Bestiario by Julio Cortázar

By Julio Cortázar

Publish yr note: First released in 1951
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Los cuentos que forman Bestiario nos hablan de objetos y hechos cotidianos, pero pasan a l. a. dimensión de l. a. pesadilla o de l. a. revelación de un modo usual e imperceptible. Sorpresa, incomodidad, desazón, misterio, intriga# son sensaciones que atrapan al lector a medida que avanza en su lectura. Es el vértigo que se siente ante lo inexplicable, ante el descubrimiento de que existen mundos paralelos y que Cortázar ha tendido el puente unión entre ellos. "Casa tomada", "Carta a una señorita en París", "Lejana", "Ómnibus", "Cefalea", "Circe", "Las puertas del cielo", "Bestiario". Después de leer estos ocho auténticos clásicos del género, nuestra opinión sobre el mundo no puede seguir siendo l. a. misma.

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It was Du Bois’s decision to accept/embrace and study black life, history, and culture in the United States, which was unsymbolized in the American symbolic order, rather than to reject it that “redefined the terms of a three-­ hundred-­year interaction between black and white people and influenced the cultural and political psychology of peoples of African descent throughout the western hemisphere” (Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois 277). Like Cooper, this decision makes Du Bois a forerunner to black studies, to a body of knowledge that contests the mainstream American regime of power/knowledge that defines the African American as deviant, as inferior.

It is a product of the “mutation and adaptation we call creolization,” the product of cultural and social hybridization. Of course, this narrow Afrocentric representation of African American life does not go uncontested by contemporary African American scholars, critics, and writers such as Manning Marable, Robert L. , Cornel West, Hazel Carby, Adolph Reed, James Boggs, Amiri Baraka, bell hooks, Michael Eric Dyson, and many others in organizing African American life differently and more complexly, who unearth and challenge this Afrocentric representation of black life.

Imitation is the worst of suicides; it cuts the nerve of originality and condemns to mediocrity” (175). After asking for “social equality” under the law but not “forced association” (110) (association is an individual election), Cooper asks for difference but equality, that is, for the acceptance of their racial differences but for the equal treatment and coexistence of blacks, Indians, and whites within the same social order. “What the dark man wants then is merely to live his own life, in his own world, with his own chosen companions, in whatever of comfort, luxury, or emoluments his talent or his money can in an impartial market secure” (112).

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