Julio Cortazar: Cronpios And Famas

I can't begin to describe how charmed I am by the tiny sketches of Julio Cortazar's Cronopios and Famas – specifically that third section, devoted to Cronopios, Famas, and Esperanzas. Here's an excerpt.

Gaiety of the Cronopio

An encounter between a cronopio and a fama at a liquidation sale in a shop called La Mondiale.

-- Gray day, cronopio cronopio.

-- Grade A, fama. Respite catalan hopeful.

-- Cronopio cronopio?

-- Thread?

-- Two, but one blue one.

The fama considers the cronopio. He will not utter a sound until he's certain the words are precisely correct. Fearful that the always alert esperanzas, those sparkling microbes, will simply slip into the air, and through one mistaken word invade the cronopio's good-natured heart.

-- Raining outside, the cronopio says. -- The whole sky.

-- Don't let it bother you, says the fama. -- We'll go in my automobile. To keep the thread dry.

He puts his head out the door and looks up and down the street. Not an esperanza in sight. He allows a sigh of satisfaction to escape. Furthermore, it pleases him to observe the touching gayety of the cronpio, who clutches against his chest the two threads -- one blue one -- and hopes anxiously that the fama is going to invite him to get into his car.