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Los premios [PDF / EPUB] Los premios The Argentine writer Julio Cortázar called by Carlos Fuentes the Simon Bolivar of the Latin American novel was one of the scintillating geniuses of twentieth century literature—a writer of sly wit The Argentine writer Julio Cortázar called by Carlos Fuentes the Simon Bolivar of the Latin American novel was one of the scintillating geniuses of twentieth century literature—a writer of sly wit and immense sophistication with a keen eye for character and the workings of social life The Winners is the story of a luxury cruise bound for an unknown destination which runs terribly amok Funny frightening lyrical and humane it is a deeply satisfying philosophical novel about crossed lives and wayward love as well as a brilliant meditation on the myth of the New World.


10 thoughts on “Los premios

  1. says:

    The Winners' epigraph asks the uestion What is an author to do with ordinary people? The hope is to hold the reader's interest with extraordinary or compelling story lines; but if they are to achieve any measure of verisimilitude then these tales must be populated with characters who are recognizably and mundanely human Cortázar has answered this uery by plucking representative types from across the strata of late fifties Argentine society and dropping them amidst an updated and mysterious ship of fools posing them as a coterie of state Lottery winners and their guests who have claimed as their prize a lengthy oceanic cruise to ports unknown Cortázar has chosen his actors well drawing from the lower middle and upper classes and achieving a near split between conservative and liberal inclinations; a microcosm of Argentina recreated afloat the southern Atlantic OceanAfter the lucky shipmates have gathered at a local café for pre boarding things take a rather inauspicious turn when under cover of a Buenos Aires' eventide they are uickly ushered by State officials and police into an unmarked black bus and whisked away to a secluded port where they are informed that a last minute change of plans has resulted in their boarding a different ship the Malcolm a partial freighter and one with a curious crew that as becomes uickly apparent has closed off the stern portion of the vessel to their prize claiming guests While the majority labelled the peace party the conservative don't make a fuss group who simply want to enjoy a well earned vacation of limited pampering and oceanic sun are content with their one half of a ship and mostly invisible crew a minor faction the war party grow increasingly suspicious and indignant at this unexplained and insulting proscription With the forbidden poop deck a constant provocation amidst romantic pursuits passenger interactions and entanglements and social group clustering things rapidly come to head whereupon one of the reclusive ship's officers informs his guests that the stern section was placed off limits after a sudden outbreak of a strain of typhus amongst some crew members was detected This information only further bifurcates the cruise guests and when the gifted son of one of the war party's female members is laid low by the onset of a nasty fever the talismanic lure of the poop will set off a long simmering explosion of aggressive desire and dangerous confrontationThe characters that Cortázar has crafted here are marvelous of an Argentine culture that is fascinating and familiar and yet subtly different with its marked class system that carries itself onto the vessel and South American flavored language and style These are ordinary and believable people; wounded proud uncertain lustful awkward deceitful honest cowardly and brave; and their pursuits and interactions and desires ring with a commonplace truth Yet their routine is enacted in an absurd setting crewed by enigmatic entities who behave in a confusing and alien manner when and wherever they are encountered and which exudes a growing sense of menace Just after boarding the feverish boy's mother Claudia remarks upon how despite always complaining about their routine and boring lives whenever people are taken out of their rote existence they inevitably and eagerly strive to recreate and impose this same uotidian framework upon the new; and the ship proves no different Why can't the passengers enjoy their free voyage across the waves and leave off their obsession with the locked out stern? Why can't humans accept what they are given and not risk losing it all in an effort to penetrate forbidden boundaries? Why do we seal ourselves off from the mysteries of life that both terrify and astound with their endless implications? Why does the middle class continually dismiss their social inferiors with irony and derision and why does this lower class despite its obnoxious and loud behavior so often provide the individuals who prove most noble and selfless when the chips are down? Why do progressives ever strive to tear things apart to disrupt while the conservatives and authoritarians seem to always find a way to justify or excuse injustice or inaction? Why must human relationships and sexuality love and friendship with all their guilt and selfishness be so immensely burdensome and complex and tortuous and so worth every ounce of effort expended upon them? And why oh why is the end result of so much of our scheming and planning and worrying and hurting and hustling a stale and colorless nothing? The entire pantomime of life so futile and empty? Despite the considerable amount of events that take place between the first and final pages of The Winners everything winds up pretty much as it startedThere is a lot going on in this book and not all of it works or proves satisfying Certain characters are inherently uninteresting or distracting and the denouement did not work out uite as I had anticipated which may or may not be a good thing The character of Persio friend to the aforementioned mother and companion to her son is a vital component of the tale His passages of interiority confusing and breathless streams of occult dreaming rational construction fertile mysticism and surreal symbolism appear to be sketching a Latin American historicism and mythology atop an existential exhibition of the infinitely abundant creativity that comprises the universe at multiple levels unknown because willfully closed off by man These solos spread throughout the book tease with the suggestion that the passengers may be but golems lifeless servants acting certain roles and performing scripted actions in an effort to birth a real living being the novel itself? but they are very dense and difficult and their relation to the story is not completely clear to me Perhaps Cortázar is riffing on the actual creative process of penning a book and the distance between these paginated beings and their demiurgical creatorI'll close with a note about my opening remark the book is replete with ordinary people in an extraordinary environment and it works wonderfully Cortázar has a gift for free flowing dialogue and his characters are utterly believable and immediately engaging; and while the core group of Lopez Medrano Raul Claudia and Paula are the most interesting I have a soft spot in my heart for the blue collar Pelusa and his rough around the edges but good hearted and honest nature The interplay amongst them and the enigmatic crew is handled deftly while the arcane extemporizing of the peculiar Persio conjures forth certain images of a stunningly beautiful aesthetic metaphysics I have been made aware that several of Cortázar's fans consider this one of his lesser books; if that is the case then I can hardly wait to discover the treasures that comprise his later work


  2. says:

    The winners of a lottery a bunch of sundry people thrown together by pure chance have received tickets for a mysterious luxury cruise But once on board and out of port they are isolated and uarantined ostensibly to eschew a contagious disease So they sail to a destination unknown and to an unknown destiny“And it is as if in the disorder of rapid thought and in the fluctuation of his blood a law is slowly coagulating the law which is the mother of the future and the beginning of an inexorable route”And the ship becomes a model of the world and the passengers turn into a replica of society with its own conformists and rebels sympathies and enmities those who wield power and those who obeyThus already in his first novel Julio Cortázar showed his deep understanding of human relationships


  3. says:

    Cortázar’s premier potshot might leave one frustrated at the lack of limbic lexical loveliness as per the Hopscotch and co the novel is an episodic and conversational one with ponderous flourishes and moments of mischievous humour The prose especially in the alphabetical philosophasterations reaches moments of undenible wonder and shows Cortázar’s early word wizardry in trans however the multi character toing and froing is not always satisfying not to mention confusing and their antics vary in terms of interest and amusement as per one’s patience and indulgence levels An ambitious leap onto the world fiction stage regardless Note The Winners is not in print from NYRB Rectify chaps


  4. says:

    Winners of a lottery embark upon a mysterious cruise ship to unknown location Since the passengers make up a determined microcosm of society the urgent instances of intrigue tend to be subsumed in metaphysical socio political allegory on how people accept or rebel against the unknown and arbitrary but both parallel levels are handled pretty well though not so elegantly as in some like the later 62 A Model Kit Honestly I could have stood for immersion in mystery than philosophical conversation but this is worthwhile either way


  5. says:

    It took me awhile to enjoy Cortazar's writing But once I did it was brilliant The story understands it's a story And his sentences and dialog sometimes allow gaps to be left as words can do He'll describe things and then also say things the vague way we've come to understand them spoken His writing is almost like a Godard film where he would intentionally add messy edits that reminded you that it's a movie I didn't like how many characters there were at first And they aren't introduced in a way that makes them at first indistinguishable But maybe that's intentional As if we enter in on them on dialog that's not important than being just 'banter' Or if it's all mundane anyway But by the end they all become important and full fleshed full of desires and regrets They become human without having much to do


  6. says:

    The one star rating is not related to the uality of the novel as such; I guess it is a good piece of literature if most people say so I am however blinded by the deep dislike I developed for this book and its characters I felt detached from the story the conversations felt forced and unnatural and every so often I found myself thinking 'Yeah right'


  7. says:

    It was a bit engaging and humorous at the beginning but for some reason I was hoping it would maintain that same vein during the whole thing and it didn't I couldn't possibly think of any useless characters than Felipe and RaúlWell this goes to show that the second you like an author you don't have to love each work of theirs with the same passion an unuestionable support which is near to fanatism I think it went on for too long Perhaps Cortázar wasn't that much of a good novelist in the traditional sense of it Hopscotch was much better in my eyes but I know it's unfair not to mention that it was the product of a lot of previous work


  8. says:

    Throughout the book I would ask myself ''How good is it so far?'' and the answer was uite surprisingIn the beginning when the characters are introduced in the bar the atmosphere set by Cortazar is amazing the sounds the smoke the people drinking and talking yelling and laughing almost makes you feel like you're also part of the journey they're about to make Then they're set on the ship and the atmosphere shifts from the bar to the ship and so do you This was worth 55But then the things go bad For about 250 pages almost nothing worth mentioning is happening Apart from some characters coming in touch with their true selves and other characters developing a romantic interest or not everything is static centered around the idea of not knowing what's on the other side of the ship You could get past this but then the things that made me give the book this rating makes place metaphysical descriptions I MEAN OK Cortazar made chapters for Persio alone the character who is interested in stars and interpreting the 'signs' which if you are not into abstract paragraphs can easily skip no problem But then all the characters seem to get drugged and talk in metaphysical terms THEY MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE Who in their right minds when speaking with someone else would try to explain concrete objectsfeelingshappenings with abstract definitions? They felt so bad and useless especially since sometimes they were put between important dialogue lines so you couldn't skip this hellish nightmare This was barely worth 25The ending kind of makes up for it's lost pages but it's still pretty unsatisfying and dull comparing it to the beginning and this is worth 35All in all I was thinking that the overall rating is 35 but now I realize how disappointed I am in wasting so much time reading those pages filled with nonsense so it's barely worth the 3 Don't read it unless you're into nonsense metaphysical stuff


  9. says:

    The Brussels born Argentine Julio Cortázar I think his parents were diplomats or something is one of my favorite authors although before this I had only read his short stories and only in Spanish I wanted to take a stab at one of his novels after reading two Roberto Bolano novels who counted him as an influence and whose style and voice is evident in the work of Bolano Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like not many English language readers know his work although he wrote the short story Blow Up which Michelangelo Antonioni who clearly was not an English language reader anyway so this is a pointless example of the familiarity of Cortázar adapted into film Regardless this one is the story of a cruise of national lottery winners who depart from Buenos Aires together as strangers After a prologue of conversations between different traveling parties in a cafe they board and form friendships alliances and have the expected romances Many of the romantic scenes have an air of Strangers on a Train or the like as the Antonioni connection is not incidental; Cortázar was a cinephile who adored and cited many American and European films and actors in his work including this one There are several passages which give an almost hallucinogenic account of the circumstances of the voyage from the perspective of the Persio character a sort of herald savant for the story which are shrouded in mystery and sometimes allude to a much darker underlying reality to the events on board The crew seemingly Finnish even though one character denies that or some other Scandinavian nationality that scarcely can understand or communicate in Spanish issues cryptic statements regarding a typhus epidemic that reuires that they forbid passengers entry to one section of the deck There is the typical Cortázar element of the game here where he is playing with the reader do we really invest our suspicion in the possibility of something sinister below deck which certain parties of male passengers gallantly attempt to explore in order to gain passage to the forbidden deck or is this just some metaphorical expression of Latin American repression and hidden corruption naturally the Argentine government is ushered in to warn passengers of relaying than the official story once the dust settles or is it nothing just a middling cruise with a bizarre crew to stave off the boredom complete with a tiny particle board constructed pool that disappoints its passengers? I found the way that the story unfolded to be captivating and fascinating and Cortázar is a master at making the uotidian or even the boring into something evocative suspenseful and important See La autopista del sur a story that on the surface centers around a Parisian traffic jam So if you've read Latin authors and want to go beyond Máruez or Borges this may be a good place to start


  10. says:

    To the last sentence I did not know where this book was taking me just like the characters had no idea where the cruise ship they embarked on was taking them I loved the way the author was playing with my mind giving me very often the impression that I was going to finally solve a mystery only to leave me disoriented and with no clue three pages later There are so many levels none of them concluding one can begin to reflect about this book Is the story a metaphor for the history or politics of Argentina? Or of the society at large? Are the chosen characters prototypes for the human categories labeled as misfits by our society? Is it a book about death and about our individual journey to it? Does it mean anything that the only human sacrifice comes from the one character who has finally found peace with himself? Cortázar denies in his final note any intention of a symbolism behind the plot but one cannot keep from wondering and fantasizing Drifting on an ocean


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