I have an idea and my idea is this, I have an idea. *grin* Welcome to November Notions - a month full of what? Ideas, imagination, suggestions, discernment, angles, wrinkles, twists, preconceptions or postulations? Or better yet...nonsense! This is your month to make of it what you will. Whether you are interested in traveling down the path of nonfiction, riddles and rhymes, or climbing up the mountain of hyperbole, exploring fictional caves of mystery and suspense, or diving into the ocean of laughter and romance, the world is yours to travel.
I think my ship got lost somewhere in the middle of the South Atlantic, but I've finally found the Rio de la Plata and the friendly port of Buenes Aires. We are going to spend the rest of the year exploring South and North America and follow in the footsteps of our author flavors of the month - Julio Cortazar and Laura Esquivel.
A few years back I read Cortazar's Hopscotch,
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, free-wheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures.
And by free-wheeling, they mean a stream of consciousness book in which you can read in chapter order or follow the random pattern set out by the author. Same as the title, you will be Hopscotching around. According to the Quarterly Conversation:
The most remarked-on aspect of Hopscotch is its format: the book is split into 56 regular chapters and 99 “expendable” ones. Readers may read straight through the regular chapters (ignoring the expendable ones) or follow numbers left at the end of each chapter telling the reader which one to read next (eventually taking her through all but one of the chapters). A reading of the book in that way would lead the reader thus: Chapter 73 – 1 – 2 – 116 – 3 – 84 – 4 – 71 – 5 – 81 – 74 – 6 – 7- 8, and so on. -
If you haven't read it yet, now is your opportunity. But be prepared to set aside all expectations, take your time, have a glass of wine or two and enjoy.
Laura Esquivel, a mexican author, is most well known for her story, Like Water for Chocolate:
A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.Esquivel has a revised edition of The Law of Love coming out May of 2017:
New York Times bestselling author Laura Esquivel brings readers a tantalizing sensory experience with her wildly inventive novel of a love spanning many lifetimes. It’s the year 2200, and Azucena Martinez is a lonely astroanalyst living in Mexico City. She has finally repaid the karmic debts she accumulated during her previous fourteen thousand lives, and in recognition of her newfound purity of spirit, she will at last be permitted to meet her twin soul, Rodrigo Sanchez. But their perfect union is limited to just one night of bliss, as Rodrigo is framed for murder soon after and banished. As Azucena sets off in search for her lost love, she will trigger a chain of events that puts her in the midst of an intergalactic political uproar.
While you are meandering about the american continents, check out Top 10 Contemporary Mexican Novels, 22 Classic and Contemporary Female Latin Authors to read, as well as 10 Essential Latin American Feminists Writers and Goodreads list of Latin American Literature.
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