The motif of transformation in Julio Cortazar’s short story Axolotl
This paper aims to briefly tackle the issue of the alter ego and the metamorphosis in Latin American literature. For this reason, we shall take the story by Julio Cortázar entitled Axolotl as a reference point and evaluate the various interpretations of the myth and transformation in Cortázar’s work. Since we are not the very expression and measure of our thoughts (e.g. Julio Cortázar), our other self is always among us. The various existential relationships that we establish daily to confirm that we live our lives fulfilled by certainty and conviction, and that – staying in a permanent conflict with the world engulfed in an antagonistic relationship between the real and the unreal – they are a potent metaphor through which Cortázar evoques Thomas Mann or Franz Kafka, among others. Thus, the axolotl shall not be the only reason to analyze the story. We shall also see how this metaphor is rendered in literature.