Complete summary of Julio Cortazar’s Axolotl. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Axolotl. AXOLOTL Source for information on Axolotl by Julio Cortázar, Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary. The loss of the axolotl is traumatic for Mexico City: the creature is vital a collection of axolotl-inspired texts by Julio Cortázar, Aldous Huxley.

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Weeks pass without his showing up. It opened the door to linguistic innovation of Spanish language and influenced deeply Latin American writers.

Axolotl – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 18

Axolotl From Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding And in this final solitude to which he no longer comes, I console cortzzar by thinking that perhaps he is going to write a story about us, that, believing he’s making up a story, he’s going to write all this about axolotls. Scarcely 2, words in length, the story “Axolotl” collected in Final de juego is representative of magical realism, a South American style of fiction that introduces patently preposterous subjects and events in an offhand manner and then explores their natures in a closely detailed way.

I went to see them in the aquarium at the Jardin des Plantes and stayed for hours watching them, observing their immobility, their faint movements. El tiempo se siente menos si nos estamos quietos.

During his six years working in Xochimilco, Sumano has come across everything from pushchairs to television sets in canals. The wild axolotl is racing towards extinction. To realize that was, for the first moment, like the horror of a man buried alive awaking to his fate.

The switch of perspectives between the narrator and one of the axolotl is reminiscent of Greek myths involving Circe. But an eft, the common newt, has such hands also, and we are not at all alike. This means not only agreeing to the digging of a new canal, but also committing to not using pesticides. Rayuela was a deeply influential novel for the Latin American writing community.

He depicts in extensive detail the features of one of the axolotl, not only attributing to them humanistic features, but also in one instance becoming one of them, as the point of view shifts perceptibly to first-person plural.

An interesting fact that relates to the story is that axolotls are described as neotenous. With one such creature singled out and allowed to be itself, the narrative’s motion becomes the animal’s own, the minuscule motion of its gills described with the attention usually given only to matters of great scope and importance.


He passes through the glass screen of the display and becomes physically merged with the creature.

The eyes of the axolotls spoke to me of the presence of a different life, of another way of seeing. Inexpressive features, with no other trait save the eyes, two orifices, like brooches, wholly of transparent gold, lacking any life but looking, letting themselves be penetrated by my look, which seemed to travel past the golden level and lose itself in a diaphanous interior mystery.

The axolotl, without the presence of a trapped human psyche, is a bizarre creature all on its own. But the bridges were broken between him and me, because what was his obsession is now an axolotl, alien to his human life. Lo supe antes de esto, antes de ser un axolotl. Es que no nos gusta movernos mucho, y el acuario es tan mezquino; apenas avanzamos un poco nos damos con la cola o la cabeza de otro de nosotros; surgen dificultades, peleas, fatiga.

It was useless to tap with one finger on the glass directly in front of their faces; they never gave the least reaction.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. However, through his obsession, he looses his human capacities and reverts into a lower state. Much as a casual browser can become caught up unsuspectingly in a random encyclopedia entry and the wealth of knowledge it contains, so too does the narrator let cotrazar be figuratively devoured by the little aquatic beings who are, his library research tells him, edible and productive of a fluid useable as cod-liver oil.

It’s that we don’t enjoy moving a lot, and the tank is so cramped—we barely move in any direction and we’re hitting one of the others with our tail or our head—difficulties arise, fights, tiredness.

The process of conditioning a canal for axolotls can take more than a year and involves axopotl building of a micro-ecosystem from the bottom up, from flora to fauna. Where in the city—”one spring morning when Paris was spreading its peacock cortaxar after a wintry Lent”—can they be seen?

What he didn’t notice was that it was they devouring me slowly with their eyes, in a cannibalism of gold. The horror began—I learned in the same moment —of believing myself prisoner in the body of an axolotl, metamorphosed into him with my human mind intact, buried alive in an axolotl, condemned to move lucidly among unconscious creatures. There were nine specimens, and the majority pressed their heads against the glass, looking with their eyes of gold at whoever came near them.


The man in the story, in a bizarre play on evolution, finds it advantageous to devolve back into an aquatic being. In he was a professor of French literature at the University of Cuyo, Mendoza.

He then returns in time in a retelling of the cortazr under which he arrived at that state.

Axolotls in crisis: the fight to save the ‘water monster’ of Mexico City

I knew better later; the axolorl contraction, the tentative reckoning of the delicate feet on the stones, the abrupt swimming some of them swim with a simple undulation of the body proved to me that they were capable of escaping that mineral lethargy in which they spent whole hours. An ambitious undertaking, Blow Up is about photography and art, morality and reality, society and insanity.

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Axo,otl, however, remain in their larval form all of their lives, they do not develop eyelids, protruding eyes or any other land characteristic aside from rudimentary lungs used in conjunction with their larval gills and skin pores.

Axolotls in crisis: the fight to save the ‘water monster’ of Mexico City | Cities | The Guardian

By this point, the narrator has already descended too far down the path that eventually leads him to an inability to distinguish his own existence with that of the axolotl. The Axolotl is a very strange creature. He finished his corrtazar short story at age nine alongside many other poems. Only one thing was strange: They were not human beings, but I had found in no animal such a profound relation with myself. Only the little hands.

The anthropomorphic features of a monkey reveal the reverse of what most people believe, the distance that is traveled from them to us. The narrator first becomes acquainted with them through an exhibit in an aquarium. I would lean up against the iron bar in front of the tanks and set to watching them. This aspect has confounded biologists. That the action begins “by chance” makes its tone all the more effective, for terror disarms best when presented as happenstance a feature of Poe’s tales of the fantastic set in a Paris of a century and a half before.