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Keywords:

  • Cortázar;
  • corticobasal degeneration;
  • progressive supranuclear palsy

Abstract

Together with Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar was one of the most representative authors of the Latin American magical realism genre. Within his extensive body of work, many descriptions of characters suffering physical disabilities, as well as situations suggesting such medical conditions, can be extracted. In this review, two short stories by Cortázar are presented. In the first one, the main character could easily be a man suffering from corticobasal degeneration; in the second, an old woman with symptoms suggestive of progressive supranuclear palsy is clearly depicted. Despite the fact that one of the main ingredients in Cortázar's magical realism is fiction, cases described here fit real medical conditions quite well, making it hard to believe that they represent purely fantastic descriptions rather than the product of Cortázar's inquisitive observation and the description of real patients. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society