Discovered in a private library after the death of its owner, the original typescript of Cronopes and Famous by Julio Cortazar, including seven unpublished stories by the Argentine writer, will be auctioned in Montevideo on October 12. The Zorrilla Subastas (Uruguay) and Hilario (Argentina) houses are offering this typewritten text with handwritten annotations by Cortazar (1914-1984) with a starting price of 12,000 dollars (around 11,400 euros). The estimated value ranges from $15,600 to $21,000.
“The auction, which will take place in real presence under the hammer of Sebastian Zorrilla, was organized jointly with the Hilario house, whose director, Roberto Vega, was responsible for the cataloging,” explains Guillermo Gonzalez to AFP by Zorrilla Subastas. The online catalog touts “exceptional” material, ensuring that it is “in very good condition” and is in a box specially designed for its conservation.
The typescript, produced in Paris in 1952, contains 46 brief stories on sixty pages typed on one side. Of these stories, 35 were published "almost without modifications" in the first edition of Cronopes and Famous by the Minotauro publishing house of Buenos Aires in 1962 and four others subsequently, according to the catalog. Seven others remained unpublished.
“This typescript was discovered in Montevideo, in the library of a deceased individual. It was placed in a box without being listed, the way it ended up there remains unknown,” says Guillermo Gonzalez of Zorrilla Subastas. Preparations for the auction took about a year, with the consultation of two Cortazar experts: the Uruguayan writer Aldo Mazzucchelli, a doctor of letters from Stanford University, and the Argentine bookseller Lucio Aquilanti, author of a “bio-bibliography” on Cortazar in 2014.
“We can say without a doubt that it is an original by the author, typed, of extraordinary transcendence,” writes Lucio Aquilanti. He highlights the use of the same typewriter, a Royal, that Cortazar later produced other texts with. The manuscript constitutes lot 187 of the sale of 199 works of art, books, engravings, old maps, photographs and historical objects. The sale will be broadcast live from the Zorrilla Subastas headquarters in the center of Montevideo, with the possibility of bidding online via the Invaluable (United States) and Drouot (France) platforms.
Considered one of the greatest Latin American writers, Julio Cortazar was born in Ixelles (Belgium) on August 26, 1914. He joined Argentina when his family returned there in 1918, before leaving again in 1951 for Argentina. France, in protest against the dictatorship of General Peron. He died in Paris on February 12, 1984. Often mixing fantasy or magical realism typical of South American literature, his work has been translated into around thirty languages.
His best-known book, Marelle (1963), is a 600-page labyrinth novel which interweaves stories in Paris and Buenos Aires and which the reader can read in order or by jumping from one chapter to another ( there are 155) without following the numbering.