"R" for Rayuela ("Hopscotch"), by Julio Cortázar


I must have read this book five times? Fifteen times, uncomplete? Thirty times just to re-read a paragraph?

As I grow, reading this book gets more and more intense. I get a wider and wider glimpse of the thousands of layers of sense embedded in it.

I just love Cortázar.

I'm reading Rayuela again for this project. I need to remember a few blurry things, confirm some of the things that already come to mind when taking notes on this stage.

This is what my first notes look like :)

(Yeah, I've already bought a new and bigger sketchbook today ñ.ñ )



Ok! Moving on.

First, I need to tell you that working on a paper that works for you, that makes you feel comfortable, with its size, texture, is almost as important as allowing yourself to let your ideas flow. Changing to a bigger sketchbook from the beginning of this project automatically adjusted some scale and dimension things, and it feels good.

For those of you who haven't read the book Rayuela ("Hopscotch", in english), here's a little recap from Wikipedia:

"Hopscotch is an introspective stream-of-consciousness novel where characters fluctuate and play with the subjective mind of the reader, and it has multiple endings. This novel is often referred to as a counter-novel, as it was by Cortázar himself."

"An author's note suggests that the book would best be read in one of two possible ways, either progressively from chapters 1 to 56 or by "hopscotching" through the entire set of 155 chapters according to a "Table of Instructions" designated by the author. Cortazar also leaves the reader the option of choosing his/her own unique path through the narrative."

"The first part of the book is entitled "From the Other Side," and its action takes place in Paris, France. As the narrative opens, Horacio Oliveira, the main character, is wandering the bridges of Paris alone one afternoon, hoping to encounter his lover, Lucía (most often referred to as La Maga), and a description follows concerning the complex relationship of the two."

"The two meet up with their friends, a group affectionately referred to as ‘The Serpent Club,’ quite often. This is a circle of artists, writers, and musicians that pass the time drinking heavily and listening to music while dissecting literature, art, architecture, philosophy, and other subjects."

But then again, Rayuela can't be explained. It has to be experienced.

I'm having trouble with separating concepts for different sketches right now, so I'm working with this super content populated sketch, where almost everything that makes sense for me about this book, is right there.

There are a lot of things going on on Rayuela. I'm thinking my drop cap should be a bit like that too, don't you think? I feel I would be leaving a lot out by just focusing on one thing, or one event.

I'm working my sketch very lightly yet, the scan is kinda dark but it's just so you can understand the idea.

For the upper part of the "R", I'm working on a snake, referring to "The Serpent Club", after the name of the main character's group of friends.
Inside the loop, there's a night scenery of the Pont des Arts, in Paris. This is where the reader first meets the main character and his lover La Maga.
I'm also thinking about a spiral staircase around the upper part of the stem. There are stairs all the time, but there is one that leads to the apartment where The Serpent Club meets: Crazy things happen or are being discussed before they enter the apartment.

For the lower part. There are cats all over the book. I think Cortázar clearly saw two worlds all the time. One above, where people rule. One below, where cats are kings. I totally agree with him, so I think that's why cats are a very important part of this drop cap.

At the end of the tail there are a few books, since the intellectual aspect of Horacio Oliveira is all over the chapter. I'm thinking about drawing him laying on this cat tail, smoking a cigar.

Then there's the Tour Eiffel... I'm thinking about changing this, because Oliveira lives in between two cities: Paris and Buenos Aires. I have Paris with the Pont des Arts, but I need something representing Buenos Aires as well.

Then there's a hidden door. This is something that Oliveira and Morelli think about several times, a door that leads to a better world, to a millenary kingdom, to KNOW things. Always a fantasy of a conceptual door, that changes something in the person that crosses from one side to another.

I think that's it for today, this sketch needs some sleep. And probably me too :)

Thank you for reading! See you around!

Update: Sorry for that crappy-outlined undefined scan :/
Here's a new, more defined one. Still have the same ideas, still can't get to separate concepts for different sketches, but at least It's getting a bit clearer.


Hello again!

I've started two new sketches, by taking just one of the ideas shown above. I want to do a couple more, but this is what I got so far:

A) Cats and art nouveau. This is just a start. What I want to work here is integration between the two elements. So far it's just an art nouveau character with cats drawn on top. I think there is definitely something going on with cats and this book. 

B) The Serpent Club. I think this is the idea I like the most so far. But I think it might deviate from the main plot, for someone who hasn't read the book yet. You might think this is a book about something going on on a jungle or something, when actually it's totally not. But I like it. It's manly, it's mysterious. It could lead to something later.


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