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Why am I writing this ? I don't have any clear ideas, actually I have no ideas at all. There are rags, impulses, blocks, and everything looks for a shape, and then the rhythm comes into play, and I write within this rhythm, I write for it, moved by it and not for this thing that they call thought and that produces prose, literary or not. There is at first a confused situation that can be defined only in the word: I start from this half-shadow and if what I want to say (what wants to say itself) has enough strength, immediately the swing* begins, a rhythmical swinging that brings me to the surface, that lights up all, and joins that confused matter and him that has to suffer it in a third instance clear and somehow fatal; the sentence, the paragraph, the page, the chapter, the book. This swinging in which the confused matter shapes itself is for me the only certainty of its necessity, because as soon as it stops I realize that I have nothing to say. And it also the only pay off of my work; feeling what I have written like the back of a cat being caressed, with sparks and a measured arching. So, by means of writing under the volcano, I approach the Mothers, I connect to the Center - whatever it may be. Writing is at the same time drawing my mandala and moving through it, and inventing the purification as I purify myself; a task for a poor white shaman, wearing nylon underwear.

(Chapter 82, Rayuela)

*: the word swing is in English in the original text.

The translation is mine. Since whole chapters of Rayuela are in fact quoted material from various sources (fictional books, Anais Nin, diaries), I don't think Don Julio Cortazar would object to this relatively small fragment appearing here. And yes, even in the original it is a big chunk of text without any line breaks.

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