It is in section 62 of Cortázar’s Rayuela (1963; Hopscotch, 1966) that the basic components of 62: A Model Kit are to be found. Morelli, a character in Hopscotch, is working on a book in which the actors “would appear unhealthy or complete idiots.” He adds that “any standard behavior (including the most unusual, its deluxe category) would be inexplicable by means of current instrumental psychology.” In the introduction to 62: A Model Kit, Cortázar warns the reader about the various transgressions in the novel at the level of the characters or the plot. The former, it is true, behave in a very bizarre manner: They are childlike, unpredictable, or caught in a web of thought that laboriously seeks for answers which are never given. They have no complete names, they have no background or history other than the one that involves them in the zone, their common territory. Cortázar has thus stripped from his characters the traits which traditionally enhance development in a realistic manner.
In certain cases, it is possible to establish a few associations. Juan, for example, who works (perhaps) for the United Nations, brings to mind Cortázar himself. Some characters in Hopscotch find their parallels in this novel. Juan’s main intellectual ruminations are similar to Oliveira’s; Hélène, the loner of the group, in her serious and ordered life mirrors Pola; Tell, innocent and unreflective,...
(The entire section is 526 words.)