This essay is a homage to Adolfo Bioy Casares and also refers to other writers I enjoy.


The Invention of Morel and its Context

In his 1940 prologue to this celebrated novella by Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges exalts adventure stories and “works of reasoned imagination” –from G. K. Chesterton to Kafka –­ over the psychological novel “with an infinitesimal, atrophied plot.”  Yet both Borges and his friend Casares were preoccupied with form, and, in literature, as in visual art, formalists tend to favour quietism, as well as a sense of nothing much happening – which would appear to be the very condition of the Jamesian novel of psychology.  The difference is that reality may be defined rather than described, and this gives rise to the philosophical novel, which is much favoured by those with formal concerns.  Such a novel is Goethe’s Elective Affinities, in which nothing much happens.  The main characters are principally engaged in working with an architect to improve and extend their…

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About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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