Tag Archives: Spanish fiction 20th century

The Invention of Morel

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Invention of Morel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Adolfo Bioy Casares, trans Ruth L C Simms, preface Jorge Luis Borges, introduction Suzanne Jill Levine, part of the New York Review Books Classics series.

Casares the Invention of Morel

Although this novel is very short, it feels increasingly slow and frustrating toward the midpoint. Rather than a fault, this mood shows its success at getting the reader to identify with its stranded fugitive speaker, who is significantly the aspiring author of two books other than the journal which forms the principal text of The Invention of Morel. The later part of the book involves a crucial anagnorisis and the working out of its consequences.

I was more than a little reminded of The Island of the Day Before, and I feel certain Eco must have read Morel. Although in his praise for it Borges called this book an “adventure story,” I am compelled to view it as a parable.

The moral of Morel: . . (hover over for spoiler) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .