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Autonauts of the Cosmorouteby Carol Dunlop
Synopses & Reviews
“Anyone who doesn't read Cortázar is doomed.”—Pablo Neruda
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is a love story, an irreverent travelogue of elaborate tales and snapshots detailing Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop’s thirty-three-day voyage on the Paris-Marseilles freeway in 1982. Uncovering the freeway’s hidden underbelly, they push life and literature to surreal extremes. This shot of sun is a satire on modern travel and the great explorers, and an intimate look at one of the greatest literary spirits of our time.
Julio Cortázar (1914–1984) was a true giant of twentieth-century Latin American literature. He met and married Carol Dunlop in France in 1982.
Anne McLean has translated the work of Carmen Martín Gaite, Javier Cercas, Ignacio Padilla, Orlando Gonzáles Esteva, and Luis Sepúlveda, as well as other works of Julio Cortázar.
"A couple's leisurely drive through France finally makes it to the U.S. in this long-overdue translation of Cortázar (1914-84) and Dunlop's (1946-82) wry, wondrous 1983 travelogue. Following two simple rules-'Complete the journey from Paris to Marseille without once leaving the autoroute,' and visit each of the 70 rest areas 'at the rate of two per day'-the couple stretch a 10-hour highway trip into a month-long expedition, capturing in short, snappy chapters the joy of slowing down and enjoying the scenery. At times poetic, at others sarcastic, and always playful, the authors take turns with the narrative 'the way a pianist plays a sonata, the hands united in a single quest.' The resulting tale is an infectious love letter to the road, their VW camper van and each other, made more poignant by Dunlop's untimely death (she passed before the book was finished). Despite some sleepless nights and depressing, concrete-slab surroundings, the couple's sunny mood and clever observation will keep readers engaged. Enjoyable, if a bit inconsequential, this jaunt makes a great introduction to the work of Latin American heavyweight Cortázar, known for short stories and experimental novels such as 1967's National Book Award-winning Hopscotch. B&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Cortázar (1914-1984) grew up near Buenos Aires and was a celebrated novelist and short story writer. Dunlop (1946-1984) was born in Boston, became a Canadian citizen during the Vietnam war, met Cortázar in 1977, and moved to France where she worked as a writer, translator, and photographer. They both died in Paris. Originally published in Spanish in 1983 (Muchnik, D.L., Barcelona), this imaginative and lively travel chronicle, translated into English by Anne McLean, tells of the authors' experiences as they drove their VW van on the freeway from Paris to Marseilles in 33 days--a trip that normally takes about ten hours. Annotation Â©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A life-altering road trip with one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is a travelogue, a love story, an irreverent collection of visual and verbal snapshots. In May 1982, Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop climbed aboard Fafner, their VW camper van, and embarked on an exploration of the uncharted territory of the Paris-Marseilles freeway. It was a route they¢d covered before, usually in about ten hours, but his time they loaded up with supplies and prepared for an ardous voyage of thirty-three days without leaving the autoroute. Along the way they would uncover the hidden side of the freeway and record The trips vital minutiae with light-hearted abandon. At roadside rest areas, armed with typewriters, cameras, and mutual affection, the authors composed this book.
About the Author
One of the true giants of twentieth century Latin American literature. Innovative, irreverent, and haunting, Cortazar's writing pushes at the boundaries of expression. In the 1970s he became a tireless defender of Latin American self-determination and many of his books were banned in Argentina. He died in Paris in 1984.
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