Fantasy Is a Dangerous Tour Guide

From Electric Lit:

Although I read Cortázar stories many times, in high school and university, I never got tired of them. There was always something new to be said about his sense of humor—especially in that story about a guy who can’t stop vomiting rabbits—and the way in which he combined mystery, taboo and a sense of the uncanny. His stories were perfect artifacts, simple, but at the same time profoundly complex structures in which reality was disturbed by strange, marvelous or fantastic events. In an interview with Margarita García Flores, in Mexico’s Radio Universidad, Cortázar talked about the importance of play, about the “right to play, to imagination, to fantasy and magic.” After all of those lessons with all those different stories as teachers, at least one thing  became clear to me: when Cortázar wrote, he had fun. 

All Fires the Fire was the first Cortázar book I read, when I was twelve. Many of the stories in that book stayed with me, especially the first one “The Southern Thruway,” the story of a traffic jam that lasts several months, which felt like something that could happen any day on Mexico City’s highways. I didn’t, however, remember “Island at Noon.” It is not one of the most quoted or studied stories by Cortázar, but now that I reread it, that seems unfair. It’s a small jewel, like the view of a perfect island through the window of a plane. The protagonist is called Marini, and he’s a flight attendant who watches every day at noon from the plane’s window the outline of the same Greek island, Xiros. He becomes obsessed with it, with all the new details he discovers by contemplating it from afar, just for a few seconds: “the smallest details were implacably adjusted to the memory of the preceding flight.”

Link to the rest at Electric Lit