ALL FIRES THE FIRE by Julio Cortazar


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A spray of short stories -- just eight this time -- by the skillful Argentinian illusionist, described as more ""accessible"" (i.e. intelligible) than some of his major works, although once again there will be the familiar jumpshift of roles and realities (in the title story) or an existentialist survival game -- cf. ""Instructions for John Howell."" More aboveboard, without an artifice in sight, are ""Nurse Cora"" in which a mother and a nurse vie for a dying boy; or the effective excerpt of revolution ""Meeting,"" or the disconsolately toned retrospective of a romance before the foreclosure of banal reality (""The Other Heaven""). While the all night traffic jam on ""The Southern Throughway"" in which two nuns in a 2 CV and the couple in a Peugeot and the girl in a Dauphine and, and, and, are immobilized -- occasioning a certain va et vient between the passengers -- is a sheer showcase performance. The collection is perhaps inconclusive in terms of extending or furthering Cortazar's talent -- but the stories are versatile and entertaining, distancing beyond the mind's eye.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1973
Publisher: Pantheon