Thursday, October 23, 2008


Riding upon the wind’s back in the warmth of an eleven o’clock sun, a part-time photographer makes his way through the streets of Paris to snap, forever in time, the winsome activities of ordinary life.

“In all ways when one is walking about with a camera, one has almost a duty to be attentive, to not lose that abrupt and happy rebound of the sun’s rays off an old stone, or the pigtails-flying run of a small girl going home with a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk.”
- From "Blow-Up"

Taking a break from snapping photographs, Roberto Michel raises a match to light his cigarette when the sight of a mismatched couple grabs his attention - a teenage boy with a woman many years his senior. Michel begins to conjecture as to how this couple came to be – a physical woman with a subdued and nervous boy.

“Now the woman had swung around smoothly, putting the young boy between herself and the wall, I saw them almost in profile, and he was taller, though not much taller, and yet she dominated him, it seemed like she was hovering over him, crushing him just by being there, smiling…”
- From "Blow-Up"

He snaps a photograph to capture this peculiar sight, burning a moment of time into his memory that will torment his thoughts as it lingers within his mind. What is it that this picture reveals?

Blow-Up, by Julio Cortázar, is a beautiful, stream-of-consciousness story that embodies the surrealist ideas of embracing the true flow of thought and evoking confusion through unusual juxtaposition. This story could be framed in a museum for its natural beauty – right next to the melting clock’s of Salvador Dalí’s painting, A Persistence of Memory, for they both illustrate how memories can litter the landscape of one’s mind.

If one is looking for a an easy to read story, I suggest, perhaps, "The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket," by Yasunari Kawabata, for that story is sparse in text. However, if one enjoys to dive head first into a lake of words, this is the story is for you –the current may push you around but the water feels great. O'CH

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