 3, 257, 45.57
155, 6, 263, 46.63
123, 3, 266, 47.16
145, 1, 267, 47.34
122, 3, 270, 47.87
112, 2, 272, 48.23
154, 6, 278, 49.29
85, 1, 279, 49.47
150, 1, 280, 49.65
95, 3, 283, 50.18
146, 1, 284, 50.35
29, 5, 289, 51.24
107, 1, 290, 51.42
113, 1, 291, 51.60
30, 2, 293, 51.95
57, 5, 298, 52.84
70, 1, 299, 53.01
147, 1, 300, 53.19
31, 6, 306, 54.26
32, 4, 310, 54.96
132, 2, 312, 55.32
61, 2, 314, 55.67
33, 2, 316, 56.03
67, 2, 318, 56.38
83, 2, 320, 56.74
142, 3, 323, 57.27
34, 7, 330, 58.51
87, 1, 331, 58.69
105, 1, 332, 58.87
96, 4, 336, 59.57
94, 1, 337, 59.75
91, 1, 338, 59.93
82, 1, 339, 60.11
99, 11, 350, 62.06
35, 4, 354, 62.77
121, 1, 355, 62.94
36, 15, 370, 65.60
37, 7, 377, 66.84
98, 1, 378, 67.02
38, 2, 380, 67.38
39, 2, 382, 67.73
86, 1, 383, 67.91
78, 4, 387, 68.62
40, 4, 391, 69.33
59, 1, 392, 69.50
41, 30, 422, 74.82
148, 1, 423, 75.00
42, 2, 425, 75.35
75, 1, 426, 75.53
43, 4, 430, 76.24
125, 3, 433, 76.77
44, 5, 438, 77.66
102, 1, 439, 77.84
45, 4, 443, 78.55
80, 2, 445, 78.90
46, 6, 451, 79.96
47, 5, 456, 80.85
110, 1, 457, 81.03
48, 5, 462, 81.91
111, 3, 465, 82.45
49, 4, 469, 83.16
118, 1, 470, 83.33
50, 3, 473, 83.87
119, 1, 474, 84.04
51, 7, 481, 85.28
69, 2, 483, 85.64
52, 2, 485, 85.99
89, 3, 488, 86.52
53, 4, 492, 87.23
66, 1, 493, 87.41
149, 1, 494, 87.59
54, 10, 504, 89.36
129, 6, 510, 90.43
139, 1, 511, 90.60
133, 11, 522, 92.55
140, 2, 524, 92.91
138, 3, 527, 93.44
127, 2, 529, 93.79
56, 23, 552, 97.87
135, 1, 553, 98.05
63, 1, 554, 98.23
88, 1, 555, 98.40
72, 1, 556, 98.58
77, 1, 557, 98.76
131, 1, 558, 98.94
58, 2, 560, 99.29
(131 again...)
~
55, 4, 564, 100.00
(less) ( )
1 vote bodachliath | Feb 23, 2018 |
Pas de note pour ce livre, car je ne l'ai pas fini. Disons qu'à vue de nez la note pourrait aller de 2 à 4 étoiles.
4 étoiles parce que c'est plein de poésie, d'élucubrations touffues mais intéressantes, de ressenti incroyable.
2 étoiles parce que c'est complexe, et que je n'ai pas l'énergie de m'y atteler. Un jour, peut-être, pas aujourd'hui.
Et 2 étoiles surtout et avant tout, parce que je me sens un peu trahie. La raison principale qui m'a fait emprunter ce livre, c'est qu'il a une construction inattendue, deux approches possibles de lecture: soit une lecture "linéaire", du chapitre 1 au chapitre 56 ; soit une lecture plus aventureuse, les chapitres se mêlant, passant de l'un à l'autre, depuis le 1 jusqu'au 155, mais dans le désordre.
SAUF QUE. C'est totalement artificiel, puisqu'en fait, si on suit bien la succession des chapitres, ce ne sont guère que les chapitres de la lecture linéaire, dans le même ordre, entre lesquels viennent s'intercaler une centaine de chapitres supplémentaires. Seule "fantaisie": le chapitre 55 n'est, sauf erreur de ma part, pas lu dans la lecture "aventure".
Mouais, bon, bref, on aurait pu juste faire un seul livre, avec des chapitres étiquetés comme facultatifs, et ce serait beaucoup moins m'as-tu-vu. Dans le genre je préfère une [b: maison des feuilles|40155|La Maison des feuilles|Mark Z. Danielewski|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1169411276s/40155.jpg|856555], voire une [b: infinite jest|6759|Infinite Jest|David Foster Wallace|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1446876799s/6759.jpg|3271542].
  elisala | Feb 16, 2018 |
Libro #89 en la lista de los 100 libros de Pasión por la lectura.
http://www.pasionporlalectura.itesm.mx/que_leo/los_100_rst.htm
  celia.castro | Oct 4, 2017 |
This book is like a car crash on the highway...You know you shouldn't stop and take it in, but you just can't help yourself. Lyrical... Several story lines based off he main character Oliviera, an Argentinian who makes time in Paris and them back in Argentina.
Heavy literary references to South American literature, painting, and other various references that remain unknown to me.

Ultimately I can't put this on my shelf of classics. Too fractured and nonsensical. Would like to see more substance ala Ulysses, of which I think this is a clone. ( )
  delta351 | Oct 1, 2017 |
Wonderful. Opened up a lot of doors for me.
  christinakr | May 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julio Cortázarprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pol, Barber van deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabassa, GregoryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Y animado de la esperanza de ser particularmente útil a la juventud, y de contribuir al a reforma de las costumbres en general, he formado la presente colección de máximas, consejos y preceptos, que son la base de aquella moral universal, que es tan proporcionada a la felicidad espiritual y temporal de todos los hombres de cualquiera edad, estado y condición que sean, y a la prosperidad y buen orden, no sólo de la república civil y cristiana en que vivimos, sino de cualquiera otra república o gobierno que los filósofos más especulativos y profundos del orbe quieran discurrir.

Espíritu de la Biblia y Moral Universal, sacada del Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento, Escrita en toscano por el abad Martini con las citas al pie:
Traducida en castellano
Por un Clérigo Reglar de la Congregación de San Cayetano de esta Corte.
Con licencia.
Madrid: Por Aznar, 1797.
Siempre que viene el tiempo fresco, o sea al medio del otonio, a mí me da la loca de pensar ideas de tipo eséntrico y esótico, como ser por egenplo que me gustaría venirme golondrina para agarrar y volar a los paíx adonde haiga calor, o de ser hormiga para meterme bien adentro de una cueva y comer los productos guardados en el verano o de ser un bívora como las del solójicO, que las tienen bien guardadas en una jaula de vidrio con calefación para que no se queden duras de frío, que es lo que les pasa a los pobres seres humanos que no pueden comprarse ropa con lo cara questá, ni pueden calentarse por la falta del querosén, la falta del carbón, la falta de lenia, la falta de petrolio y también la falta de plata, porque cuando uno anda con biyuya ensima puede entrar a cualquier boliche y mandarse una buena grapa que hay que ver lo que calienta, aunque no conbiene abusar, porque del abuso entra el visio y del visio la dejenradés tanto del cuerpo como de las taras moral de cada cual, y cuando se viene abajo por la pendiente fatal de la falta de buena condupta en todo sentido, ya nadie ni nadies lo salva de acabar en el más espantoso tacho de basura del desprastijio humano, y nunca le van a dar una mano para sacarlo de adentro del fango enmundo entre el cual se rebuelca, ni más ni meno que si fuera un cóndoR que cuando joven supo correr y volar por la punta de las altas montanias, pero que al ser viejo cayó parabajo como bombardero en picada que le falia el motor moral. ¡Y ojalá que lo que estoy escribiendo le sribalguno para que mire bien su comportamiento y que no searrepienta cuando es tarde y ya todo se haiga ido al corno por culpa suya!

CESAR BRUTO,Lo que me gustaría ser a mí si no fuera lo que soy (capítulo: Perro de San Bernardo).
DEL LADO DE ALLA

Rien ne vous tue un homme comme d'être obligé de représenter un pays.

Jacques Vache, carta a André Breton.
Dedication
First words
(From chapter 1)
¿Encontraría a la Maga?
(From chapter 73)
Sí, pero quién nos curará del fuego sordo, del fuego sin color que corre al anochecer por la rue de la Huchette, saliendo de los portales carcomidos, de los parvos zaguanes, del fuego sin imagen que lame las piedras y acecha en los vanos de las puertas, cómo haremos para lavarnos de su quemadura dulce que prosigue, que se aposenta para durar aliada al tiempo y al recuerdo, a las sustancias pegajosas que nos retienen de este lado, y que nos arderá dulcemente hasta calcinarnos.
Would I find la Maga?
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
I don't have a plot.
Perhaps I can sell this book
with a trite gimmick.
(Carnophile)
Paris, poets, chance:
La vie de Bohème meets jazz
And pataphysics
(thorold)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394752848, Paperback)

Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, free-wheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When La Maga, his mistress, disappears, Horacio Oliveira, an Argentinian writer living in Paris, decides to return home to Buenos Aires.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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