Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Museu do Romance da Eterna” as Want to Read:
Museu do Romance da Eterna
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Museu do Romance da Eterna

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Não é exagero dizer que a literatura argentina seria impensável sem Macedonio Fernández e seu Museu do Romance da Eterna. Para entendermos Borges, Cortázar e todos que fizeram desta uma das literaturas mais inventivas do século XX, o Museu é um livro incontornável. Inédito no Brasil, o livro foi escrito de 1904 até o fim da vida de Macedonio, que não chegou a vê-lo publica ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published 2011 by Cosac Naify (first published 1967)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Museu do Romance da Eterna, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Museu do Romance da Eterna

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 07, 2012 s.penkevich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Borges and Metafiction
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Vilma
He who imagines will never know non-being.

Jorge Luis Borges, the friend and protégé of Macedonio Fernández (1874-1952), once wrote of that his mentor ‘is metaphysics, is literature. Whoever preceded him might shine in history, but they were all rough drafts of Macedonio.’ Despite leaving such a legacy and impression upon Borges, The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel) started in 1925, was not published until after Macedonio's death. However, this book, far ahead of its time, proved
Mike Puma
Mar 30, 2012 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fewer than the few

First and Foremost: Let it here be known that any previous suggestions, recommendations and/or encouragements to procure and read Macedonio’s (he is usually referred to by his first name) perfect novel are hereby rendered null and void, rescinded, and discouraged. This novel is, in fact, one tremendous Mind Fuck. Challenging. Easily set aside. Hard to pick up and resume. Confusing. And yet, it is: exactly what the numerous prologues claim it will be.

Fully half of the novel is comprised of prolo

Terri Jacobson
Macedonio Fernández is an avant garde Argentine writer, often noted to be mentor to Jorge Luis Borges. The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel) is his master work. He started working on it in 1925 and was still writing it when he died in 1952. The book is translated from the Spanish by Margaret Schhwartz.

First, a word about the unusual structure and focus of the book. There are more than 50 prologues, and these take up over half of the novel. Some examples:

Prologue that thinks it know
Vit Babenco
Feb 02, 2017 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A Romanian woman once sang me a phrase of folk music and I have since found it tens of times in different works from different composers of the past four hundred years. Indubitably: things do not begin; or they don’t begin when they are created. Or the world was created old.”
Macedonio Fernández deals in paradoxes so I at once fell for his book…
Writing sixty prefaces, prologues, preambles and prolegomena to his novel Macedonio Fernández literally turned the stream of consciousness into the “tota
Jul 17, 2010 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, open-letter
I felt very ambivalent for the book itself, but I am happy the book exists.

Today while dealing once again with the results of my colossal irresponsibility I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I would say here. I didn't really like the book. I liked some of the prologues, and bits and pieces of the novel, but as a whole the book didn't work for me. I think it's a failure, a very ambitious failure. Just because the book is a failure though doesn't mean that I hated it, or that I feel it
Jan 11, 2016 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no more artistic moment than the fullness of reading in the present."

This feat boasts or threatens of sporting 50 prologues, a series of checkpoints, a Gaza of apprehensions, anterior doors leading to further intermediary spaces, an endless qualification and interrogation of the novelistic enterprise, a Sorrentino sortie into narrative madness. . .or maybe it wasn't. Signature bells and whistles remind the reader incessantly -- this is a novel, nothing but. Disquisitions follow on Love a
Sep 21, 2012 Vilma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a reader I should not be deceived by "imitations of reality" (or should it be "limitations"?) in which The Museum of Eternas Novel falls ill or (un-) realistic, neither should I question the inconsistencies, nor submit anything that corresponds with those what is supposed to be "familiar". I shall not fall into the illusion that there is a logical intrinsication into a literary text which explains clear imbalances into which the characters and also the author are falling, even there is a deep ...more
Jim Elkins
Dec 21, 2012 Jim Elkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentine
It is amazing to “discover” such an important novel: Fernández was a friend, mentor, inspiration, and precursor to Borges. This novel, the work of over 25 years, is one of the first and still one of the most complex anti-novels ever written. I am delighted to have discovered it only 60 years late. (It was written between 1925 and 1952.)

I have found that in reading and re-reading The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel) (and re-reading is the only way to read: the novel itself theorize
Ben Winch
All the characters are under obligation to dream of being, which is their proper way of being, inaccessible to living people, and the only genuine stuff of Art.
I like Macedonio Fernandez for sentences like this. For concepts of fiction and the novel that find accord in me. For a way of thinking about fiction that seems to me incisive and imaginative.
Ever since I’ve been an author I’ve looked on in envy at the audience there is for auto accidents. I sometimes dream that certain passages in the no
Marcia Letaw
Jan 19, 2017 Marcia Letaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, argentina, 2017
The Book of all books, the set of all sets, timeless, eternal, without beginning or end: That is The Museum of Eterna’s Novel. Is that all I have to say: No, but in the future I will speak around it, for all that there is, is contained within those 238 pages, a kind of infinity that reminds one of a circle or a sphere or a hypersphere. I must admit that I have not actually completed the reading of La Novela because it is impossible, for as soon as a page or chapter or section or sentence is read ...more
Jul 16, 2010 Jasmine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentine
"The Museum of Eterna's Novel" is a novel that doesn't want to begin because in our beginning is our end"

This is possibly the best blurb ever.

First I wanted to finish this before greg, then I was really hoping that greg would review it before me.

I am not sure if I got the first one, I didn't get the second one.

I finished the last sentence of this book as the subway doors were opening to take me home, this seems mildly important.

I am reasonably sure that whoever found this manuscript forgot t
“Si una novela como la así sintetizada cree usted que tenga probabilidades de gustarle, léala. Y permítame que yo ejerza de artista mientras la lee, pues esa novela puede agradarle sin tener nada de artístico y ningún valor para mí. Pero me será útil para que yo ejerza sobre su espíritu el único operar artístico. Usted sentirá oscuramente primero y después claramente la emoción artística, lo que yo he querido suscitar.
El lector que no lee mi novela si primero no la sabe toda es mi lector, ése es
Dimitri Anastasopoulos
Relatively unknown in the USA, he's one of the most underrated writers I've encountered in many years. I find generally that most serious American readers are pretty well up on the names of top European or world writers, but for some reason South and Central America is forgotten. For every Bolano, Marquez and Llosa, there are Macedonio Fernandez's, Severo Sarduy's, Osman Lins's, Fernando del Paso's and Nelida Pinon's. Maybe Clarice Lispector broke through.

I'm responding this way because I'm try
Jacob Wren
Macedonio Fernández writes:

It’s very subtle and patient work, getting quit of the self, disrupting interiors and identities. In all my writing I’ve only achieved eight or ten minutes in which two or three lines disrupted the stability, the unity of someone, even at times, I believe, disrupting the self-sameness of the reader. Nevertheless, I still believe that Literature does not exist, because it hasn’t dedicated itself solely to the Effect of dis-identification, the only thing that would justi
Apr 12, 2014 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cortázar fans, patient readers, people with no expectations about a book whatsoever
It's so strange that having been so influential for Borges, Macedonio Fernández is one of the most overlooked names in our literature, at least in the popular knowledge the average argentine reader is supposed to have.

Being mostly reminiscent of Cortázar's style for me, this book has gone through the same path of what I'm enjoying the most lately. Writings that defy the reader's conception of fiction, and that do not leave everything told so one can sleep quietly at night, having understood.

Oct 08, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argentina, postmodern
Too much metaphysics, not enough novel! Macedonio Fernández's The Museum of Eterna's Novel is subtitled "The First Good Novel." Well, perhaps it is the author's first good novel, in which case I will probably not be investigating his bad ones.

The characters are all allegorically named, from The President (of what? not Argentina!), Eterna, Maybegenius, Sweetheart, the Gentleman Who Doesn't Exist, and the Lover. They might be good standees for metaphysical notions, but they couldn't hold their ow
Oct 21, 2011 Ferris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect book for the reader who loves abstract art, who trusts that meaning and beauty are in there somewhere if only one sticks with it....this is a novel about a ranch gnamed "the Novel".......this is a novel with 50+ prologues.....not a typo...50+ prologues. Thisis a novel for the reader who revels in metaphysics......the metaphysics of the written word. Did I like it? I don't know. Would I recommend it? I don't know. Was it a memorable intellectual experience? Absolutely!
Sep 05, 2014 Cosimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Potere a Macedonio!

Come per altri scrittori interessati alla riflessione filosofica e inclini al dispiegamento enciclopedico, si può dire che il progetto di Macedonio fosse la dissoluzione della figura dell'autore.
Padre di tutta la letteratura portena, anarchico e utopico, disegna qui una costellazione di segni metafisici tendente all'infinito, nella quale il lettore, singhiozzante o ininterrotto, viene letto a sua volta mentre ogni finzione nasconde un'altra finzione fino all'ultimo occultamen
Mar 16, 2015 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conceptually, this is a sometimes overly meta treatise of time, love, and narrative. It's a pretty solid parallel of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, though this is more complex and engaging. Most of the time.

The problem, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess (because apparently Borges idolized Macedonio Fernández, so I find it hard to blame it on the writing itself), is the translation. Clunky, stilted, outdated -- particularly in the actual novel part -- to the point where a
A wonderful sense of humor. A master of the authorial interruption, the infinite regression of prologues, the story of the unstory. Delightful turns of phrase sprinkled with the hint of characters to come, characters that were, characters that aren't. Is this review helpful to you? Probably not. What can I say? I've been unwritten through the reading of this. Meh with whipcream and a cherry on top.
Dec 22, 2016 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the father of argentine metafiction? in any case, this is a novel about how to write the best novel, though i don't think the advice is that great. the characters are basically all diligently simplistic, the action is nearly all offstage, and literally have the novel is a series of prologues declaring what the novel will and will not be. the novel itself is sort of an afterthought.
Tom Lichtenberg
what an extraordinary book - a self-decribed open-source novel written nearly a century before the very concept of open-source was developed. consisting mainly of assorted introductions to itself, this book would be post-modern even now. and very funny to boot.
Feb 28, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating meditation on the novel and its limits by Borges's mentor. Review forthcoming...
May 02, 2016 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel) was commenced in 1925, went through five drafts, and remained in an unedited, unfinalized state at the time of Fernández's death (similar to another great product of Latin American literature, Roberto Bolaño's 2666). Like his contemporary Louis Aragon, as well as many other writers of the Modernist era, Fernández sought to reinvent the rules of the novel, starting with a very basic premise: Why risk love when death is inevitable? In tackling a ...more
Rodrigo Paramo
Jun 20, 2017 Rodrigo Paramo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, favorites
Sublime - an inchoate proto-Borges that travels a course previously set by sterne (among others) and later followed (arguably perfected) in RAYUELA and HOUSE OF LEAVES - a masterpiece
Elizabeth Pyjov
“The Museum of Eterna’s Novel” by Macedonio Fernández is engaging and hilarious, light-hearted and profound. The one non-contradictory aspect of the work is its attempt to win the reader’s time, attention, praise, and awe—a goal at which it succeeds beautifully. As the author himself describes it, “This will be the novel that’s thrown violently to the floor most often, and avidly taken up again just as often. What author can boast of that?” The novel is written in a unique form, consisting of di ...more
Lettore saltato ( insaputo continuato ) Confido che non avrò lettore continuato. Sarebbe colui che potrebbe causare il mio fallimento e spogliarmi della celebrità che più o meno inabilmente cerco di trafugare per qualcuno dei miei personaggi. E questa di fallire è un’esibizione che non fa bene all’età. Mi rimetto al lettore saltato. Ecco che hai letto tutto il mio romanzo senza saperlo, sei diventato lettore continuato e insaputo raccontandoti tutto disordinatamente e prima del romanzo. Il letto ...more
This is the somewhat unusual, deep and perhaps overly clever book by Argentine author Fernandez (1874 – 1952); it was started in 1925 and only finally finished on a few years before his death. It was hyped and promoted for its uniqueness during its writing by Macedonio; but it seems it was in someway intentionally delayed a publication until 1967 (after his son & editor Adolfo finally compiled it).

The story, that there is, is quite simple in that ‘The President’ has a group of characters gat
Hernán M.
Feb 16, 2014 Hernán M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"No me queda más que proverbializar mi desventura, diciendo:

Lo malo es haber pensado
después de haber hecho el mal

¿Cómo Macedonio Fernández logró con tan pocas páginas dislocar todos los fundamentos de la narrativa? Los prólogos y la novela en sí (si se le puede llamarle así) son pequeños tratados que desbordan certeramente los mecanismos recurrentes de las novelas, bien sea al deslindar al autor del Autor, al reconceptualizar la noción de personaje (tanto nominativamente como en su ejecución t
Rob T
Apr 30, 2010 Rob T rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The Museum of Eterna's Novel is much more fun to read about than it is to read. Macedonio wrote a novel that's half prologues (more than twenty of them!), half an attempt to make the reader feel their own character-ness.

The resulting novel is playful and it feels half-serious throughout--Macedonio is making a point but having fun doing it. Unfortunately, the text becomes a slog at times. Sometimes it takes the tone of a philosophy text or a dense piece of criticism, but it's deliberately nonsens
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My Two Worlds
  • Varamo
  • Lands of Memory
  • Traveler of the Century
  • Op Oloop
  • 62: A Model Kit
  • The Sixty-Five Years of Washington
  • The No World Concerto
  • Respiración artificial
  • Never Any End to Paris
  • The Private Lives of Trees
  • Senselessness
  • The Cardboard House
  • Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico
  • The Temple of Iconoclasts
Macedonio Fernández was an Argentine writer, humorist, and philosopher. His writings included novels, stories, poetry, journalism, and works not easily classified. He was a mentor to Jorge Luis Borges and other avant-garde Argentine writers. Seventeen years of his correspondence with Borges was published in 2000. He also published poetry, including "Creía yo" ("I believed").
More about Macedonio Fernández...

Share This Book