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Improvisation and Writing: Julio Cortazar's 'El Perseguidor' and the Pursuit for Freedom

Jaime R. Brenes Reyes

Published: 2010-11-19

This article examines Julio Cortazar's writing techniques through his short story "El Perseguidor," which is modeled from the life of jazz great, Charlie Parker. "El Perseguidor" is similar to improvised music in that its rhythm and 'internal tension' create the common scheme and fundamental chords that are shared between author and reader. The reader, then, enters the story as co-creator and participant in the improvisatory process.

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If people talked the way they drummed in improvisation, then I think the world would be a lot nicer…

– Youth participant, ICASP improvisation workshop