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 axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum, also known as the Mexican walking fish, is a neotenic .. Argentine writer Julio Cortázar included a short story entitled “Axolotl ” in his collection Final del juego. The story concerns a man who becomes.

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I imagined them aware, slaves of their bodies, condemned infinitely to the silence of the abyss, to a hopeless meditation. They were not animals. He sees nothing strange with his constant visits to the axolotls. Al lado de ellos en los restantes acuarios, diversos peces me mostraban la simple estupidez de sus hermosos ojos semejantes a los nuestros.

Once in Europe however, he did not completely disentangle himself from the political movements and unrest in Latin America.

And they were the only thing quick about it; every ten or fifteen seconds the jilio pricked up stiffly and again subsided. I stayed watching them for an hour and left, unable to think of anything else. Much as a casual jluio can become caught up unsuspectingly in a random encyclopedia entry and the wealth of knowledge it contains, so too does the narrator let himself 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.

Brain, Behavior and Evolution. Axolotls have the unique ability to regenerate or regrow whole limbs once they have been sloughed off, bitten or otherwise separated from the body. Mi cara estaba pegada al vidrio del acuario, mis ojos trataban una vez mas de penetrar el misterio de esos ojos de oro sin iris y sin pupila.

Nor is there a simple, common explanation in psychology, that “my own sensibility was projecting a nonexistent consciousness upon the axolotls,” for that would be the device of traditional and not magical realism, an excuse for everything fabulous that has transpired.

He died of leukemia in Paris on February 12, The process of conditioning a canal for axolotls can take more than a year and involves careful building of a micro-ecosystem from juloo bottom up, from flora to fauna. The New York Times. The loss of the axolotl is traumatic for Mexico City: But the bridges were broken between him and me, because what was his obsession is julko an axolotl, alien to his human life.


Central themes in his work are the quest for identity, the hidden reality behind the everyday lives of common people, and the axoloto angst. The time feels like it’s less if we stay quietly. The axolotls were like witnesses cortaxar something, and at times like horrible judges. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Today the axolotl is studied for its ability to rebuild body parts and the recently revealed fact that it has the longest known DNA strand.

When he was four years old, his family returned to Buenos Aires, where he grew up in a suburb. The 32 billion base pair long sequence of the axolotl’s genome was published in and is the largest animal genome completed so far. Axolotl From Aesthetic and Jlio Understanding Most amphibians, like frogs, spend a certain period of their lives in water as larva, before developing lungs and legs and growing into their adult form.

Axolotl by Julio Cortázar, |

Most creatures when they lose a limb, no longer recuperate it. Then my face drew back and I understood. Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology. They function to further highlight the vagueness of the boundaries between the real and the unreal qualities of the world portrayed by the narrator. He learns that they exist in larval state and that they are a species of Mexican salamander of the genus Ambystoma.

The narrator himself becomes a statue, for hours engrossed in just the single action of watching them in their unmoving state. Or I was also in him, or all of us were thinking humanlike, incapable of expression, limited to the golden splendor of our eyes looking at the face of the man pressed against the aquarium.

Hopelessly, I wanted to prove to myself that my own sensibility was projecting a nonexistent consciousness upon the axolotls. Only one thing was strange: Axolotls exhibit neotenymeaning that they reach sexual maturity without undergoing metamorphosis.

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

The short story is told through two windows of time: But that stopped when a foot just grazed my face, when I moved just a little to one side and saw an axolotl next to me who was looking at me, and understood that he knew also, no communication possible, but very clearly.


No transition and no surprise, I saw my face against the glass, I saw it on the outside of the tank, I saw it on the other side of the glass. I was an cortazra and now I knew kulio that no understanding was possible.

Cortaxar other uses, see Axolotl disambiguation. Salts, such as Holtfreter’s solutionare usually added to the water to prevent infection. The eyes of the axolotls spoke to me of the presence of a different life, of another way of seeing. Retrieved 27 June Neither should they be confused with mudpuppies Necturus spp.

“Axolotl” by Julio Cortazar

In the later part of his career his authenticity as a truly Latin American author came into question, and he was attacked on all fronts by nationalist for “abandoning” his heritage. Beyond this, he states that he is not interested in knowing anything else technical or biological about them. This discovery was the starting point of research about neoteny. Glueing my face to the glass the guard would cough fussily once in a whileI tried to see better those diminutive golden points, that entrance to the infinitely slow and remote world of these rosy creatures.

And in this final solitude to which he no longer comes, I console myself 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. As for all poikilothermic organisms, lower temperatures result in slower metabolism and a very unhealthily reduced appetite. The axolotls huddled on the wretched narrow only I can know how narrow and wretched floor of moss and stone in the tank.

In he received a degree as a secondary-level teacher. It occurs to me that at the beginning we continued to communicate, that he felt more than ever one with the mystery which was claiming him. Above all else, their eyes obsessed me. I saw from very close up the face of an axolotl immobile next to the glass.

However, through his obsession, he looses his human capacities and reverts into a lower state.