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From the author of Hopscotch and Blow-up and Other Stories, perhaps Cortázar’s most unconventional work, From the Observatory, moves from descriptions of the life cycle of the Atlantic eel to glimpses of the unearthly structures of an observatory built in Jaipur by an 18th-century Indian sultan. The architectural wonder was not merely a place dedicated to astronomical observation but also a space that bore witness to the dreams of those who entered it. With a dream-logic of its own, Cortazar's haunting photos of this enigmatic place flow into others of Paris at night which flow into his verbal dance. Like fish that do not know why they are migrating, the reader is asked to go with the fantastic flow. This remarkable, genre-defying gem has never been translated into English before.
Pure Cortazar in all his masterful out-of-this-world imagery. Illusory and poetic text accompanied by stunning photos make this book a perfect summer present for visitors or hosts as it is its own magical fairytale journey for adults. This is as beautiful as the perfect summer day."
Cortazar seeks 'another possible profile of man.' From the outset, as rendered in Anne McLean's elegant translation, he embraces the slipperiness of knowledge and language itself...[From the Observatory] articulate[es] a constellation of its own from previously unexplored connections."
—Jason Weiss, Review: Literaure and Arts of the Americas
Archipelago’s latest offering, From the Observatory, is a slender, gorgeous thing, a photo-essay-cum-prose-poem-manifest . . ."
From the Observatory is a welcome addition to [Cortazar's] well-established English oeuvre. It exposes the intelligence and idiosyncratic connections that reflect a unique and creative mind."
—The Quarterly Conversation
Vivid... Cortazar makes both science and language something utterly sensual... In a stunning translation by the talented Anne Mclean."
The photographs beautifully evoke their subject and also give some key to the genesis of the work itself... They recall the cinematic values that inspired two of the finest films of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima Mon Amour."
—The Wall Street Journal
Idols invite respect, admiration, affection, and, of course, great envy. Cortázar inspired all of these feelings as very few writers can, but he inspired, above all, an emotion much rarer: devotion. He was, perhaps without trying, the Argentine who made the whole world love him."
—Gabriel García Márquez
Anyone who doesn’t read Cortázar is doomed. Not to read him is a serious invisible disease, which in time can have terrible consequences. Something similar to a man who has never tasted peaches. He would quietly become sadder . . . and, probably, little by little, he would lose his hair."
Cortázar is a unique storyteller. He can induce the kind of chilling unease that strikes like a sound in the night."
A glittering showcase for a daring talent...Julio Cortazar is a dazzler."
—The San Francisco Chronicle
Julio Cortazar is a stunning writer. It is difficult to imagine how he could improve as a writer of short stories."
—The Christian Science Monitor
A first-class literary imagination at work."
—The New York Times