Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn
Doors follows a young American writer who has long loved the work of Argentine writer Julio Cortazar. She travels to France to meet him, hoping to commune with a literary soul mate and to create a political alliance in the face of the brutal coup that has overtaken Chile. But circumstances compromise their brief encounter, and for years afterwards, though she and Cortazar correspond through books and letters, she feels unfulfilled by what she knows could have been a far more meaningful collaboration between them.
The writer feels this loss all the more keenly when Julio Cortazar dies . . . until inexplicable signs and portents lead her to understand that their relationship has not ended; the deceased writer may have more to say to her. She becomes obsessed with “reaching” Cortazar. She tries to summon him into her life with all the force of her mind, heart, and will. She imagines writing a book with a dead man, but without resorting to trickery or fantasy, and her attempts to conjure forth Cortazar’s spirit create a bizarre triangle between Julio, the writer and her bemused husband.
Ultimately the writer’s search for the door that will open between two worlds leads her to question the very nature of reality . . . and to the strange, joyous climax of her seemingly impossible quest.
“In this heart-breaking, heart-making novel, Deena Metzger dares to ask the question that has haunted our humanity since we first formulated the word for life, spirit, breath: can we bring back the dead, can we help them to speak? Her collaborator and accomplice in the exploration of the answer is none other than Julio Cortazár, one of the great writers of the twentieth century and any century, supposedly deceased in 1984 and the result is a story that will shake the boundaries of what we call reality, what we call fiction, what we call death.” -Ariel Dorfman-