Today, Twitter is tweeting about Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch turning 50, and there is a lot of reflecting going on about this book’s impact on Twentieth Century Literature. But, when we are all done with that, I would like to suggest revisiting, or even rereading, The Pursuer.
Prompted by the 140-character summaries of Hopscotch, I grabbed my copy of The Pursuer this morning and was surprised to see how overboard I had gone with the underlining. But, thanks to the wait at my son’s pediatrician, I selected three passages that sum up why I think this short story accomplishes so much. I guess this is my version of a tweet.
To me, the above passage encapsulates the main question Cortazar asks in The Pursuer: can a critic truly capture his subject? A smaller question, sprouting from the first, is captured below: can the critic have as much fun as the composer?
The answer to both, according to Cortazar, is a lonely no.
The final passage captures the second big thing that Cortazar ponders in The Pursuer: are cats and dogs real? Well, they might be, but we are just terrible at saying how.
I apologize to English readers for the passages in Spanish; I must be making Cortazar even more difficult to grasp.
Julio Cortázar. El Perseguidor, Las Almas Secretas. Read Bogotá, 2009