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Julio Cortazar, born Jules Florencio Cortazar, was an Argentine author of novels and short stories. He influenced an entire generation of Latin American writers from Mexico to Argentina, and most of his best-known work was written in France, where he established himself in 1951.
Cortazar was born in Brussels, Belgium on August 26, 1914 a few days after the invasion of Belgium by Germany at the start of World War I. His father, Julio Jose Cortazar, was the European commercial representative for the family of his wife, Maria Herminia Descotte, and the couple had arrived in Belgium in 1913. They were both Argentine. As Cortazar himself put it, his "birth was a product of tourism and diplomacy."
By then, however, Julio Jose Cortazar and Maria Herminia Descotte had split up. Cortazar spent the rest of his childhood in Banfield, near Buenos Aires, with his mother and his only sister, who was one year younger. He never saw his father again. His childhood home, with its backyard, was a source of inspiration for some of his stories. Despite this, he wrote a letter to Graciela M. de Sola describing this period of his life as "full of servitude, excessive touchiness, terrible and frequent sadness." He was a sickly child and spent much of his childhood in bed reading. His mother selected what he read, introducing her son most notably to the works of Jules Verne, whom Cortazar admired for the rest of his life. In the magazine Plural he wrote: "I spent my childhood in a haze full of goblins and elfs, with a sense of space and time that was different from everybody else's."
Lost in Paris with Julio Cortazar and Carol Dunlop
Julio Cortazar - National and Literary Perspectives
Julio Cortazar: An Argentinean Master of Anti-novel and Experimental Literature
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Julio Cortazar