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Thread: Julio Cortázar: Hopscotch

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by titania7 View Post
    I didn't write most of this in the private message I sent you.
    Come on, buddy--my message was mostly to ask you WHAT
    you didn't like about my reviews. You and I both know that.
    well. not in terms of quantity, here's the pm. want to count lines?

    Mirabell,
    Hey. Thank you for your post to the Cortazar thread. I appreciate your comments.

    I'll admit that I may have been too apologetic
    regarding my previous remarks. I tend to easily get into a 'guilt-complex' frame of mind. This probably is a "woman's thing." I'm from Atlanta, you know, and Southern women are encouraged to be docile and submissive (yes, even in 2008). I'm a bit of an anomaly in my community and family. I know women who, for example, will let their husbands tell them when and how often they can go to the grocery store. And they don't really think there's anything wrong with this. If they voice their opinion about something and upset anyone, they will usually resort to apologies and explanations.

    I'm not trying to find an excuse for why I over-apologized (is that even a word?). I'm merely trying to give you some idea of the cultural society I live in. Certain things aren't easily accepted--opinionated women are not readily welcomed, at least in my neighbourhood.

    Yes, the internet is a place where you can be anyone you want to be. However, all the stuff I've said about myself has been 100% true.

    I think my main issue with how I spoke about men
    is that it gave others a misconception of who I am
    and what I'm like. In addition, as you admitted,
    I offended you and others on the list. I won't apologize again because that would be sheer
    redundancy.

    I'm very glad you read my rebuttal, however.
    I was hoping someone would comment on it.
    Sorry it didn't have the effect I would have wished for. I never dreamed I could offend anyone by being too apologetic. That's a new one for me.

    But you're right--I haven't any reason to apologize for being a feminist. Or for being brash. My mother
    did warn me last night about turning into a bitter old woman. And she also said that, back in the 70's, when she attended some NOW meetings, the women who regarded themselves as "feminists" had very little use for men. I'm not really aware of the connotation "feminist" has these days. However, I started to take the word off my "Personal Profile" because I don't want to be labelled as something I'm not. Who does?

    Ugh! Have I rambled? Yes, I can be loquacious.
    We all know this.

    The main reason I private messaged you rather than writing this on the list is because I wanted
    to ask you about my reviews. What don't you like about them? Is there something I can do improve them? I'm not good at judging my own work, as I'm a perfectionist and nothing is every going
    to be good enough for me, anyway. But I admire
    your opinions and respect your intellect.
    So....tell me, how can I make my reviews better?
    All suggestions are most welcome.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Really? By whom, you? Who died and made you King??
    barry.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Right, people, quit it with the slanging match. It's Hopscotch or nothing on this thread. I highly doubt anyone wants to read pointless squabbles going back and forth. Take it to PM, and if that isn't working, just forget about it. It's boring.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Of course, for one thing, I'm not a supercilious, pompous person
    who thinks they a) know everything and b) that they can't improve anything about themselves. I happen to look at life as a learning
    experience. Obviously, you have a different vantage point
    dude, "obvious" must mean something totally different in your world, since I am not well described by a) or b). The things you wanted me to "learn" are common knowledge. If you had told me where the sun rises it would not have been more noteworthy. And NOTE I did not complain about this, just about your assumption that I did not already know this. And assuming someone does not know something perfectly well known is condescending in my book.

    Sybraite may still be reeling from the cocky attitude you demonstrated towards her in the "Book Mistakes" thread.
    I think Sybarite can take it.

    Now I can make yet another assumption:
    you haven't read any Cortazar.
    "when you assume..."


    don't be misled by the tone I use,
    I still close

    cordially,

    M.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    Right, people, quit it with the slanging match. It's Hopscotch or nothing on this thread. I highly doubt anyone wants to read pointless squabbles going back and forth. Take it to PM, and if that isn't working, just forget about it. It's boring.
    She did take it to pm and then reposted the pm with an attitude. Which is what I complained about. BUt other than that I agree, sir. will jump to it sir.

  6. #46
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    Argentina Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    Right, people, quit it with the slanging match. It's Hopscotch or nothing on this thread. I highly doubt anyone wants to read pointless squabbles going back and forth. Take it to PM, and if that isn't working, just forget about it. It's boring.
    Not a problem for me . Glad to know Mirabell shares my
    sentiments.

    ~Titania
    "All men have the same defect: they wait to live, for they have not the courage of each instant.
    Why not invest enough passion in each moment to make it an eternity?" ~E. M. Cioran

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Im currently reading Hopscotch and I noticed something. Those of you familiar with the book of course know that the Table of Instructions lays out two methods of reading the book. The first is to read it straight through chapters 1-56, leaving out the "expendable" chapters. The other method (the one Im doing) skips, or hopscotches, around all chapters in the book. At the end of each chapter there is a notation telling you what chapter to skip to next, and also a table of instructions in the front of the book. What I noticed is this: after reading chapter 54, in which some significant events occur, I casually browsed the first few lines of ch. 55, expecting to jump back to that chapter at some point. I went to the table of instructions and noticed that reading using the hopscotch method that ch. 55 is not included at all in the table, in other words its completely omitted when reading the book that way. Obviously if you read it in linear fashion it would be included, but why not the other way? Is this a printing error? Simple oversight? Was it intended to be this way? Or perhaps a puzzle that Cortazar employed?

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    By the way what an amazing book.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by DB Cooper View Post
    Im currently reading Hopscotch and I noticed something. Those of you familiar with the book of course know that the Table of Instructions lays out two methods of reading the book. The first is to read it straight through chapters 1-56, leaving out the "expendable" chapters. The other method (the one Im doing) skips, or hopscotches, around all chapters in the book. At the end of each chapter there is a notation telling you what chapter to skip to next, and also a table of instructions in the front of the book. What I noticed is this: after reading chapter 54, in which some significant events occur, I casually browsed the first few lines of ch. 55, expecting to jump back to that chapter at some point. I went to the table of instructions and noticed that reading using the hopscotch method that ch. 55 is not included at all in the table, in other words its completely omitted when reading the book that way. Obviously if you read it in linear fashion it would be included, but why not the other way? Is this a printing error? Simple oversight? Was it intended to be this way? Or perhaps a puzzle that Cortazar employed?
    Hopscotch is a novel that deserves many readings. No, there's no printing error. Read it both ways and get your own conclusions (though you'll be able to google into zillions of comments and interpretations about the novel)

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffelio View Post
    Hopscotch is a novel that deserves many readings. No, there's no printing error. Read it both ways and get your own conclusions (though you'll be able to google into zillions of comments and interpretations about the novel)
    Interesting. Ive decided I will read ch 54 last. And I agree wholeheartedly that this book demands re-readings. A lot to chew on there and you simply cant digest it all in one sitting.

    Side note: The thread and discussion about this book is bizarre.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    I?ve only read Hopscotch a third of the way (three times!). I think this is probably the best partially-read-novel I?ve ever read (or at least the most memorable). I?ve only known one person who has read it twice, both ways (that was my goal), and I?ve always wondered if there were any other readers who read it twice both ways, and if so, did it matter?

    By the way, before posting this, I thought I?d better read this thread from the very beginning. Holy Rocamadour, what a history!

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    I read Hopscotch (translated title never ceases to surprise me) more than 5 years ago, so by now, it's hard to tell you, but here's what I remember.

    There are two ways reading the book, the one where you jump some chapters, or the one where you go in a straight reading from chapter 1 to 56. Of course the best thing is to read it both ways, but here's what I found on each one.

    From chapter 1 to 56, tells the story of all the characters involved in the Paris Latin neighbourhood. Oliveira, La Maga, Wong and the rest of them interact with each other. These are long chapters. However, after chapter 56, we find a series of short chapters that tells the stories of a painter named Morelli and his views of life.

    If you read it normally until chapter 56, you just get the story of all these characters I mentioned earlier. However if you choose to reading it as Cort?zar suggests, you go back and forth between the story and the comments of Morelli, making it a richer and more complete novel.

    I think that what Cortazar is trying to state, is the difference he always said about Male (Active) or Female (Passive) reader (don't yell at me, is Cortazar who made this sexist distinction). Reading it as suggested by him involves a lot more of effort to the reader than the normal way. Maybe the statement is, that if you read a normal book, the normal way, you'll be losing tons of valuable information, from chapter 56 to the end of the book. However this is just my interpretation.
    I'd suggest to read it first with the jumps, let it rest some time and then go back and read it normally.

    With that you'll get a basic idea of what's the book about. I need to re-read it soon.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Just started this (in the "hopscotch" order) and thought I'd bump the thread. Looks like I'm in for a ride. Has anyone else read it since the last discussion?
    Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.
    - Umberto Eco
    Reading list

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Really, really liked Hopscotch. Also greatly enjoyed Cortazar's short story collection Blow Up And Other Stories. Im not very aware of his other works but I would like to read more Cortazar soon.

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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjorn View Post
    Just started this (in the "hopscotch" order) and thought I'd bump the thread. Looks like I'm in for a ride. Has anyone else read it since the last discussion?
    I did, and I agree that the hopscotch way is more entertaining..
    Jayan



  16. #56
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    I agree with kpjayan and DB Cooper. It's a very good book and the "hopscotch" way is definitely the way to read it. Possibly my all-time favourite work of fiction. Enjoy!
    and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years. - Marcel Proust

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    So I finished Hopscotch a week ago and I've been trying to write a review, but... damnit. So these are just going to be a bunch of thoughts in (possibly) random order.

    The story, as told in chapters 1-56 of 155: Pretentious guy in a foreign country meets girl, treats her like shit, loses her, goes back home to search for her or himself... In a way, that's probably a great move by Cort?zar, hanging a complex novel on a story that, while it contains a few bizarre turns (it more or less turns into pure Marx Bros towards the end) is pretty straight-forward, one we already know from other stories. And then he can start hanging all the other stuff on that story. One problem with it is the same that we recently discussed re: David Lynch; you occasionally get the feeling that Cort?zar is so busy subverting not only his own story but the very idea of a story that he doesn't take the characters seriously, that they're just there to be messed with by the narrator. But hey, for the most part it works, is alternately hilarious and upsetting... Chapters 1-56 are quite a good novel. (Oh, and regarding some of the earlier discussion in this thread... no, I never got the impression that we're supposed to see Oliveira as a hero.)

    But then, of course, nobody reads this in the "normal" order. It's a book in hypertext. So what you get isn't really the story; you get both more and less than that, and there's no way I could cover it all here. Cort?zar sets the reader paging back and forth through the book, dropping in loose chapters that sometimes flesh out the "official" story, sometimes contradict or subvert it, sometimes just offer quotes or philosophical meanderings that may or may not have bearing on what just happened in the "plot", leaving it up to us to try and figure out why this chapter had to be followed by this quote, how much of it is taking place inside and outside the story...

    Cort?zar creates the illusion that the reader gets to pick which novel to read, as if it were some choose-your-adventure book, but of course the way you read it is strictly controlled by the author. There's a Tristram Shandy-style joke here (though it doesn't get old as fast as Tristram Shandy does) in the way the story continually sabotages and derails itself. But what's more, by forcing the reader to the act of searching for the next chapter, bouncing from page 158 to page 576 to page 390 etc, he makes us conscious of the act of reading, of what we ourselves bring to a story. The novel is fiction, a lie, calling attention to every old ingrown clich? even as it serves them to us; every single philosophical discussion by Oliveira and his friends goes nowhere; none of the characters or narrators seem reliable, every motif deconstructed; and yet there's a strong narrative carrying us forward.

    The game of the title turns up towards the end (by which time we've learned not to trust any metaphors completely) and feels almost a little too much like a summation. You throw your marker, you jump, but you're stuck in the same grid as everyone else who plays it. You can't simply walk through a hopscotch court or you'll lose the game. Hopscotch is, perhaps, a novel about those lines that both the characters, the author and the readers are bound to by our personal, cultural, philosophical, religious, etc backgrounds; we can try to define them, we can try to escape them, but we can never ignore them. If it has a failure, it's probably that it works slightly better as a form experiment than as a novel... but not so much better that it ruins the novel.

    Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.
    - Umberto Eco
    Reading list

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    50 years after it was first published, Hopscotch finally translated into Hebrew; translated title name, Class:

    http://www.revistaenie.clarin.com/li...884911655.html
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
    Yoshida Kenko

  19. #59
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    Default Re: Julio Cort?zar: Hopscotch

    i have not read all the replies as i was puzzled somewhere in the beginning when titannia talks about whats normal and whats offensive.
    the more offensive the relationship btw man and woman, the more interesting it is to read. i cant imagine choosing to read a book based on morality or a feminist perspective. where is the fun in that?
    i understand that some like harlequin like sex descriptions of male and female power struggle in bed. but i find it boring.
    am i alone in liking "perversions"?

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