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"Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires" by Julio Cortázar [Weekend Reading]

This book literally just arrived in our office, which is perfect, since I’m taking off in 15 minutes to go camping and will definitely bring this with me.

If you don’t already know Julio Cortázar’s work, run to the nearest bookstore and buy Hopscotch and 62: A Model Kit. After that, you will, like everyone else who’s been indoctrinated into the World of Cortázar, seek out every last thing that he wrote, and cherish all of his books. (One hidden gem worth checking out is Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, which Archipelago brought out a few years back.)

Anyway, this particular book is a mash-up of literature and comics that seems particularly Cortázar-esque. On his way home from the Second Russell Tribunal (which was dedicated to investigating human rights violations in Latin American countries), Cortázar read issue #201 of Fantomas: The Elegant Menace which contains a cameo by Julio Cortázar!

Out of this, he wrote this book, which contains parts of the original comic book along with a text that ends up exploring human rights abuses and the other evils of multinational corporations and political regimes.

This came out in Spanish in 1975, but has never before been translated into English. Semiotext(e) did a great job with this, and I can’t wait to get the tent set up so that I can dive in . . .



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