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Shvoong Home>Books>AWAKE ALL NIGHT Review

AWAKE ALL NIGHT

Book Review   by:patsym     Original Author: Julio Cortázar
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This abstract was translated from La Noche Boca Arriba
 
This is one of the best stories written by Julio Cortazar, the Argentine author born in Brussels. The story occurred to him in 1952, while lying convalescent in a Paris hospital after a motorcycle accident. It is included in a collection of short stories called “The End of the Game”, March 1964. It is about a youth who is in hospital after suffering an accident on his motorbike. He suffers terrible nightmares in which he is a “Motec” who gets caught by the Aztecs in the “Flower Wars.” He is finally carried, face up, to the sacrificing stone. Presenting us with images of the real world and the dream world, the author makes us doubt: What is real and what is a dream? We decide which is which, or remain forever in a disturbing state of doubt. In both realms, the character is anonymous, undefined and estranged. This effacing of his identity leaves us pondering whether it’s the man on the motorcycle who dreams he’s a “Motec” or the “Motec” who dreams he is riding “a huge metallic insect buzzing under his legs” in a place where strange “green and red lights” burn “without flame or smoke?” The counterpoint of both realities becomes the space-time streamline, the ominous background in many of the author’s stories. Other examples are: ”All fires, the fire” and “The Other Heaven”, written in 1966, “Park Continuity” and “Axolotl” written in 1964. Cortazar seeks to immerse us in the eternal questions of reality and identity, leaving disturbing reverberations in our conscience. Historically speaking, the “Flower Wars” were Aztec rites, performed to “hunt” youths from other tribes and offer them as a sacrifice to the Sun God (Huitzilopochtli) in order to prevent it from burning out. The “Motecs”, never existed, they are a joke stemming from the author’s imagination.
Published: March 12, 2006   
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  1. 1. T. Rex

    J. Cortazar

    I don't speak Spanish and have no idea why the original abstract is rated so low (2,8), but, in my humble opinion, yours is great! While reading it I was even thinking that maybe you "cheated it" off the book's cover, it's so good... I'll be looking for your other abstracts.

    0 Rating Sunday, July 23, 2006
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