By Julio Cortazar
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian author who lives in Paris along with his mistress, l. a. Maga, surrounded through a loose-knit circle of bohemian pals who name themselves "the Club." A kid's loss of life and los angeles Maga's disappearance placed an finish to his lifetime of empty pleasures and highbrow acrobatics, and urged Oliveira to come back to Buenos Aires, the place he works by means of turns as a salesperson, a keeper of a circus cat which may really count number, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the astounding, free-wheeling account of Oliveira's brilliant adventures.
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Extra resources for Hopscotch
What omniscience was contained in the Í of grownups? At the age of fifteen he discovered the business of "all I know is that I know nothing"; the hemlock that went with it seemed inevitable. One doesn't challenge people that way, I say so. " delicately disguised even for the person using them. Now he heard, "I've always thought so," "if I'm sure of anything . . ," "it's obvious that . . ," almost never softened by a disinterested appreciation of the other person's point of view. As if the species in every individual were on guard against letting him go too far along the road of tolerance, intelligent doubt, sentimental vacillation.
Sometimes La Maga would go for weeks without mentioning Rocamadour and those would always be the same times that she was hoping to become a singer of Lieder. Then Ronald would sit down at the piano with his cowboy-red hair and La Maga would bellow something from Hugo Wolf with a ferocity that made Madame Noguet tremble as she sat next door stringing plastic beads to sell at a stand on the Boulevard de Sebastopol. La Maga's singing of Schumann was rather pleasant, but it all depended on the moon and what we were going to do that night, and also on Roca- madour, because no sooner did La Maga think of Rocamadour than her singing went to pot and Ronald was left alone at the piano, with all the time in the world to woodshed some of his bop ideas or to kill us softly with some blues.
La Maga looked at him out of the corner of her eye, suspecting that he was kidding her, that all of this came from his being furious over the toc-toc bird in his head, the bird that asked him for Argentinian food. Then she threw herself at him to the great surprise of a couple strolling along the Rue Saint-Sulpice, and she mussed up his hair as she laughed. Oliveira had to hold her arms down and they began to laugh. The couple looked at them and although the husband had a hint of a smile, his wife was much too scandalized by such behavior.