I'm reading Julio Cortázar's BLOW-UP AND OTHER STORIES again. Fairly certain the next time someone asks me the bland chestnut of what writer's body of work would I take to that desolate island—it would be Cortázar’s. Here’s a piece I wrote a while back:
Infiltrations of the Surreal: Argetina’s Julio Cortázar
At the tender age of nine, and against his mother’s better judgement, Julio Cortázar (1914-1984) managed to get his hands on an Edgar Allan Poe collection. Years later, Cortázar recalled in an interview for The Paris Review: “[S]he thought I was too young and she was right. The book scared me and I was ill for three months, because I believed in it … dur comme fer as the French say.” But thanks to his mom spurring him to other reading (Jules Verne was an early favorite) and his robust imagination, he developed a knack for storytelling that jettisoned the distance between the real and the imaginary—eventually becoming one of Argentina’s premier novelists and short story writers. Here are a few examples from his body of work epitomizing why his surreal art still maintains such clout in the literary community.
Further reading at Criminal Element.