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The Invention of Morel

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  7,743 ratings  ·  599 reviews
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
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Paperback, 103 pages
Published August 31st 2003 by NYRB Classics (first published 1940)
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Stoner by John WilliamsChess Story by Stefan ZweigA High Wind in Jamaica by Richard HughesThe Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy CasaresThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson
New York Review Books - Classics
4th out of 398 books — 422 voters
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Latina/Latino Fiction
32nd out of 533 books — 779 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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s.penkevich
Jul 07, 2015 s.penkevich rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Unrequited Love
Recommended to s.penkevich by: The Borges effect
I do not believe that a dream should necessarily be taken for reality, or reality for madness.

How often we feel like an island, alone in a world and beleaguered by the crashing waves of change, responsibility and heartache eroding our soil. Adolfo Bioy Casares presents us a chilling and empathetic tale of love and loneliness, molding the ‘diary of a man stranded on an island’ literary trope into a fantastical and exciting exploration into the human heart. While the sci-fi elements are engaging
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Glenn Russell

The Invention of Morel was adjudged a perfect work by Jorge Luis Borges, the author’s mentor/friend/frequent collaborator. Anybody familiar with the essays and short fiction of Borges can appreciate what it means for one of the great masters of world literature to make such a pronouncement. Perhaps Borges’ appraisal reflects, in part, how Adolfo Bioy Casares shares much of his own aesthetic and literary sensibilities (after all, they collaborated on 12 books).

More specifically, here are some obv
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mai ahmd
عندما تكتب عن رواية فاتنة فيجب أن تعطي نفسك فرصة لكي تلتقط الأنفاس وتستحضر الصور والمشاهد والأفكار .. ليس كل الروايات تستحق ولا كلها تعطيك هذه البهجة البهجة التي تأتي محملة بالكثير من التصورات والأفكار بعد قرائتها
هذه مقدمة لا بد منها يستحقها أدولفو كاساريس .. لأنه كاتب مختلف ولأنه كاتب فنتازي أعطى هالة من الغموض ليتيح المجال للعديد من التفسيرات كاتب لا يسهل عليك الأمر يدفعك للتفكير وأنا أحب ذلك ..

كتبت هذه الرواية على شكل يوميات لبطل الرواية هوامشها جزء من الحكاية
تدور أحداثها في جزيرة معزولة لا
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Rakhi Dalal


The incomprehensibility of an idea is what makes man delve deeper into it. The more challenging the idea the more fascination it holds. For as long as mankind can remember, the idea of death and immortality has intrigued minds, making man wish to conquer death and to become immortal. Philosophy, science and religion maintain views which suggest some interesting thoughts for contemplation. But since ‘death’ still remains unconquerable, man somehow tries to deceive it by leaving behind works of im
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Bill  Kerwin

"The Invention of Morel" is a romantic classic in which passion triumphs over convention, a surrealist classic in which imagination triumphs over reality, a science fiction classic in which technology triumphs over time, and a mystery story whose fantastic resolution always plays fair with the reader.

Is corporeality necessary for human personality? Is community possible even in isolation? Can love survive death and--perhaps what is worse--complete indifference? Bioy Casares novel addresses all
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Matt
What a great little book!

Casares comes as close here as a writer possibly could to successfully mixing literary fiction with elements of science fiction. I feel like there is very little that I can say about the plot without spoiling it. Over the first thirty pages I was convinced that this was merely a ghost story – more specifically the ghost story that inspired Shyamalan’s whole “I see dead people” thing. Casares totally surprised me at that point by taking the story in a direction that I ha
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brian
am i jackass? a moron?

this is a perfectly good book. and a guy spending months on a sun dappled island amongst three dimensional phantoms re-enacting a single weekend is sublime. but this:

“the most complete and total perception not only of the unreality of the world but of our own unreality: not only do we traverse a realm of shadows, we ourselves are shadows.”

that’s octavio paz. and paz is a badasss. a serious badass. and borges – maybe the biggest badass that has ever lived – called this nove
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Greg
Floating Reviews and the Television Show Lost

I just went through my update feed looking to see what my goodreads.com friends have been doing. I see reviews and things I should pay some attention to, but I'm not quite that self-reflexive yet that I will write reviews only about what I'm doing at the moment on goodreads.com. Instead I would like to make an observation of how my goodreads.com update feed mirrors this book.

For the past few days just about every morning and early evening that I chec
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RandomAnthony
I wish I hadn’t read the back of The Invention of Morel before I read the novel. Once I read that Borges, Paz, etc. loved this book I felt like I had to like it. Too much pressure.

Fortunately, I think the The Invention of Morel is strong enough that I would have been a fan without any background knowledge. The book is narrated by a fugitive marooned on an island to which the tides carried him after his escape. A house, chapel, and museum occupy the otherwise-deserted island. Soon, however, peop
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Nora Dillonovich
This is the kind of book one reads from cover to cover in one sitting (or before bed, and then finishes on the bus in the morning). This is true for a variety of reasons: the length, the mystery evoked in the first twenty or so pages, and the pacing of the narration for the last half.

The narration is haunting, the island where the action (the endless, repetitive action), the events transpire, is eerie, somewhat vague.
The Love (the emotion or obsession or sentiment or consuming need- I dont kno
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Tony
I see Faustine....



....but she doesn't see me.

I speak, halting, tortured words....



....but her gaze never shifts.

I build her a garden, a hint of my love....



....but she walks through it.

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

I hold the glass by the stem, hard against the table. My wrist works, making the liquid swirl. I breathe it in. So often, I miss the notes. I guess wrong. I keep quiet at tastings.

So here.

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

No, that won't do.

Let me tell you of my wrong guesses and dead ends.

I t
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Teresa
Terminei há dias este livro e fiquei com a sensação de que não o tinha lido com a dedicação que ele merecia. Como tem pouco mais de 100 páginas, não me assaltou o desespero pela falta de tempo, e reli-o, hoje, sem intrometer entre mim e ele outras leituras.
De facto Jorge Luis Borges tem razão: "não me parece uma imprecisão ou uma hipérbole classificá-lo como perfeito."

Trata-se do diário de um foragido que se refugia numa ilha deserta. Passado um tempo descobre que não está sozinho. Aí conhece F
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Camille Stein


Ilustración. A5. Bolígrafo. | Alba Ruiz De Miguel - http://ow.ly/yXuw3




Todo se ha perdido: la vida con la mujer, la soledad pasada. Sin refugio perduro en este monólogo que, desde ahora, es injustificable.

En la soledad es imposible estar muerto.

Pero debo convencerme: no necesito huir. Vivir con las imágenes es una dicha. Si llegan los perseguidores, se olvidarán de mí ante el prodigio de esta gente inaccesible. Me quedaré.




El narrador de Adolfo Bioy Casares, aunque anclado en una isla supuest
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MJ Nicholls
Lacking in the satirical surrealism found in his later (and some say lesser) NYRB book Asleep in the Sun, unfortunately this one failed to sustain my attention despite forty pages of anticipatory eagerness. The narrator, nameless, mooches around an island spying on a gypsy woman and is evicted from her presence by bearded Frenchmen. Naturally, she is beautiful, naturally he falls in love with her, then something happens to do with photographs and people dying and I didn’t understand most of it, ...more
Hadrian
A charming little narrative which lulls you into thinking it's 'just another adventure story' and then throws a few genuinely shocking twists at you. I won't reveal their nature, as that would genuinely spoil the book, but let's just say that Philip K. Dick would enjoy this idea as much as Borges or Paz.
سلطان
من الروايات التي تشعرك بعد ربعها الأول أنك أمام قصة مختلفة عن القصص السائدة. وكنت أسأل نفسي في الصفحات الأولى منها: لماذا أشاد الكاتب الكبير بورخيس بها؟ ولماذا كتب مقدمة لها؟ فبدايتها كانت عادية نوعاً ما، لكني عرفت بعد ذلك أنها لا تختلف عن الأجواء البورخيسية التي توقع في القارئ في حيرة كبيرة أمام النص وأمام نفسه.
أين الوهم في الرواية؟ وأين الحقيقة؟ من هم الأشخاص الحقيقيون في الرواية؟ وكيف أتت فكرتها إلى المؤلف؟
هذه رواية تستحق أن تقرأ بتروي، وتحتاج إلى تركيز منذ البداية للاستمتاع بأجوائها وفكرتها.
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Jimmy
At first this book was good but a little predictable. It felt like Last Year at Marienbad. Then it started to feel a little like Celine and Julie Go Boating. These are both great films that I love, so I didn't mind. But the book definitely differs from these in interesting ways, and I really loved the last 30 pages or so. I haven't read Borge's introduction to it yet, but he is so predictable for loving it: it's got most of the signature things in a Borges story: mirrors, reproduction, the fact ...more
Brian
Beautifully written, completely original and demands a second and third reading. I understand why Borges was over the moon about this novella. Now I want to watch all of the movies that this story spawned.
Arthur Grunenwald
As a preliminary read for Borges' Ficciones , I read this evocative novella by Adolfo Bioy Casares; which the former author described as "a perfect novel" (7). This is one of the first (if not the first) book I've read that deals with multiple "realities", likewise one of the first science-fiction books I've read. The novella has impressed me in both respects.

Despite being a translation, Ruth L.C. Simms manages to render Casares' noticeably beautiful prose into English (as mentioned in Glenn Ru
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[P]
Jul 06, 2015 [P] rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: bitchin
I misread ‘the intimate forms of address’ as ‘the intimate forms of sadness,’ and liked it much better. I could recite word-for-word, without the book in my hand, but now, as I read it, I make mistakes. Before I found the book I spent a long time looking at photographs, studying them. I would stare at the faces and try to gauge their mood. Who amongst them were happy? Those who are smiling? That seems obvious, of course; but who can say with any certainty? You cannot know anyone but yourself. Fi ...more
Ebrahim Abdulla
بعد محاولات لم تنجح كثيراً، تعتبر "اختراع موريل" الرواية التي سلّطت الأضواء على أدولفو بيوي كاساريس، لدرجة وصلت لأن يصفها صديقه بورخيس بالرواية الكاملة، وإلهامها لكثير من كتّاب أمريكا اللاتينية ومن أهمهم ماركيز. على الرغم من عدد صفحاتها القليل، إلا أنني قرأت الرواية على فترات متقطعة لأيام، وعانيت بعض الشي أثناء القراءة، ولا أدري إن كانت المشكلة في الترجمة، أم في أسلوب الكاتب، أم في الاثنين معاً؟ (المُترجم دوّن ملاحظة في بداية الكتاب عن صعوبة الأسلوب)، لهذا اضطررت لمشاهدة فيلم إيطالي أٌنتج في الس ...more
Leonel
Muy complejo, en las primeras páginas uno apenas intuye lo que pasa, se empieza a disfrutar de verdad cuando se da a conocer qué es la invención de Morel. Teniendo en cuenta que es un libro de hace 75 años se aprecia mas la imaginación del autor, muchas obras, incluida la serie Lost (por lo que se comenta) están fuertemente influenciadas por este libro. Exquisitamente escrito, este tipo de libros son los que hacen ejercitar la mente. Para leer y releer tranquilo.
Sawsan
رواية كتبها الكاتب الأرجنتيني أدولفو كاساريس عام 1940, ووصفها بورخيس في المقدمة بأنها تصل إلى حد الكمال
رجل يهرب من حكم بالسجن إلى جزيرة غير مأهولة,ويكتب يومياته ومشاهداته إلى أن يفاجأ بوجود آخرين معه على الجزيرة
الهروب كان جزء من شخصية بطل الرواية فاختار في النهاية أيضا الهروب لعالم الصورة ووهم الحب عن مواجهة الوحدة والصعوبات في عالم الواقع
الرواية عادية في البداية , لكن مع غموض الأحداث تصبح مشوقة أكثر, إلى أن تتضح الفكرة
تخليد حياة الانسان باختراع جهاز يصور الناس في حياتهم بكل أحداثها ويعرض الص
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Carolina Morales
It is almost impossible for me to write a true and honest review of this Masterpiece without talking a little about myself as a reader, in first place. I am the most critical, cynical and skeptical reviewer I ever had the displeasure of discussing a book with. I could apologise. I could try to deny it. I could even try to explain myself claiming I was born like this (which is true) or that I've been brought up by constant complaining about everything/whinning relatives (which is ALSO true), but ...more
Evandro
A genialidade deste livro parece ser quase uma unanimidade. De minha parte, achei-o interessante, criativo, provavelmente de complicada concepção e trabalhoso planejamento, mas demasiado fantástico para o meu gosto. Não me apeteceu sua filosofia subjacente, uma espécie de eternidade ateística e imanentista para desiludidos e desesperados. Posso não o ter compreendido. Pode ser que uma leitura mais atenta me revele alguma genial reflexão acerca da morte e da incapacidade do homem para entendê-la. ...more
Lobstergirl
Aug 19, 2015 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: swan wranglers
Shelves: fiction, nyrb

Sigh. This was not comparable to The Turn of the Screw, as the back of the book insisted. And clearly I have very different taste from Octavio Paz, who instructs that it is "a perfect novel."

I did however enjoy Jorge Luis Borges's (the dedicatee's) provocative opinions in the Prologue:

"The typical psychological novel is formless. The Russians and their disciples have demonstrated, tediously, that no one is impossible [Ed: Not sure what that means]. A person may kill himself because he is so happ
...more
Jesse
The novella reputed to be a main source of inspiration for "Last Year at Marienbad," a reputation which is at once both entirely misleading and endlessly evocative. And also of great interest to me, as Casares's text does not immediately announce itself as the obvious source of inspiration, but instead present ideas and themes echo throughout Robbe-Grillet and Resnais's works, hinting at interpretations and angles that don't necessarily surface in the transplant from an unnamed tropical island t ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
“Non fu come se non mi avesse sentito, come se non mi avesse visto; ma come se le sue orecchie non servissero a sentire, i suoi occhi non servissero a vedere.”

Certe volte abbiamo la sensazione – anzi, la certezza – di essere invisibili. Abbiamo la certezza che qualunque cosa diciamo o facciamo non servirà a cambiare le cose. Abbiamo la certezza che i nostri sentimenti non arriveranno alla persona a cui sono destinati e, se anche arriveranno, che questa non li accoglierà. Abbiamo la certezza che
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Jim
What an amazing novella! I can understand why Borges thought so highly of Bioy's writing.

A condemned man escapes to a deserted island, but is he alone? He sees people on the island, but they apparently don't see him. Is that part of their plan to capture him and return him to justice? Why are their actions so complex and repetitive? Has he become invisible from eating the wrong roots?

I this strange world, the man slowly unravels the secret of the island and the diabolical mechanisms of Morel's I
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John
A character who could be straight out of Borges's "Universal History of Iniquities" takes refuge from the law on a deserted tropical island where he witnesses some pretty strange stuff (I'm trying to be vague here). What seems to begin as the story of a man's slow descent into paranoia turns into what seems like a ghost story before eventually becoming something entirely different - something that could have sprung from the mind of Gene Wolfe or Philip K. Dick on a good day.
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Winner of the Gran Premio de Honor da Sociedad Argentina de Escritores (1975), the Cervantes Award (1990) and the Légion d’Honneur da França (1981), Adolfo Bioy Casares (Buenos Aires, 1914-1999) is one of the main writes of the XX century. Also a journalist and translator, he was a friend and collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, with whom he wrote six books and created the ch ...more
More about Adolfo Bioy Casares...
Asleep in the Sun The Dream of Heroes Diary of the War of the Pig La invención de Morel / El gran Serafín Historias fantásticas

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“And the reason I am so nervous is that everything I do now is leading me to one of three possible futures... Which one will it be? Time alone will tell. But still I know that writing this diary can perhaps provide the answer; it may even help produce the right future.” 16 likes
“The sea is endless when you are in a rowboat.” 10 likes
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