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Cortazar on Play


For me, literature is a form of play. But I’ve always added that there are two forms of play: football, for example, which is basically a game, and then games that are very profound and serious. When children play, though they’re amusing themselves, they take it very seriously. It’s important. It’s just as serious for them now as love will be ten years from now. I remember when I was little and my parents used to say, ‘Okay, you’ve played enough, come take a bath now.’ I found that completely idiotic, because, for me, the bath was a silly matter. It had no importance whatsoever, while playing with my friends was something serious. Literature is like that—it’s a game, but it’s a game one can put one’s life into. One can do everything for that game.
Julio Cortázar, Argentine novelist (1914-1984), in an interview with The Paris Review

Check out Cortázar’s Autonauts of the Cosmoroute or the brilliant Hopscotch.

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