An Argentine writer and master of short stories, Julio CortÃÂ¡zar is truly a man for the ages. Most of CortÃÂ¡zar's stories have to deal with hallucinations or obsessions. Themes in his stories usually have to deal with identity, and the hidden reality behind everyday experiences. CortÃÂ¡zar, a radical, experienced many of these "reality checks" while being involved in the Cuban revolution, giving him a unique angle, which would make his career.
Julio CortÃÂ¡zar was born in Brussels, Belgium. His parents were there on business. When he was four years old, his family returned to Buenos Aires, where he grew up in a suburb. CortÃÂ¡zar went to the Escuela Normal de Profesores Mariano Acosta, a teachers training college. In 1935 he received a degree as a secondary-level teacher. He studied two years at the University of Buenos Aires and taught in secondary schools in BolÃÂvar, Chivilcoy, and Mendoza.
In 1944-45 he was a professor of French literature at the University of Cuyo, Mendoza.
There, he joined a protest and was jailed for a short time. After his release he left the university. From 1946 to 1948 he was a director of a publishing company in Buenos Aires. He became certified in law and languages and worked then as a translator.
Los Reyes (1949) was CortÃÂ¡zar's first work of fantasy. The long poem was a meditation of the fate of the Minotaur in his labyrinth. CortÃÂ¡zar's first collection of short stories, Bestiario, appeared in 1951. It included 'Casa tomada' (A House Taken Over), where a middle-aged brother and sister find that their house is invaded by unidentified people. The story was published by Jorge Luis Borges in a magazine called Los anales de Buenos Aires; Borges's sister illustrated it.
In 1951, in opposition to Peron's regime, CortÃÂ¡zar moved to Paris,