Cortázar had the face of a lion and the ability to defamiliarize the everyday.
His lengthy paragraphs are more entertaining than Henry James’ because more happens, but the subtle connections between his warring ideas are often obscured by leaps in logic, incongruous character behaviors, and piquant observations. Cortázar doesn’t hold the reader’s trembling hand. To read his work is to tear the membrane between thought and action, place and interiority. Padding down corridors of oneiric imagery and literary references, you are bound to encounter Cortázar’s convolutions amid Gombrowicz’s cool abrasive intellect and Kafka’s dungeon-crawling mentality. This is a generous, varied, and unpredictable collection. Not as absorbing as some of his work, but approachable, perplexing, and of a piece with his novels. There is an indefinable texture to his writing. Some sentences you may have to read twice. Ambiguity is embraced and multiple readings will uncover peculiar consistencies between his works.