Axolotl Historical Context

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Existentialism's Influence on Cortazar

"Axolotl" was first published in 1956. At that time, Cortazar no longer lived in his native Argentina, but in Paris, France. The story is set in Paris and appears to take place in the time it was written. Critic Terry J. Peavler says that the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, an important philosophical movement of the day, influenced Cortzar's "Axolotl." In fact, existentialism, which began in France, inspired many authors of the 1950s, including Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, and French authors Albert Camus and Jean Genet. Peavler draws a comparison between "Axolotl" and Sartre's book Being and Nothingness, which was published the same year. Sartre felt that individuals create their own identities through their choices and actions. While people should not think of themselves as comprised of a fixed set of characteristics or categories, neither should they go to the other extreme and conceive of themselves...

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This section contains 844 words
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Buy the Axolotl Study Guide
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Axolotl from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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