Finding Rhythm in Julio Cortazar's Los Premios

Peter Dayan, Carolina Orloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One character in Cortazar's novel (Persio) truly believes in cosmic rhythm. This belief is characteristic of a magical view of the universe central to 1960s (proto-'New Age') counterculture. The other characters in Los Premios, like the implied narrator, reject Persio's essentialism; they dismiss the notion that there is really any rhythm common to art, humanity, and the universe. However, there are key points in the narrative, inspired by falling in love and by works of art, at which their world does appear patterned by just such a rhythm, a 'swing cosmico'. The novel itself turns out to depend on the intermittent conviction of this rhythm, not objectively embedded in anything, but always seen, living, and dying in time; the price of art is the acceptance of this rhythmed mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

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