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Continuity of Parks

Julio Cortázar


Important Quotations Explained

1. “[He sat] [s]prawled in his favorite armchair, its back toward the door—even the possibility of an intrusion would have irritated him, had he thought of it.

While “Continuity of Parks” is a story of deep philosophical import and bold structural experimentation, it is not solemn or humorless. Cortázar’s fiction is often noted for its glints and gleams of wry humor, and this story is no exception. In this passage, in which Cortázar describes the reader getting ready to plunge back into his novel, he sets up the end of the story by mentioning that the reader’s back is to the door. He also does a sly and funny bit of foreshadowing by saying that “even the possibility of an intrusion would have irritated” the reader. This foreshadowing becomes humorous at the end, when, on one level, an actual intrusion takes place. It is also dark, however, in that, on another level, the intrusion takes place only in the reader’s mind. It is he who lets the intruder in by allowing the story to take hold of him. Put another way, it is he who becomes the intruder in his own home.

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