From the author of Hopscotch and Blow-up and Other Stories, this remarkable, genre-defying gem has never before been translated into English.
From the Observatory—perhaps Julio Cortázar’s most unconventional work—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.
Archipelago’s latest offering, From the Observatory, is a slender, gorgeous thing, a photo-essay-cum-prose-poem-manifesto . . . joyously slippery.
— The Nation
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
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
From The Observatory pulls us in like a whirlpool and makes us its own… The cycle of the eels in European waters and a sultan′s strolls through an astronomical observatory in Jaipur intertwine to produce a discourse of rich texture, complex weave, and vertiginous rhythm.
— Revista UNAM
A writer who knows how to combine, like few others, an incredible imagination and a moving humanism.
— La Nación
Cortázar is a unique storyteller. He can induce the kind of chilling unease that strikes like a sound in the night.
— Time Magazine
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.
— Pablo Neruda
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.
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
A first-class literary imagination at work.
— The New York TImes
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 glittering showcase for a daring talent...Julio Cortazar is a dazzler.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Vivid... Cortazar makes both science and language something utterly sensual... In a stunning translation by the talented Anne Mclean.
— The National