I am trying to recall the name of a Cortázar story. It concludes with the protagonist meeting or walking past (or through) someone on a bridge. Perhaps they exchange identities as they pass each other. Do you know the name of this story?


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This sounds rather like one of Cortázar's earliest short stories, Lejana (or "The Distances"), first published in 1949 in the Buenos Aires magazine Cabalgata and later published in 1951 in his short story collection Bestiario.

The protagonist of the story is a young woman called Alina. who lives a privileged life in Buenos Aires. Quoting from an excellent summary of the story available here:

In her diary, [Alina] Reyes describes her life as a socialite among Argentinian high society, attending various social occasions. As the diary entries continue, it becomes apparent that Reyes is preoccupied by an elderly beggar woman living thousands of miles away, in Hungary. Her consciousness of this other woman has come to her via ‘the distances’. Reyes writes that she longs to send this beggar woman a telegram arranging to meet her at a bridge in Budapest.

She becomes increasingly obsessed with going to Budapest and meeting this woman. Eventually she persuades her husband to take her there on a trip, and:

We are told that Alina went out to explore Budapest alone and met the beggar woman on the bridge, as she had predicted. The two women embraced, and when they eventually let each other go, Alina is horrified to watch herself departing from her: the two women have exchanged bodies. She has taken on the form of the beggar woman, who has taken the body of the young ‘Alina’.

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