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Peptastic is standing still


"Won't let the city destroy our love" - Patrick Wolf

62: A Model Kit - Julio Cortázar, Gregory Rabassa

What I loved about 62: A Model Kit is that even when I wasn't entirely sure I had the full scope of the story by the end I knew that I had. Everything weaved together and I allowed myself to be swept along. I didn't discover until the end where the city ended and the real world of the characters began until the very end. I had a few "Ah hah!" moments here and there, where I'd flip back and make a connection to a particular development. Where the characters they spied on were really Helene, or Helene's subconscious desires to destroy Juan. Her horrible actions towards Celia where she was either molesting her or trying to kill her. There seemed a fine line there when said wanted to take something from Celia.

I loved all of the Tarters deeply, with the exception of Helene/Frau Marta/The Countess. She was so sinister underneath her vengeful fantasies and basilisk imagery. Juan was frustrating in his refusal to see Helene, until it was too late, for what she was. I didn't realise until her actions towards Celia that was actually evil. I had my doubts of Juan's blending of her with The Countess in the beginning until I was near the end of the book.
While Nicole, the malcontent, was heartbreaking for essentially doing the same thing to Marrast as Juan did to Tell. I can't accept her depression relied solely on his complete indifference to her. I felt so much emptiness on her part, hope that Marrast was going to kill her, inability and inaction to do anything but paint gnomes. Until she slept with the silly Austin.
Marrast's letter to Tell, that they did not love themselves which is how they allowed to be touched by them was quite revealing. I screamed when Frau Marta whispers in Nicole's ear about a hotel to stay in while she was in the midst of a suicide attempt. I never got until that point the girl Frau Marta was assaulting in the hotel room was Nicole, nor that Juan sighting of Marta on the train car had been a hint.

The use of the city to highlight the subconscious desires was riveting. Everything was laid right out there on the table, the motivations and desires to be assembled together as you read.
I have quite a few favourite antics of the tartars, but I'll highlight the castaway moment for Calac, Palanco and my paedros. When they watched the whole affair of being rescued as it were a matter of someone else being rescued. Palanco's boss didn't care for them for being existentialists.
I enjoyed them immensely, their little games and thoughts on life. The Danish girl Tell, summed it up best, they were crazy but they were healthy.