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La Invencio De Morel (Penguin Ediciones) by…
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La Invencio De Morel (Penguin Ediciones) (original 1940; edition 1996)

by Adolfo Casares (Author)

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1,735476,411 (3.92)103
Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to .the Centre of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious. Suzanne Jill Levine s revision of Ruth Simm s translation offers a fresh experience of an uncanny work of genius.Inspired by Bioy Casares s fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction s now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Renais and Alain Robbe-Grillet s Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film.… (more)
Member:hnn
Title:La Invencio De Morel (Penguin Ediciones)
Authors:Adolfo Casares (Author)
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1996), 112 pages
Collections:Your library, Ordered
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Work details

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares (1940)

Recently added byprivate library, Val_Reads, aureoediego, navalgaysir, SleepySheep, jpbronco, JUAN_GONZALEZ, mormlf, hnn
  1. 40
    The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Bioy Casares uses H G Wells' "The Island of Doctor Moreau" as a model for "The Invention of Morel". After Morel, the Wells tale is rather pedestrian, but still worth reading.
  2. 10
    The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe (chrisharpe)
  3. 10
    The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier (chrisharpe)
  4. 10
    Aura by Carlos Fuentes (chrisharpe)
  5. 02
    The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: An island with mysterious properties.
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» See also 103 mentions

English (42)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
If you only have time to read one 100-page novella this year, it should be this one. Known as a disciple of Jorge Luis Borges, the author of this work Adolfo Bioy Casares fulfills almost every expectation that might be made of him on this basis. This is no light praise.
Washed up on a deserted island the protagonist is fleeing the law. He is paranoid. However he is confused by the structures that have been built on the island and abandoned. A museum, a chapel, a swimming pool, and possibly some kind of hydro-electric power rig. Why would someone do this, and will they return. I will give nothing more of this incredibly-conceived plot away, other than that it is a work of psychological depth, tension, obsession, originality, imagination, and perfect resolution. It is crystalline in its clarity, sharp as a papercut, and deep as the sea (though like the sea we can see it coming before we get there). It has heartache, longing, desperation, fear, wonder, and a sense of the miraculous. Yet on a certain level it is all completely believable, it is scientific, systematic, metaphysical, and yet precise, and we are right there in the midst of it. Perhaps there are a couple of holes in it if we think about it too much. But on the whole this is a work that improves the more we think about it, which is rare. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Nov 14, 2019 |
I didn't hate this book, but I didn't particularly like it. I can see why it's a classic, the description of the island was deep, and the main character's paranoia was fascinating, but the ending just peters out to "meh". ( )
  Fardo | Oct 15, 2019 |
The story of a man who loved too much; a country, a woman. He finds himself on the lamb, and on an abandoned island resort - abandoned until a host of people unexpectedly arrives and settles in, forcing him to hide in an inhospitable swamp. He can't escape the island, can't reveal himself - it's a conundrum. This 1940 short science fiction novellette is built around a single idea, one that it won't take any Star Trek fan today nearly so long to parse as it does the narrator. There's hints of Borges in this, but not the same depth.

What I like about it is the realism with which the narrator questions his situation. It's a very good emulation of a guessing game, where you know the answer while your partner is following every tangent except the right one: it looks obvious to you, but try being in their shoes. The author's language is spare and he reveals the clues at a decent pace. There were only a few times when the poor man (conveniently) didn't investigate something he ought to have. The ending produces an interesting compare/contrast exercise with what we have today. It doesn't quite serve as a metaphor for us, but it offers a vision of the original frustrations that conjured up the world we live in. ( )
  Cecrow | Sep 24, 2019 |
I got this book as a "blind date with a classic" and I was disappointed when I opened the wrapping, because I read "Dormir al sol" and really didn't enjoy it, and also because I prefer to read in the original language if I can. There are many interesting books or there that I was quite happy not to bother with anything else written by Bioy Casares.

Therefore, I read this really quickly so that I could return it to the bookshop and swap out for something else. However, I quite enjoyed it. I think Bioy Casares has some interesting ideas even if I don't really like his style. Reading this in English probably helped as it made it easier for me to understand and therefore quicker.

I groaned about the main character's attitude to women, but I can sort of overlook it due to the age of the book.

Anyway, it's a short read with an interesting idea. Could be good for a book group. I think it's best to read without knowing anything about it.

The blind date blurb said "I fit neatly together like a dreamy and beautiful jigsaw puzzle" and I got it from Mary Martin bookshop in Melbourne, Australia. ( )
  KWharton | Sep 2, 2019 |
A totally magical book. Very short, but with absolutely nothing missing. The sense of the surreal is so strong in this novel. It nails magical realism better than most books I've read. The narrator's journey is fascinating and sad. Borges was correct to compare this to a mystery and the russian psychological novel: it is definitely both. In addition, this book does sci-fi better than sci-fi does. That's all i have to say. Read this book. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bioy Casares, Adolfoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
徹, 清水Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
信明, 牛島Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borges, Jorge LuisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horst, Karl AugustTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levine, Suzanne JillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabarte Belacortu, MarioleinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simms, Ruth L. C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torre, Norah Borges deIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Jorge Luis Borges
First words
Hoy, en esta isla ha ocurrido un milagro.
Today, on this island, a miracle happened: summer came ahead of time.
Quotations
I intend to show that the world is an implacable hell for fugitives, that its efficient police forces, its documents, newspapers, radio broadcasts, and border patrols have made every error of justice irreparable.
...the memory of men - the probable location of heaven...
I believe we lost immortality because we have not conquered our opposition to death; we keep insisting on the primary, rudimentary idea: that the whole body should be kept alive. We should seek to preserve only the part that has to do with consciousness.
Perhaps my "no hope" therapy is a little ridiculous; never hope, to avoid disappointment; consider myself dead, to keep from dying. Suddenly I see this feeling as a frightening, disconcerting apathy.
We are suspicious of a stranger who tells us his life story, who tells us spontaneously that he has been captured, sentenced to life imprisonment, and that we are is reason for living. We are afraid that he is merely tricking us into buying a fountain pen or a bottle with a miniature sailing vessel inside.
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Original title: La invención de Morel
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From the back cover:
Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw. This fantastic exploration of virtual realities also bears comparison with the sharpest work of Philip K. Dick. It is a story of suspense and a bizarre romance, in which every detail is a once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.
Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to find such admirers as Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Octavio Paz. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Last Year in Marienbad, this classic of modern Latin American literature also changed the history of film.
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