“The Invention of ‘Bioy’…”
“Life is a game of chess and you never really know when you are winning or losing”. ABC – Una muñeca rusa, 1991.
Adolfo Bioy Casares; September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999 was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, and translator. He was a friend and collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, and wrote what many consider one of the best pieces of fantastic fiction, the novel “The Invention of Morel”.
“He thought he understood for the first time why some said life is a dream: If one lives long enough, facts about your life, just like your dreams, become impossible to communicate, because nobody cares about them”. ABC – Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, 1969.
“There comes a moment in your life when, no matter what you do, you bore everybody else. There is only one way to get back the lost prestige. Dying”. ABC – Fuente: Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, 1969.
“Revolution: Political movement which gets many people´s hopes up, let´s even more people down, makes almost everybody uncomfortable, and a few, extraordinarily rich. It is widely held in high regard. ABC – Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
The best-known novel by Bioy Casares is La invención de Morel (The Invention of Morel). It is the story of a man who, evading justice, escapes to an island said to be infected with a mysterious fatal disease. Struggling to understand why everything seems to repeat, he realizes that all the people he sees there are actually recordings, made with a special machine, invented by Morel, which is able to record not only three-dimensional images, but also voices and scents, making it all indistinguishable from reality. The story mixes realism, fantasy, science fiction and terror. Borges wrote a famous prologue in which he called it a work of “reasoned imagination” and linked it to H. G. Wells’ oeuvre. Both Borges and Octavio Paz described the novel as “perfect.”
“To classify it [the novel] as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole.” Borges
Bioy Casares has, admitted that his character Faustine is based on the actress Louise Brooks, who, as he put it, “vanished too early from the movies.” And indeed, throughout Resnais’s film we see in actress Delphine Seyrig a kind of Brooks-like beauty, as she positions herself in various divans and beds.
The story is held to be the inspiration for Alan Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad – 1961
The film is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, in which truth and fiction are difficult to distinguish, and the temporal and spatial relationship of the events is open to question. The dream-like nature of the film has fascinated and baffled audiences and critics; some hail it as a masterpiece, others find it incomprehensible.
At a social gathering at a château or baroque hotel, a man approaches a woman. He claims they met the year before at Marienbad and is convinced that she is waiting there for him. The woman insists they have never met. A second man, who may be the woman’s husband, repeatedly asserts his dominance over the first man, including beating him several times at a mathematical game (a version of Nim). Through ambiguous flashbacks and disorienting shifts of time and location, the film explores the relationships among the characters. Conversations and events are repeated in several places in the château and grounds, and there are numerous tracking shots of the château’s corridors, with ambiguous voiceovers. The characters are unnamed in the film; in the published screenplay, the woman is referred to as “A”, the first man is “X”, and the man who may be her husband is “M”.
“Life’s hard. To be in peace with oneself, one must speak the truth. To be in peace with others, one must lie”. ABC – Descanso de caminantes, 2001.