faux victorian rag - "Labyrinth"

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Biology of the Blogger

Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch is certainly as monumental and successful a literary experiment as any discussed on this site. Ostensibly, the book is the story of Horacio Oliveira, an Argentine bohemian clambering through Paris. He’s defined by the conviction that he has chosen the wrong path in life; a self-labeled failure, there is nothing left for him but to struggle, hopelessly, against his failings. Condemned to beat his head against a brick wall that he knows only may be toppled by future generations, Oliveira is a wandering soul, a man obsessed with memory because the only thing that keeps him going is the question of whether or not any path he could have chosen would have led him to the same place.

The most remarked-on aspect of Hopscotch is its format: the book is split into 56 regular chapters and 99 “expendable” ones. How one should actually read the book is explained through the author’s Table of Instructions

T A B L E      O F       I N S T R U C T I O N S

In it’s own way, this book consists of many books, but two books above all.

The first can be read in a normal fashion and it ends with Chapter 56, at the close of which there are three garish little stars which stand for the words The End. Consequently, the reader may ignore what follows with a clean conscience.

The second should be read by beginning with Chapter 73 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each chapter. In case of confusion or forgetfulness, one need only consult the following list:

73 – 1 – 2 – 116 – 3 – 84 – 4 – 71 – 5 – 81 – 74 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 93 – 68 – 9 – 104 – 10 – 65 – 11 – 136 – 12 – 106 – 13 – 115 – 14 – 114 – 117 – 15 – 120 – 16 – 137 – 17 – 97 – 18 – 153 – 19 – 90 – 20 – 126 – 21 – 79 – 22 – 62 – 23 – 124 – 128 – 24 – 134 – 25 – 141 – 60 – 26 – 109 – 27 – 28 – 130 – 151 – 152 – 143 – 100 – 76 – 101 – 144 – 92 – 103 – 108 – 64 – 155 – 123 – 145 – 122 – 112 – 154 – 85 – 150 – 95 – 146 – 29 – 107 – 113 – 30 – 57 – 70 – 147 – 31 – 32 – 132 – 61 – 33 – 67 – 83 – 142 – 34 – 87 – 105 – 96 – 94 – 91 – 82 – 99 – 35 – 121 – 36 – 37 – 98 – 38 – 39 – 86 – 78 – 40 – 59 – 41 – 148 – 42 – 75 – 43 – 125 – 44 – 102 – 45 – 80 – 46 – 47 – 110 – 48 – 111 – 49 – 118 – 50 – 119 – 51 – 69 – 52 – 89 – 53 – 66 – 149 – 54 – 129 – 139 – 133 – 140 – 138 – 127 – 56 – 135 – 63 – 88 – 72 – 77 – 131 – 58 – 131 –

Courtesy of faux victorian rag.

For more from this blog, check out an interview with it’s anonymous author on yesterday’s episode of Biology of the Blog.

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