Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop: Autonauts of the Cosmoroute

Nicole Gluckstern reviews Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop's Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (Los autonautas de la cosmopista).
Certain travelogues can be likened to love letters to a destination, though rarely does actual romance play a part in their construction. But when acclaimed postmodern Argentine author Julio Cortázar took to the road with his third wife, Carol Dunlop, it was a journey precipitated by mutual fondness as much as a desire for discovery.

In Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (Archipelago Books, 354 pages, $20) an author best known for his nonsequential opus Hopscotch and collections of surreal short stories approaches the task of travel with the same whimsy and contradiction that characterize his literary oeuvre. Setting out on a pseudoscientific expedition to map the freeway between Paris and Marseilles, a distance of approximately 500 miles, Cortázar (nicknamed El Lobo) and the Canadian Dunlop (La Osita) spend a full 33 days en route, confining themselves to two rest stops per day.
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