Autonauts of the Cosmoroute: A Timeless Voyage from Paris to Marseille
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is a love story, an irreverent travelogue of elaborate tales and snapshots detailing Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop’s thirty-three-day voyage on the Paris-Marseilles freeway in 1982. Uncovering the freeway’s hidden underbelly, they push life and literature to surreal extremes. This shot of sun is a satire on modern travel and the great explorers, and an intimate look at one of the greatest literary spirits of our time.
From the Quarterly Conversation:
The concept behind Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is so perfectly Cortazarian in its gamelike setup: Julio Cortazar and his companion Carol Dunlop decide to spend an entire month in 1982 living on the freeway between Paris and Marseille (the “Southern Thruway,” which was the name and topic of an earlier Cortazar story), stopping at two rest stops each day and staying overnight at the second. With only 490 miles separating Paris and Marseilles, they don’t actually drive for very long on any given day. Using words and pictures, they create a scientific account of their journey, their thoughts, their experiences, of living life in a Volkswagen bus at a snail’s pace, discovering the secret pathway right next to this modern creation designed to be experienced at a blur.
It’s a mad idea, but not without it’s charm.
From the long, dark, reflective pool of my scanner (since there is no preview to be had at Amazon):
The NY Times has a review, and there are a couple of other translated works by Julio Cortazar (“Hopscotch” is recommend highly by the Quarterly Conversation).