"Seminal" is an overused word, but it really is valid when referring to Julio Cortázar's 1963 novel, Rayuela (Hopscotch). A possible translation of part of the author's own introduction to the book might read as follows:
"In its own way, this book is many books. However, above all, it's two books. The reader is invited to choose one of the following two options:
The first book can be read in the normal way and ends at Chapter 56...The second book can be read by starting at Chapter 73 and then following the order that's indicated at the bottom of each chapter...73, 1, 2, 116, 3, 84..."
In other words, Cortázar is inviting his readers to play hopscotch (thus the title of the novel). Likewise, we can either plough through a poetry collection from start to finish or we too can play hopscotch, jumping from page to page, flicking back and forth, dipping in and out, inventing our own connections. I far prefer the latter option. What about you?
A month or two at most, I told myself; a place to catch my breath. The long, dry haul of my body’s bulk along the shingle, up the beach, the dragged sl...