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Cortazar, unlike other authors we’ve recently read, blatantly outlines his mode of writing, “ It’s going to be difficult because no one really knows who is telling it, if I am or what actually occurred or what I am seeing”. This disclaimer partly functions to prepare readers for the potentiality of an unreliable narrator, but also the intermingling of the first and third person to tell of a story that may or may not have happened. Interestingly he seems to settle on the “I” person to tell the story but occasionally interjects into Michel (being the same character). While reading this short story I got the impression that as Michel is writing in hindsight to a traumatic revelation, his method of using both the first and third person is a way to simulate his divided subconscious. There almost seems to be an exaltation of the person with a neurotic disorder; Michel’s narrative flip-flops between confidence in his powers of observation, and difficulty in understanding what he sees. As a photographer he trusts his instincts in capturing detail, and relies on visual proof to validate his revelation of the “blown up” photograph. This continues to be an issue as he stumbles across a “mismatched” pair, a woman attempting to seduce a fifteen-year old boy. Oddly, Michel’s initial thought was of a mother and son. This intrigued me because it seems to be a reversal of the Oedipus complex, where instead of the child desiring a sexual relationship with his/her parent, the mother is attempting to lure her son in. Although that’s not the case, it may potentially represent his psychotic consciousness. Drawing back to the beginning of the story, “Better that it be me who am dead” leads me to think that Michel’s second interpretation after the photograph is enlarged, may have been merely a delusion. Cortazar really challenges the concept of normalcy by giving Michel a fragmented personality.

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