Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cortazar: Autonauts of the Cosmoroute


There is a new Cortazar title to be released this month from the excellent Archipelago Books, providers of recent titles from Duras, Musil, Michaux, among myriad others. Archipelago also released Cortazar's slim Diary of Andres Fava in 2005, which is a companion-book to Final Exam, somewhat similar to the way 62: A Model Kit functions in relation to Hopscotch. This new book, Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, is described as "a love story, an irreverent travelogue of elaborate tales and snapshots detailing Julio Cort├ízar and Carol Dunlop’s thirty-three-day voyage on the Paris-Marseilles freeway in 1982." The most exciting detail here is that the book clocks in at 350 pages, which is quite a gift to Cortazar readers operating only in English. It seems like Autonauts may resemble the hodgepodge style of Around the World in 80 Days, though it will probably be more unified, given the format of that volume. Anne McLean handles the translation here, continuing her earlier work on Diary of Andres Fava; McLean's other major work of translation was partial duty on Ignacio Padilla's novel Shadow Without a Name. Another appealing detail of the description is that this book was written under two years before Cortazar's death, & insight into this later portion of his life & career is welcome, given the rumors, sensationalism & nastiness that has tended to surround the accounts & commentary of that era.

2 comments:

Model Homes said...

SWEET!

Will Schofield said...

Thanks for another heads-up. Archipelago is amazing and I'm looking forward to their Ponge book. I just touted their publication of Richard Sieburth's translation of Georg Buchner's "Lenz" over on A Journey Round My Skull. Here's William Gass on the book: "“Like a jewelry chest, the covers of this book open on a gem of German prose, brought to its full radiance by Richard Sieburth’s splendid translation, accompanied by the German original as usually befits only poetry, and set among extensive notes and additional texts which allow the reader to appreciate its historical importance as well as its present powerful effect. I’d like to call Lenz a score, a score to go mad over... ”