Blow-up and Other Stories PDF ½ Blow-up and PDF/EPUB


Blow-up and Other Stories ☄ Blow-up and Other Stories PDF / Epub ✓ Author Julio Cortázar – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk A young girl spends her summer vacation in a country house where a tiger roamsA man reading a mystery finds out too late that he is the murderer's victimIn the stories collected here including Blow Up A young girl spends her summer vacation in a country house where a tiger roamsA man reading a mystery finds out too late that he is the murderer's victimIn the stories collected here including Blow Up;' on which Antonioni based his film Julio Cortazar explores the boundary where the everyday meets the mysterious perhaps even the terrible This is the most brilliant Blow-up and PDF/EPUB or and celebrated book of short stories by a master of the form.


10 thoughts on “Blow-up and Other Stories

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Oh Julio if I could just have a moment to talk to you You are up here in your heavenly jazz tree on a higher branch then where I am sitting laughing at the sadness of the world stuck in its own grass and mortar rather than taking a ride in the whirlwind of imagination reading Blow Up Axolotl House Taken Over Continuity of Parks End of the Game and other stories in this little book of yours You play the divine trumpet buzzing your lips on the horn of plenty the jazz of words improvising taking a look inside your fantasy being the fun stuff exciting the way you take a certain vision say the room in a house and come up with a story where the room is taken over by a mysterious presenceIf the man in another story like Blow Up starts saying funny nonsensical things then you simply ball up his talking and throw it against your imagination and the story slides into its rightful place Up here in the tree with your trumpet no branch is too high for you to climb to pick the fruit of words a word on each leaf some pretty exotic fruit up here in your jazz tree Suddenly I hear a voice down below asking “What is Julio Cortázar doing up in that jazzword tree?”I freeze look down at the two men on the ground “Now that’s really odd” continues the man “I thought he was dead and now he’s up in that tree playing his trumpet”The other man says “Let’s get Billy and his friend to cut the tree down with their two man saw”I shout at them “Please don’t have Billy and his friend cut down this tree – Julio won’t do you any harm”“Unless Julio plays his trumpet and all his words start shaking things up” comes the replyI’m trying to figure it all out I thought you were dead anyway Julio but as you always said that’s only one part of the story Maybe you are than dead and came out the other side If anyone could pull it off it would be you around the block and back again around the day in eighty worldsI shout down at the men “No need to call Billy and his friend I can recommend Blow Up and Other Stories and let Julio go back to playing his trumpet”


  2. Gaurav Gaurav says:

    The author has made Axolotls alive like beings who are conscious of their existence; as if they can steer their lives at their 'will'As if they can define it which only a conscious being can doThey were lying in wait of something a remote dominion destroyed an age of liberty when the world had been that of axolotlsThe central theme of the story is existential angst about no inherent meaning of life and still existing authentically by defining your life and then taking responsibility to live accordinglyAs I progressed through the story it remind me of 'The Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka which is a seminal work in existentialist literatureThe 'House Taken Over' follows the same existential theme; protagonist feels angst over losing his abode They've taken over our section Irene said The knitting has reeled off from her hands and the yarn ran back toward the door and disappeared under it When she saw that the balls of yarn were on the other side she dropped the knitting without looking at itDid you have time to bring anything?' I asked hopelesslyNo nothingThe story moves like a game with a definite plan However it lacks the depth the other story 'Axolotl' has but it makes existential themes explored in 'Axolotl' discernibleCortazar Certainly a literary master


  3. Kris Kris says:

    This volume is my introduction to Cortázar part of my 2012 Year of Discovering Latin American and Spanish writers I have his novels on my horizon and I'm itching to read them but I thought starting with a short story volume would be a good introduction In the past I have neglected short stories in part because of an early preference for huge novels that I could escape in for days at a time There may have been some elements of an introvert's frustration over getting to know a series of characters only to say goodbye to them after 15 pages or so and to have to ready myself for meeting a whole new set of characters all over again Silly I know treating a short story collection as a literary cocktail partyI'm very glad that I've shaken off those earlier views because I found this collection to be captivating Cortázar destablizes our understandings of identity in every story Characters merge into other characters Boundaries physical and psychic dissolve in thin air When reading the first story Axolotl I actually had a physical sense of my perspective shifting at a key point in the story almost as if I were watching a film and visualizing an extreme change in perspective Cortázar also is masterful at creating a surreal atmosphere of menace in many of these stories which is all the effective because the danger doesn't unfold all at once It creeps up on the reader I have read other reviewers who discussed their confusion when reading many of these stories Cortázar often uses a techniue of jumping midway into his narrative and leaving it up to the reader to patiently hang on for the ride until he provides clues to piece together later in the story If you're willing to play along with Cortázar there's a game like uality in many of these stories For this reason I recommend not reading it all at once from beginning to end Some time between stories helps to increase the feeling of tension at Cortázar's approachThis is a volume that begs for re reading I plan to revisit it soon


  4. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    Now I am an axolotl After spending some uality time in the company of Julio Cortazar and his choice short prose I believe I can easily identify with the weirdness wonder and mystery of existence as seen though the ‘lens’ of his imagination I may not be sure which side of the glass wall I am standing right now and what exactly I am looking at but I recognize that reality realism is not providing all the answers I need and that sometimes we need a tiger roaming around the house for his own reasons Bestiary other times fluffy rabbits pop out of our mouths Letter to a Young Lady in Paris an entire life can be told in a minute and a half of a jazz tune The Pursuer and axolotls know better than us what the meaning of life is It’s that we don’t enjoy moving a lot and the tank is so cramped – we barely move in any direction and we’re hitting one of the others with our tail or our head – difficulties arise fights tiredness The time feels like it’s less if we stay uietlyI have come across the name often enough in references to influential modern writers and ‘best of’ lists of South American writers I have even seen the Antonioni movie a couple of times without clicking on to the source material but this is my first read of Cortazar stories Te hype is in his case entirely justified at least as far as I am concerned He is a master stylist a poet that playfully yet carefully constructs his phrases I wish I could be able to read in the original Spanish or at least in the French he adopted in his later career The main atracton is not the prose itself so much as the masterful capture of things usually left unsaid of the inner labyrinths of the psyche where logic and science must take second place to the fears of the subconscious His stories are metaphor than mirror of the world and almost all of them provide an unusual angle a skewed point of view that is meant to push us out of the comfort zone and challenge us to consider said world and our fellow humans from a new perspective like that of a tiny invertebrate Or it was also in him or all of us were thinking humanlike incapable of expression limited to the golden splendor of our eyes looking at the face of the man pressed against the auarium I don’t think the stories included in the present collection have been written in a planned manner as one of those interlinked episodes that together form a whole novel yet I got an impression of consistency and continuity from the ensemble of an uniue voice that may put on different masks yet remains true to its inner self and remains troubled by the same uestions of identity loneliness limited means of communication and art as a sublimation of life Axolotl opens the book just like my review with an invitation to consider that as we are looking at the world the world is looking back at us We are maybe haunted by our lizard brains who remember a time we lived in primeval swamps waiting for our minds to develop higher powers of reasoning House Taken Over is almost a horror story the tale of a brother and sister living alone in a big mansion somewhere in Argentina spending their entire lives cloistered inside one of them reading books the other knitting useless knick knacks We were fine and little by little we stopped thinking You can live without thinking Slowly inexorably mysterious and invisible visitors burglars strangers are pushing them out of the nest room by room until the whole house is locked out and the duo is left destitute on the streets I think the metaphor here is the way we waste our best years in inconseuential pursuits denying the slow draining of the sand from the hourglass The Distances is another haunting story this time the hunting of a young woman’s dreams instead of a house Alina Reyes has trouble falling asleep and when she does she experiences the life of a woman thousands of miles away in Budapest The theme of confused identity and soul changing will be reiterated in other stories in the collection almost always with an unexpected ending and a provocation to make sense of events that defy logic and common sense See as examples The Idol of the Cyclades where an archeological team discovers and ancient fertility statue and later in Paris they get involved in a dangerous love triangle that may be provoked by the memories stored in the ancient stone; or A Yellow Flower where a middle aged man thinks he has discovered his doppelganger in a young boy he sees on the street doomed to repeat the same life he has lived through once already; or The Night Face Up where a young man has a bike accident and the trauma flips his brain into reliving the emotions of an Aztec prisoner being prepared for ritual slaughter A couple of uotes from these stories highlight the concept of deja vu of repeated histories and subconscious memory the coming and going gestures of his hands which also seemed to want to glue pieces of air putting together a transparent vase his hands pointed out the statuette obliging Morand to look once against his will at that white lunar body a kind of insect antedating all history that whatever they might do was no use whatsoever that whatever they might do the result would be the same humiliation a deadly routine the monotonous years calamitous disasters that would continue to nibble away at clothes and the soul taking refuge in a resentful solitude in some local bistro an infinity of poor devils repeating a pattern whithout knowing it convinced of their freedom of will and choice The man was crying in his beer only it was wine in this case what could you do about it nothing Letter to a Young Lady in Paris is probably the funniest in a collection whose major tonality is dark and anxious It is almost a prank the story of a man house sitting for a friend visiting overseas and of an infestations of rabbits I have never described this to you before not so much I don’t think from lack of truthfulness as that just naturally one is not going to explain to people at large that from time to time one vomits up a small rabbit The rabbit in uestion is for me the result of the creative mind the poem or the story or the painting that the artist produces in order to explain the world better when regular words fail to capture the feelings he is experiencing A month is a rabbit it really makes a real rabbit; but in the maiden moment the warm bustling fleece covering an inalienable presence like a poem in its first minutes “fruit of an Idumean night” as much one as oneself and afterwards not so much one so distant and isolated in its flat white world the size of a letter Continuity of Parks is something that I think every modern writer has tried at one point or another metafiction the reader being read being inside and outside of the story and being visited by the characters from the book Scary clever and thought provoking Bestiary is a bit longer than the previous stories but all good A young girl is send away every summer to Las Horneros a mansion in the countryside and the pains of growing up in the midst of obtuse minded adults are reflected in the kids’ obsessions with ants mantises scary and disgusting bugs and insects of every sort Oh and there’s a tiger that for some obscure reason is walking in and out of the house as it pleases The Gates of Heaven is a love story of sorts a reuiem for a woman who died too young and a nostalgic memento of the Argentinian passion for dancing tangos machichas boleros etc – of cheap dancing halls tiered like the rings of the underworld in Dante’s Inferno and lives getting lost in the anonimity of trivial pursuits again Blow Up is the title story and it is easy to see why Michael is than a photographer he is an artist with an unuenching curiosity about the world around him prone to flights of fancy but able to see deeper and truer into the lives of the people around him able to enjoy the sun the streets the life surrounding him as only people who look at the world trough a special lens searching to capture its essence in a still image can do In all ways when one is walking about with a camera one has almost a duty to be attentive to not lose that abrupt and happy rebound of sun’s rays off an old stone or the pigtails flying run of a small girl home with a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk Michael knew that the photographer always worked as a permutation of his personal way of seeing the world as other than the camera insiduously imposed on it There is a mystery a puzzle to anchor the story as Michael witnesses a strange duo having an argument on the uai of Ile St Louis and as he tries to imagine what they are fighting about and what their lives are like Michael is guilty of making literature of indulging in fabricated unrealities There is also danger and a recurring theme of clouds passing overhead that I will not spoil other than to say that I see it as the result of the artist being unable to live in an ivory tower insulated from life coldly objective to be only the lens of my camera something fixed rigid incapable of intervention There is as I have become by now accustomed to ambiguity and metaphor and mystery that make the story open to interpretation depending on the reader’s own reaction and experience I am sure I will look now with different eyes at the movie version trying to find the common ground as well as the artistic licence the Italian filmmaker used End of the Game is a second story focusing on the growing up pains and on the weird universe the children create around themselves in their innocence Three girls are playing hookey from their house during siesta time and dress up for the entertainment of passing trains in costumes and jewelry from their elders re enacting theatrical and historical personages Reality tries to intrude in the form of a young man who witnesses their antics but the girls remain impenetrable in their private dreams At Your Service by contrast is told from the perspective of an old lady whose innocence is the result of poverty and lack of education After being employed as a dog sitter for a posh Parisian party she is latter bribed to impersonate a grieving mother for the funeral of a talented and gay fashion artist Her point of view is used as an accusing finger at the hypocrisy meanness and fake glitter of the haute monde The Pursuer is my favorite novella from a crowded pack of candidates here Like Blow Up it looks at the condition of the artist exploring the final days of a famous American jazz player told by his friend and critic witnessing the dissolution induced by drugs and excessive habits the imprevisible mood swings and the moments of genius that can only be expressed through music Wikipedia gives as the source of inspiration for the story the life off jazz giant Charlie Parker who revolutionized saxophone playing in the sixties with his fast techniue and daring improvizations Now you know what can happen in a minute and a half Then a man not just me but her and you and all the boys they could live hundreds of years if we could find the way we could live a thousand times faster than we’re living because of the damn clocks that mania for minutes and for the day after tomorrow Most of the piece is a duel between the jazzman and the critic between the tortured soul who searches for illumination in drugs and wild imaginings and the analytical man who likes order and clear cut situations the one who creates and the one who only listens JohnnieCharlie sees himself like Jim Morrison – as an opener of doors letting the sunshine into a darkened room I feel like there’s something that I’d like to admit at some point a light that’s looking to be lit or better yet as though it were necessary to break something split it from top to bottom like a log setting a wedge in until the job’s done JohnnieCharlie is surprisingly revealed as the one closer to the hidden truth of existence in touch with his sunconscious either though drugs or through honest intellectual curiosity wary of the smartpants who believe they already know everything while the world around us is still full of mystery and wonder That made me jumpy Bruno that they felt sure of themselves Sure of what tell me what now when a poor devil like me with plagues than the devil under his skin had enough awareness to feel that everything was like jelly that everything was shaky everywhere you only had to concentrate a little feel a little be uiet for a little bit to find the holes Secret Weapons ends the collection and it’s not bad but suffers a little from coming along right after the body blows in The Pursuer Thematically it is a return to the uestion of ghost memories and parallel lives in this case a young man who tries to woo his girlfriend but has scary flashbacks from another lifetime as a German soldier during the war The girl herself has her own secrets from dealing with the French Resistance and possibly with said German soldier in another timeline The intersection of the closely guarded secrets can result in another tale with strong horror overtones reminding me for some reason of a Bradbury collection I read earlier in the yearA conclusion and recommendation is not easy to write my own interest in Cortazar being helped along by my fascination with jazz and photography and South American magical realism Nevertheless I believe all lovers of good literature will enjoy his stories Last uote is an invitation to flights of fancy Do you have fireflies in you garden?


  5. Geoff Geoff says:

    Here are stories of the prismatic elastic imaginative labyrinthine type Okay Cortazar isn’t for everyone his sentences stubbornly don’t do what you expect them to do and those readers resistant to the particular magic of language that it can simultaneously be music and meaning archaic and capable of instigating a profoundly new perspective bewildering and grounding need not proceed Those of you who have already closed avenues of readerly possibility off need not proceed Those of you who read primarily to have the book perform how you wish it to perform rather than to perform the book according to the choreography of the author need not proceed But for the rest of you good readers Cortazar is utterly refreshing absent of cliche deeply committed to positing his metaphysical riddles in lattice like compact tales at home at play in the nearly infinite field of the imagination This is literature that eases its unease and its multiple eyes into your way of seeing alters and massages the pulse of your uotidian roamings into something less sure footed ready to be toppled Reality a thing to be only suspect of permanently called into uestion And it is accomplished in beautiful uniue sentences These are stories to be read and re read to better fortify yourself against the stultifying nature of habitual inertial modes of thinking and living Cortazar’s long novel Hopscotch is another antidote to this dulling down Highly recommended


  6. Parthiban Sekar Parthiban Sekar says:

    I prefer the words to the reality that I'm trying to describesays Cortázar Through his exuisitely beautiful sentences what he offers is than reality The uestion of magical realism as his style is debatable But what his stories overwhelm with is eccentricity Most of his stories can be easily classified as 'uncanny' because of his way of encompassing his characters in a surreal mystery of which they think as realityTime and Identity evidently seem to be the play things for Cortázar Almost all his characters have some kind of ambiguous assertion over their existence The auarium freuenter from Axolotl says in a trance “Now I am an axolotl” Imagine a man claims to be his object of obsession Is it neotenous metamorphosis or unconscious awareness? It is up to us the readers From The Pursuer I am not I Johnny says feverishly If he is not he who is he?This recurring uestion of identity simmers across the lives of almost all his protagonists a guy who vomits rabbits sisters posing as statues beside railroads for the weary travelers a widowed maid appearing as the mother of her employer's guest a reader who becomes the victim of the mystery novel he reads a fiance who is haunted by ideas of 'otherness' and so on Even amidst these alienness and otherness the closeness among the characters can be warmly felt and their dialogues echoing inside usWill the story be invalid if it was told in a different tense? Such is the point of Cortázar Most of the time he keeps us going without knowing what is happening has already happened or is going to happen but leading only to a stranger fantasy Blow Up Neither the protagonist nor the author reveals everything that has to be told about the story In the forms of unsnapped photographs the story is told with a single click to blow up someone's devious scheme and to free a poor boy and ending up with a large sized photograph of an illusory realityInstead of creating an incredible universe for his characters what Cortázar did in these stories truly deserves undue admiration A day to day reality but with a spine chilling twists


  7. Jack Tripper Jack Tripper says:

    Cover of the 1968 Collier Books mass market paperback 248 pages


  8. Nate D Nate D says:

    I've been starting a lot of story collections lately without yet finishing them and this is another of those I was reading it aloud which is interesting and a little tricky because the words here perform very strange and nuanced tricks of tone and configuration resulting in elegant sentences that don't always make immediate sense At least not until they've fully left the mouth which can make it a challenge to anticipate the cadences and stresses as they emergePublished in 1968 but actually translated all from three earlier collections dated 1951 1956 and 1959 All seemingly uite greatBreakdownAxolotl Jimmy seems to have been seduced entirely by the sounds of the words in this story to the point that the story's mechanism barely matters But I would say the wonderful flow of the words serves the mechanism it creates a necessary slipperiness a fluidity an essential changeability It really is an excellent and uniuely formed story from either standpointThe House Taken Over A kind of a ghost story Or not In a world of uncertainties by omission the rules may be unpredictable I assume nothingThe Distances Perhaps reconfiguration of Axolotl over a different spatial and personal system to very different ends The perspective switches here create a gorgeous confusion it takes some time to grasp the terms But the arc and voice are nonetheless immaculately formedThe Idol of the Cyclades Actually in some ways Axolotl is the purest example of a techniue repeated in many variations throughout this collection a kind of bleeding through of perspective until a switching of places of characters of perspectives of times of consciousnesses has taken place Here the change is apparently the induced madness of a still powerful primitive icon in a kind of interior horror storyLetter to a Young Lady in Paris This however is actually the outlier a bizarre premise is enacted and then the protagonist mostly just worries about its absurd practical implications and attempts to explain himself Kinda greatThe Continuity of Parks The shortest simplest of Cortazar's crossing over stories and one that has essentially become a lame ghost story form in the intervening years and yet there's a perfection in the actual idea of the continuity of parks Essentially it posits a liminal space in the woods where levels of narrative reality can intermingle and be moved freely between This is a device in much post modern writing but with less of a literal locus of narrative destabilization than this usually It's an excellent concept simply expressed here and so easy to remap and expand across other usesstarting to skip some as I don't have time to note down all right nowBlow Up Completely different from the Antonioni film but also fantastic Fantastically slippery and unsettling at all levels of content Need to re read perhapsAt Your Service Great voice here very warm and personal and different from every other narrator in these an old women working as a maid who performs a couple very unrelated and um unusual tasks for a wealthy family and society circle Through her eyes a very sympathetic if somewhat uncomprehending view of a portion of Parisian cultureThe Pursuer Actually of a novella a long treatment of a jazz musician in struggle with reality with music his escape and his bane and the center of his struggle Great though at times the jazz writer narrator can be terribly patronizing towards his subject friend? In retrospect though you spend the length of the story dangerously awash in his voice and self justification he's a total vampire which is probably a not inaccurate portrait of certain parts of jazz journalism and race relations in those times Complicatedly Cortazar takes on racism not in any overt case but in those subtler unknowing examples with so much power to harm and as far as those go not so much has changed since the 50s My initial reaction was a little ambiguous see discussion belowThe Secret Weapons An excellently creepy ghost story of another kind where history and memory may be the things that haunt and consume


  9. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    Having taken a bigger interest in Latin American writers in the past few years I was asked the uestion recently had I ever read julio cortazar? No I hadn't I replied I was then asked are you a fan of the short story? Yes yes I am I said I was then told to absolutely read Blow Up and Other Stories So I did And although I can't score it a five it was a collection that really grabbed my attention I found then vividly experimental in nature and a mixture of all sorts of things some surrealism a strong sense of symbolism a little bit nouveau roman and the Borgesian fantastical There is also a feeling Cortázar had a big thing for Identity and he displays throughout these tales the capacity to elevate them above the condition of the gimmicky which depend solely on a twist ending or some big finale Comparison with other writers is difficult because he seems to have a voice all of his own They are like nothing I have read before I had to read the title story three times before before moving on to the others it dazzled the hell out of me I found the stories ranged from being good to damn right brilliant


  10. Inderjit Sanghera Inderjit Sanghera says:

    A tiger stalking the house a young girl is holidaying in; middle aged siblings who experience an enforced segregation in their home; a young man who cannot stop vomiting baby rabbits; a disaffected and drug addled jazz musician via the eyes of his morose biographer this is the rich tapestry from which Cortazar weaves his short stories whether it be the lachrymose streets of Paris or the sultry neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires the constant theme which runs through Cortazar's novel is the limitless wonders of story telling; at times playful and at others meditative Cortazar's range is varied but brilliant The title story on which Antonioni's famous film is based in one of the stand out stories in the collection In it the narrator believes he witnesses and prevents an attempted murder via the lens of his camera Subjectivity is a central theme in Cortazar's novels; the reader is at the behest of the narrator whose interpretation of the picture if indeed any picture exists or if the narrator exists outside of the mind of Cortazar and the reader which of course he doesn't Cortazar leaves it up to the reader to interpret whether the scene the narrator witness was indeed an attempted murder or a harmless frolic  or just a mediocre snap shot of a everyday scene with no special significance outside the paranoid ramblings of a mad man One suspects the readers interpretation may change as often as the colours of the clouds at the end of the story  This feeling pf unreliability spreads its way through the other stories; in 'Continuity of Parks' the reader is killed by the very murderer he is reading about in 'The Idol of Cyclades' a Borgesian thriller in which the homicidal mad man may not be the person the reader originally anticipates it being or in 'Bestiary' where a perhaps real or perhaps imaginary tiger stalks the house and imagination of the narrator Whether it be a surreal story of a human like fish or the obsessive love of a neurotic Cortazar's short stories as wonderfully told and beautifully rendered snap shots into the mind of a genius 


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