Julio Cortázar’s short story “Axolotl” is a literary analysis of fascination. Situating the story in the history of fascination, the article highlights how it repeats well-known themes from this history. Cortázar’s short story also shows how authors have been able to use fascination as a productive force. I argue that Cortázar’s fascination is intimately connected to temporality, especially the time structure associated with reminders. As such, the fascinating story of a man’s obsession with an axolotl suggests that fascination became a major aspect of cultural reproduction and reconfiguration during the 20th century.