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Julio Cortázar

Julio Cortázar

Argentinian author, essayist, and translator Julio Cortázar was born in Brussels in 1914 to Argentinian parents. When he was five years old, his family moved to the outskirts of Buenos Aires, and it was there that he spent his childhood. At the age of eighteen, Cortázar obtained his teaching certificate, and began studying philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires, but left before graduating. During his twenties, Cortázar worked as a high school teacher, and in 1934 he published a collection of sonnets, Presencia (Presence), under the pseudonym of Julio Denis. In 1944 he began teaching French literature at the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, but left the position two years later due to political pressures. In 1951 he immigrated to Paris, where he lived and wrote until his death in 1984. Cortázar published novels, short stories, poems, plays, and albums. His monumental novel, Hopscotch, was published in 1963 and became one of the most prominent texts of the Latin American literary “boom” of the 1960’s, and perhaps the most experimental among them. Cortázar published numerous short stories and is considered by many as the master of the short story, for his immense influence on the development of the genre in Latin American literature. Cortázar also dedicated much of his time to translating; perhaps most noted is his translation of the complete works of prose by Edgar Allan Poe, which is widely considered the best Spanish translation of Poe. Cortázar was married three times. Along with his third wife, Carol Dunlop, he wrote a book about the couple’s extended expedition from Paris to Marseille in a Volkswagen camper. Carol Dunlop died of leukemia in 1982, and Cortázar died of the same illness two years later.

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