Andrés Fava is a character from Cortázar’s Final Exam, and his diary originally formed part of that novel, written in 1950 but not published (for political reasons) until after the author’s death. At some point, Cortázar decided Fava’s diary should stand on its own as an independent work.
While Final Exam is mostly dialogue, Diary of Andrés Fava is all reflection: on his reading, dreams, conversations and writing. This unpredictable collection is peppered with quotes from French poets and American jazzmen. Bemused and melancholy, erudite and searching, this first-time English translation of Diario de Andrés Fava is full of autobiographical winks at the reader. Cortázar’s brilliance and irreverence are in full flower.
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.
— Pablo Neruda
Cortázar is a unique storyteller. He can induce the kind of chilling unease that strikes like a sound in the night.
— Time Magazine
This beautiful amalgam of 'marvelous instances' tilts against the 'airy blades' of empty thought with vengeance. Equal parts tender wit, elegant aside and acid observation, Diary of Andrés Fava, which comes to us from the desk of one of the 20th century's greatest literary explorers, is 100 percent delight.
— Laird Hunt