Introduction & Overview of Axolotl

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Axolotl.
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Axolotl Summary & Study Guide Description

Axolotl Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Axolotl by Julio Cortázar.

Julio Cortazar's short story "Axolotl," from his collection Final del juego (End of the Game, and Other Stories), has disturbed, perplexed, and delighted a growing number of devoted readers and critics since its publication in 1956. One of Cortazar's most famous stories, it is told by a man who has been transformed into an axolotl, a species of salamander, after spending many hours watching axolotls in an aquarium. As an axolotl, the man still sees the human he used to be and hopes the human will write a story about a man who becomes an axolotl. Many critics find the axolotl's final comment to be the pervading theme of Cortazar's short fiction - that through art one can become another and communicate on behalf of all creatures, so that none may feel the terror of isolation and imprisonment.

Cortazar's fiction unites fantastic and often bizarre plots with everyday events and characters. This method urges readers to look beyond the commonly held conviction of Western thought that life is guided by fact. Instead, Cortazar wants readers to understand that reality is in the eye of the beholder. Cortazar is one of the seminal figures of magic realism, an movement hi Latin American literature that began in the 1950s. Cortazar's contemporaries, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes, also combine fantastic and ordinary situations and characters in an attempt to create new ways in which literature can represent life.

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This section contains 236 words
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Short Stories for Students
Axolotl from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.