Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jesús Marchamalo / Cortázar and Books 1

Aurora Bernárdez and Julio Cortázar

Jesús Marchamalo


Aurora Bernárdez and Julio Cortázar traveled through Italy in the mid-1950s, moving by train from one city to another. In order not to have to carry unnecessary weight with them they decided to buy books in the kiosks in the stations. They chose inexpensive editions, on cheap paper and badly bound, which they would read together during their trips. Julio would almost always begin. As he turned each page he would rip it from the book and pass it to Aurora, who would read it and then toss it out the window.
That flying library, secret and invisible, has always seemed to me a metaphor of Cortázar: the leaves carried off by the wind.
And I'm tempted by the idea of retracing that journey through Italy, starting from the South, following the rail lines that were splashed with pages from that reader, Cortázar, who sent them marching out the open window while his gaze was lost in the landscape, at times, from the interior of the train.

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