Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch"
Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch" is a surreal variation (even at that) of Joyce's "Ulysses." Yes, there is a young male artist as a central character. Yes, he happens to be searching for someone in a big city (Paris, not Dublin). And yes, he struggles with most of the existential issues of his day. This is Paris some time in the mid-1950s. The young artist's name is Horacio Oliveira. The first part of the narrative tells the story of his relationship with a woman nicknamed "La Maga." The other string of characters belong to "The Club" a loose-knit circle of bohemians who discuss everything from books to music to philosophical theories they themselves don't really comprehend (there's a lot of mis-interpreted existentialism here). The picture above I just found online a while back and reminded me of what a meeting of "The Club" might be like so I posted it. At any rate, "La Maga" belongs to "The Club" via Horacio's interceding. She doesn't understand a lot of the talk and people have to stop in order to explain to her, something which begins to irritate most of the members. "La Maga" also has a small child, Rocamadour, who happens to be very ill and is not taken in to see a doctor. Of course, Rocamadour dies and "La Maga" disappears, hence Horacio's desperate search for her around Paris.
Horacio eventually returns to his native Argentina. There, with the help of an old friend, he secures a job as the trainer of a cat that can count. This is where I am right now. I should have posted more but I was very busy this last week. Also, I forgot, "Hopscotch" can be read like a normal book (from page 1 to 349), or it can be read using a "chapter map" which explains what order to follow reading the chapters. I believe from what I have read that the story turn out completely different that way, but I am not sure; I am reading the book as any other book, from beginning to end.
This is final examinations week here at the Academy. My last day is Thursday of this week, and after that I don't need to report to work until August 23rd or so. If you think this is great, you don't know the least of it. I get bored over the summer. I do so love the hustle and bustle of the school year, and being around young people keeps you young, really. I suspect that I'll still be enjoying the yard (as a new home owner), and doing things around the house. One thing is for sure... there'll be a whole lot more time to read and post entries.