1. The Invention of Morel @ WORD Bookstores


    Today, on this island, a miracle happened: summer came ahead of time.

    —the opening sentence of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ short novel, The Invention of Morel, which is one of the staff fiction recommendations at WORD Bookstores for the month of April. 

    One thing that is not mentioned very often about this book: there are drawings inside! Norah Borges, sister of Jorge Luis Borges, provided several illustrations to go along with the story. Here’s one, a map of the island where “summer came ahead of time”:


  2. Borges in the Library on his Birthday

    Google has celebrated Jorge Luis Borge’s birthday with one of their iconic homepage images.

    We’ll join in the party with a quotation from his prologue to The Invention of Morel, by his close friend and frequent collaborator Adolfo Bioy Casares (they wrote detective stories together under the name H. Bustos Domecq):

    Detective stories—another popular genre in this century that cannot invent plots—tell of mysterious events that are later explained and justified by reasonable facts. In this book [The Invention of Morel] Adolfo Bioy Casares easily solves a problem that is perhaps more difficult. The odyssey of marvels he unfolds seems to have no possible explanation other than hallucination or symbolism, and he uses a single fantastic but not supernatural postulate to decipher it. My fear of making premature or partial revelations restrains me from examining the plot and the wealth of delicate wisdom in its execution. Let me only say that Bioy renews in literature a concept that was refuted by St. Augustine and Origen, studied by Louis-Auguste Blanqui, and expressed in memorable cadence by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

    Above is a picture of Borges (left) and Bioy Casares together.