The Invention of Morel & Other Stories by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Austin. 1964. University of Texas Press. Illustrated by Norah Borges De Torre. Translated from the Spanish by Ruth L. C. Simms. Prologue by Jorge Luis Borges. 237 pages. Jacket art by Norah Borges De Torre.


A fantastic collection of stories from the famous Argentinian writer and sometime collaborator of Jorge Luis Borges. The title story of the collection, THE INVENTION OF MOREL, is a tale of fantasy and even terror, as a man on an island comes to the realization that all of the people he sees are recordings (three-dimensional, with sound and even smell), but indistinguishable from reality.


invention of morel and other stories u of texas press 1964FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   When THE INVENTION OF MOREL was first published in Argentina, Jorge Luis Borges rejoiced that the author had brought 'a new genre to our land and language. 'This fine translation of Adolfo Bioy Casares' novella demonstrates that it is equally unique when transformed into English. THE INVENTION OF MOREL won for its author in 1941 the Primer Premio Municipal Award in Buenos Aires. It is joined in this volume by six equally arresting short stories originally published together in a book entitled La trama celeste. THE INVENTION OF MOREL is the offspring of a fantastic, sometimes perverse, always persuasive imagination. Borges, perhaps Argentina's greatest writer, says in his Prologue to the story that its plot is of such superior quality that 'to classify it as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole.’ Bioy Casares' indisputable originality, so apparent in the novella, is equally evident in the six short stories, all of which have a strong affinity withthe invention. Each story is an achievement of realism with curious surrealist overtones. In each, as in the novella, the author employs suspense delicately and with mounting tension.

 Bioy Casares AdolfoAdolfo Bioy Casares (September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, and translator. He was a friend and collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, and wrote what many consider one of the best pieces of fantastic fiction, the novella The Invention of Morel. Adolfo Bioy Casares was born in Buenos Aires, the grandson of a wealthy landowner and dairy processor, and the descendant of Patrick Lynch, a successful Irish emigrant. He wrote his first story (‘Iris y Margarita’) at the age of eleven. He was a friend and frequent collaborator of Jorge Luis Borges and wrote many stories with him under the pseudonym of H. Bustos Domecq. Bioy and Borges were introduced in 1932 by Victoria Ocampo, whose sister, Silvina Ocampo (1903–1994), Bioy Casares was to marry in 1940. In 1954 they adopted Bioy’s daughter with another woman, Marta Bioy Ocampo (1954–94), who was killed in an automobile accident just three weeks after Silvina Ocampo’s death, leaving two children. The estate of Silvina Ocampo and Adolfo Bioy Casares was awarded by a Buenos Aires court to yet another love child of Adolfo Bioy Casares, Fabián Bioy, shortly before Fabián Bioy died, aged 40, in February 2006. Bioy won several awards, including the Gran Premio de Honor of SADE (the Argentine Society of Writers, 1975), the French Legion of Honour (1981), the title of Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires (1986), and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (awarded to him in 1991 in Alcalá de Henares). Adolfo Bioy Casares is buried in La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires. In 2006 Ediciones Destino published a book of Bioy's diary entries on Borges, numbering 1663 pages of anecdotes, witticisms and observations. The best-known novel by Bioy Casares is La invención de Morel (The Invention of Morel). It is the story of a man who, evading justice, escapes to an island said to be infected with a mysterious fatal disease. Struggling to understand why everything seems to repeat, he realizes that all the people he sees there are actually recordings, made with a special machine, invented by Morel, which is able to record not only three-dimensional images, but also voices and scents, making it all indistinguishable from reality. The story mixes realism, fantasy, science fiction and terror. Borges wrote a famous prologue in which he called it a work of ‘reasoned imagination’ and linked it to H. G. Wells' oeuvre. Both Borges and Octavio Paz described the novel as ‘perfect.’ The story is held to be the inspiration for Alan Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad and also an influence on the TV series Lost.





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