Religious Symbolism and the Ideological. Critique in “El perseguidor” by Julio Cort?zar. El sentido esencial de este cuento existe en funci?n de un sistema de. In , the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar published a short story entitled “El Perseguidor” (“The Pursuer”) that vividly brought to life the bebop scene of s . This study aims to juxtapose two treatments of „time‟ in Julio Cortázar‟s short story, El perseguidor, to better understand how the concept challenges the.

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Even Johnny Carter’s initials—J. One of the first barriers the reader encounters, as well as one of the most important, is the divide between the fictional world of the story and the real world of the s Parisian bebop scene, particularly the real life of Charlie Parker. In “The Pursuer’ I wanted to stop inventing and stand on my own ground, to look at myself a bit.

Incapable of satisfying itself, useful as a continual spur, an infinite construction, the pleasure of which is not its highest pinnacle but in the exploratory repetitions, in the use of faculties which leave the suddenly human behind without losing humanity.

More than the particulars of Johnny’s new and unique vision of the world, this stylistic julik is the story’s major contribution to the period’s changing philosophies of art and narrative. Since then she has given him money, sometimes slept with him, shot up heroin with him, and used her unique ability to calm him down and provide comfort when he has needed it.

While Bruno describes Johnny’s music in religious terms, Johnny describes his own relationship to organized religion as contentious. According to this metaphor, Bruno’s biography of Johnny may be regarded as a biblical text, describing the religious message he derives from Johnny’s music. Then Johnny falls asleep and Bruno observes that Johnny is not a genius “walk[ing] in the clouds,” but a man more real than anyone else.

Similarly, artists like Johnny are constantly engaged in pursuing some of the basic values and assumptions of a society, trying desperately to open the door to a new understanding of the world.


Johnny Carter’s character is in many ways meant to refer to the alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. Considering his decision not to include Johnny’s psychological and physical abnormalities and illnesses in the biography, Bruno asks him again about the book and Johnny responds, “what you perseguudor to put in is me. This is clearer in the original Spanish version, since the translator Paul Blackburn has edited out some of the awkwardness in language. Parker is present here and shows author and petseguidor the possibility to imagine a world otherwise, in which time, language, and music escape the barriers imposed by an exclusionary system.

However, Johnny is also referred to in terms that associate him with hell and the devil. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Bee, who dies of pneumonia. Later in his life, he married the Canadian writer Carol Dunlap. His character is closely based on the famous bebop musician Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, and, like Parker, Johnny is a heroin addict and an alcoholic with severe psychological illnesses.

During his climactic discussion with Bruno near the end of the story, Johnny refers to playing with Davis when “the door open[ed] a little bit,” and he found, or nearly found, what he was looking for.

It is a problem that every writer who works with true characters, with the crazily unpredictable winds and sparks of real life, should have.

Other critics, such as Doris Sommer in her essay “Pursuing a Perfect Present,” discuss the relationship of the critic and the artist as it relates to the story’s innovations in narrative structure: Ultimately, Bruno represents Johnny as a Christlike figure who suffers for the sins of mankind, and his own role as that of a preacher, whose task is to testify to the spiritually transcendent power of Johnny’s music.

In describing the effect of Johnny’s music on him, Bruno asserts, “he played like I imagine only a god can play an alto sax, given that they quit using lyres and flutes. Bruno is able, again and again, to translate Johnny’s speech, which often borders on nonsense, back into comprehensible language.

Bruno then receives a telegram from Baby Lennox saying that Johnny has died. Indeed, one of the most important “pursuers” is the reader of the story, hunting through the text in order to discover its meaning. The right answer simply can’t be explained.


The Pursuer |

Like Johnny, Art is from cortazsr United Statesand he has had “conversations with his agent about going back to New York cortzzar soon as possible. The Birth of Bebop: Skip to main content. The first, as Sommer argues, is to imitate the improvisational genius of Charlie Parker’s bebop music.

That Bruno regards Johnny’s musical abilities as godlike is further expressed when he struggles to describe the awe-inspiring effect of Johnny’s live performance at a club one night, observing.

The Pursuer

Cotrazar death is quite a blow to Johnny, who later says about his music: Although Johnny often disappoints his friends and family, he is also a person who is cortwzar universally revered and admired. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article.

Bruno is like Johnny’s lovers, friends, and fellow musicians who exploit Johnny for their own devices, since Bruno’s book and much of his career is founded on Johnny’s genius. Bruno feels that Marcel, like Art, fails to understand Johnny as well as he does. Bruno, terrified by Johnny’s criticism, which, voiced to the wrong person, could ruin his perseguidro, retorts, “What more do you want? Bruno enters, calculating that they have not seen each other in a month.

As Bruno admits, “we’re a bunch of egotists; under the pretext of watching out for Johnny what we’re doing is protecting our idea of him. The narrator of the story, he is a Parisian intellectual who, although he is close friends with Johnny and the jazz crowd, does not take drugs or mix in much with their social life.

Paris and ocrtazar major European cities were the origin of many of these ideas, but writers from all over the Hispanic world participated in them. Bruno struggles to express the essence of what makes Johnny and his music so awe-inspiring.