HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Invention of Morel (1940)

by Adolfo Bioy Casares

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,216665,744 (3.91)127
Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center 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.   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 Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction's now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film.… (more)
  1. 50
    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.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 127 mentions

English (56)  Spanish (7)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Science fiction novel published in 1940 that prefigures much that is to come after. Eerie [a:Philip K. Dick|4764|Philip K. Dick|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1264613853p2/4764.jpg] like parallel realities where people keep reliving (or are they dead?) the same week on a little island. Realities overlap but people cannot interact between them; they are like ghosts to each other. There is so much crammed into this little novella, it's simply brilliant. Includes the original illustrations and [a:Jorge Luis Borges|500|Jorge Luis Borges|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1496948506p2/500.jpg]' introduction. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
I’m still not sure what to make of this novella. Given that it was first published in 1940, in many ways it’s astoundingly prescient in its descriptions and concept of a first encounter with a virtual reality.

On the other hand I found the narrative to be incoherent at times and the writing style obtuse and full of digressions that at times I wasn’t sure if I was reading about things happening to the main character, or the philosophical meanderings of the author.

If I had to sum this piece up in one word I think I’d rate it as “intriguing.” ( )
  gothamajp | Jan 29, 2022 |
Gratamente me entero de su amistad con Borges, y el prologo genial que escribio de este libro, el cual como siempre hay que leer con maxima concentracion como todo lo de Borges. Una bella prosa, una descripcion de echos y de sensaciones del personaje muy detalladas, una historia que fue fascinante en temas en expresiones y en reflexiones. Me encanto leer algo de el. ( )
  Enzokolis | Jan 17, 2022 |
The name Morel in the title probably echoes H G Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau and in some respects this is a similar story, although it’s a very different kind of paradise, or hell, being created here.
. Bioy Casares’s work was championed by his mentor, fellow Argentine and friend Jorge Luis Borges, and you can see why Borges thought so much of this novella—it’s very much his kind of thing. Written in 1940 and just eighty-eight pages long if you discount the illustrations and Borges’s prologue, on the face of it it’s a simple story: a man on the run from the police (crime unknown, possibly political) takes refuge on a tiny, remote and apparently uninhabited island. There are four abandoned structures (“museum”, “chapel”, “swimming pool”, “mill”), marshes, flies, disease. A few of the questions which went through my mind while reading might help give you an idea of the kind of book Morel is: Is the narrator on the island he thinks he is on; or, lost, has he washed up on a different one? Is the “museum” really an abandoned hotel? Is this island uninhabited—there seem to be a group of visitors who arrive and then leave again at regular intervals. Are these visitors even real, or something else, ghosts perhaps? Or is the narrator himself the ghost, rather than them, haunting the island’s abandoned buildings? Or is he hallucinating all this as a result of some of the strange plants he is digging up and eating? Is he delirious with one of the island’s diseases—insane even?
. You could class this as surrealism or as science fiction, since its “all might not be what it seems” scenario is an even earlier example of the kind of thing later explored by the likes of Philip K Dick, Daniel F Galouye and others from the 1950s and ̕60s onwards. Within that SF framework, though, this is above all a story about unrequited love: having failed to win another’s heart, how might you go about making the dream come true (or sort of true) anyway? What mad scheme (if it is mad that is) would you need, not only to contrive the fantasy, but make it last forever? Bioy Casares himself had a long-time infatuation with the 1920s and ̕30s film star Louise Brooks, and if he exercised his own considerable imagination over what it might take to make that dream come true, then this story was his extraordinarily prophetic answer. ( )
  justlurking | Jan 2, 2022 |
My rating for this is higher than my reading experience warrants, this is because i liked the story a lot despite the awful translation job by 'Ruth Simms' (see this great little article for more details http://anagrammatically.com/2011/09/18/the-invention-of-morel-redacted/ ). I'm convinced therefore that i would have given this score if the translation had been good.
Anyway this is a relatively short novel about a man on the run who decides to hide out on an island said to be the source of a deadly disease. On the island he finds some strange rooms and odd people turn up. It's like the show 'Lost' in a way, sort of.
It wasn't too long before i figured out what was happening. However the story managed to pass that point and still be interesting which shows how good it is, as most mystery tales collapse after the reveal.
This is a terrible translation as i said and unfortunately i don't think there is a better one available but even so i liked it a lot. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center 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.   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 Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction's now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.91)
0.5
1 4
1.5 3
2 21
2.5 8
3 105
3.5 40
4 194
4.5 28
5 135

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

NYRB Classics

An edition of this book was published by NYRB Classics.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 171,805,345 books! | Top bar: Always visible