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Salted with fire biblical allusions, Heraclitus and judgement by fire in Julio Cortazar's 'all fires the fire'

Aagje Monballieu (UGent) , Danny Praet (UGent) and Mark Janse (UGent)
(2011) ORBIS LITTERARUM. 66(4). p.312-340
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Abstract
Julio Cortázar was extremely well read in ancient literature and philosophy. He collected editions and translations of Heraclitus and based the short story “Todos los fuegos el fuego” / “All Fires the Fire” on his philosophy in which Fire steered the Universe. The enigmatic “obscure” style of the Ephesian philosopher, his use of riddles and dark metaphors, his philosophy of language, and his philosophy of time (eternal recurrence) all fascinated Cortázar. He knew the Stoics ascribed the concept of ecpyrosis, final conflagration, to Heraclitus and he knew these ideas influenced Christian apocalyptic imagery and eschatological teachings. We argue that the metaphors and the experimental narrative of “All Fires the Fire” (merging a modern story and a story set in Roman Antiquity, both ending in a final conflagration) are inspired by Heraclitus and by the Bible. This paper explores the interaction between the use Cortázar made of Heraclitus and the Christian traditions: the function of the Biblical allusions (to Mt. 5, 13; Rev. 22) he inserted in the story, to early Christian symbolism (the fish), and to an ancient Christian numerical riddle (888) on the name of Jesus taken from the Sibylline Oracles. In this way we hope to clarify his view of the reader as an intellectual accomplice of the author.
Keywords
Bible, Julio Cortazar, Sibylline Oracles, Heraclitus, 'Todos los fuegos el fuego'

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Chicago
Monballieu, Aagje, Danny Praet, and Mark Janse. 2011. “Salted with Fire Biblical Allusions, Heraclitus and Judgement by Fire in Julio Cortazar’s ‘All Fires the Fire’.” Orbis Litterarum 66 (4): 312–340.
APA
Monballieu, A., Praet, D., & Janse, M. (2011). Salted with fire biblical allusions, Heraclitus and judgement by fire in Julio Cortazar’s “all fires the fire.” ORBIS LITTERARUM, 66(4), 312–340.
Vancouver
1.
Monballieu A, Praet D, Janse M. Salted with fire biblical allusions, Heraclitus and judgement by fire in Julio Cortazar’s “all fires the fire.”ORBIS LITTERARUM. 2011;66(4):312–40.
MLA
Monballieu, Aagje, Danny Praet, and Mark Janse. “Salted with Fire Biblical Allusions, Heraclitus and Judgement by Fire in Julio Cortazar’s ‘All Fires the Fire’.” ORBIS LITTERARUM 66.4 (2011): 312–340. Print.
@article{1209654,
  abstract     = {Julio Cort{\'a}zar was extremely well read in ancient literature and philosophy. He collected editions and translations of Heraclitus and based the short story {\textquotedblleft}Todos los fuegos el fuego{\textquotedblright} / {\textquotedblleft}All Fires the Fire{\textquotedblright} on his philosophy in which Fire steered the Universe. The enigmatic {\textquotedblleft}obscure{\textquotedblright} style of the Ephesian philosopher, his use of riddles and dark metaphors, his philosophy of language, and his philosophy of time (eternal recurrence) all fascinated Cort{\'a}zar. He knew the Stoics ascribed the concept of ecpyrosis, final conflagration, to Heraclitus and he knew these ideas influenced Christian apocalyptic imagery and eschatological teachings. We argue that the metaphors and the experimental narrative of {\textquotedblleft}All Fires the Fire{\textquotedblright} (merging a modern story and a story set in Roman Antiquity, both ending in a final conflagration) are inspired by Heraclitus and by the Bible. This paper explores the interaction between the use Cort{\'a}zar made of Heraclitus and the Christian traditions: the function of the Biblical allusions (to Mt. 5, 13; Rev. 22) he inserted in the story, to early Christian symbolism (the fish), and to an ancient Christian numerical riddle (888) on the name of Jesus taken from the Sibylline Oracles. In this way we hope to clarify his view of the reader as an intellectual accomplice of the author.},
  author       = {Monballieu, Aagje and Praet, Danny and Janse, Mark},
  issn         = {0105-7510},
  journal      = {ORBIS LITTERARUM},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {312--340},
  title        = {Salted with fire biblical allusions, Heraclitus and judgement by fire in Julio Cortazar's 'all fires the fire'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0730.2011.01023.x},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2011},
}

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