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Bioy Casares in the 1940s

Adolfo Bioy Casares (September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer.

Bioy Casares was born in Buenos Aires, the grandson of a wealthy landowner and dairy processor, and the descendant of Patrick Lynch, a successful Irish emigrant. He wrote his first story ("Iris y Margarita") at the age of 11. He was a friend and frequent collaborator of Jorge Luis Borges and wrote many stories with him under the pseudonym of H. Bustos Domecq.

Bioy and Borges were introduced in 1932 by Victoria Ocampo, whose sister, Silvina Ocampo (1903-1994), Bioy Casares was to marry in 1940. In 1954 they adopted Bioy’s daughter with another woman; Marta Bioy Ocampo (1954-94) was killed in an automobile accident just three weeks after Silvina Ocampo’s death, leaving two children. The estate of Silvina Ocampo and Adolfo Bioy Casares was awarded by a Buenos Aires court to yet another love child of Adolfo Bioy Casares, Fabián Bioy, shortly before Fabián Bioy died, aged 40, in February 2006.

He won several awards, including the Gran Premio de Honor of SADE (the Argentine Society of Writers, 1975), the French Légion d'honneur (1981), the title of Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires (1986), and the Premio Miguel de Cervantes (awarded to him in 1991 in Alcalá de Henares).

Adolfo Bioy Casares is buried in La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires.

In 2006 Ediciones Destino published a book of Bioy's diary entries on Borges, numbering 1663 pages of anecdotes, witticisms and observations.



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." The story is held[1] to be the inspiration for Alan Resnais's Last Year in Marienbad and also an influence on the TV series Lost.



  • La invención de Morel (1940, translated into English as The Invention of Morel, or "Morel's Invention" ISBN 1-59017-057-1)
  • Plan de evasión (1945, translated into English as A Plan for Escape, ISBN 1-55597-107-5)
  • El sueño de los héroes (1954, translated into English as Dream of Heroes, ISBN 0-7043-2634-5)
  • Diario de la guerra del cerdo (1969, translated into English as Diary of the War of the Pig, ISBN 0-07-073742-8)
  • Dormir al Sol (1973, translated into English 1978 as Asleep in the Sun, ISBN 0-89255-030-9)
  • La aventura de un fotógrafo en La Plata (1985, translated into English as The Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata, ISBN 0-7475-0798-8)
  • Un campeón desparejo (An Uneven Champion, 1993)

Short Story Collections

  • Prólogo (Prologue, 1929)
  • 17 disparos contra el porvenir (17 Shots Against the Future, 1933)
  • La estatua casera (The Household Statue, 1936)
  • La trama celeste (The Celestial Plot, 1948)
  • Luis Greve, muerto (Luis Greve, Deceased, 1937)
  • Las vísperas de Fausto (Faust's Eve, 1949)
  • Historia prodigiosa (A Remarkable History, 1956)
  • Guirnalda con amores (Guirnalda with Loves1959)
  • El lado de la sombra (The Shady Side, 1962)
  • El gran serafín (The Great Seraph, 1967)
  • El héroe de las mujeres (The Hero and the Women, 1978)
  • Historias desaforadas (Colossal Stories, 1986)

Generally, these Spanish-language collections have not been systematically translated into English. English language collections include:

  • The Russian Doll and Other Stories (ISBN 0-8112-1211-4)
  • Selected Stories (ISBN 0-8112-1275-0)


  • En viaje (Travelling, 1996), letters to Silvina

Works in collaboration

With Jorge Luis Borges

  • Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi (1942, translated into English as Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, ISBN 0-525-48035-8)
  • Dos fantasías memorables (Two Memorable Fantasies, 1946)
  • Un modelo para la muerte (A Model for Death, 1946)
  • Cuentos breves y extraordinarios (Short and Amazing Stories, 1955)
  • Crónicas de Bustos Domecq (1967, translated into English as Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, ISBN 0-525-47548-6)
  • Libro del cielo y del infierno, (The Book of Heaven and Hell, 1960)
  • Nuevos cuentos de Bustos Domecq (New Stories by Bustos Domecq, 1977)

Dos fantasías memorables and Un modelo para la muerte were originally published in private printings of only 300 copies. The first commercial printings were published in 1970.

With Silvina Ocampo

  • Los que aman, odian (Those Who Love, Hate, 1946)


With Jorge Luis Borges

  • Los orilleros (1955, The Hoodlums)
  • El paraíso de los creyentes (1955, The Paradise of the Believers)
  • Invasión (1969, Invasion)
  • The Others (1974)

External links

About The Invention of Morel


  1. ^ *Its possible influence on Last year at Marienbad, ed. Rafe Blaufarb (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008), 101-102.


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Bioy Casares in the 1940s

Adolfo Bioy Casares (September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer.


  • "Toda máquina está en proceso de extinción."
    • Machines are always on the verge of extinction.
      • Guirnaldas con amores, 1959.
  • "El mismo lobo tiene momentos de debilidad, en que se pone del lado del cordero y piensa: Ojalá que huya."
    • Even the wolf has its moments of weakness, in which it sides with the lamb and thinks: I hope it runs away.
      • Guirnaldas con amores, 1959.
  • "¿No es lo mismo que suceda lo que deseamos, que desear lo que suceda? Lo que importa es que nuestra voluntad y los sucesos estén de acuerdo."
    • Is there any difference between our desires becoming reality, and our desiring what is already real? What matters is that our will and reality agree with one another.
      • La otra aventura, 1968.
  • "Creyó por primera vez entender porqué se decía que la vida es sueño: si uno vive bastante, los hechos de su vida, como los de un sueño, su vuelven incomunicables porque a nadie interesan."
    • 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.
      • Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, 1969.
  • "En la vejez todo es triste y ridículo: hasta el miedo a la muerte."
    • Everything is sad and ridiculous in old age. Even the fear of death.
      • Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, 1969.
  • "Llega un momento en la vida en que, haga uno lo que haga, solamente aburre. Queda entonces una manera de recuperar el prestigio: morir."
    • 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.
    • Fuente: Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, 1969.
  • "El mundo atribuye sus infortunios a las conspiraciones y maquinaciones de grandes malvados. Entiendo que se subestima la estupidez."
    • The world attributes its misfortunes to the schemes and plottings of the very evil and powerful. I think stupidity is underestimated.
      • Breve diccionario del argentino exquisito, 1978.
  • "Las mujeres son el impuesto que pagamos por el placer."
    • Women are the tax we pay on pleasure
      • Una muñeca rusa, 1991.
  • "La vida es una partida de ajedrez y nunca sabe uno a ciencia cierta cuándo está ganando o perdiendo."
    • Life is a game of chess and you never really know when you are winning or losing.
      • Una muñeca rusa, 1991.
  • "Revolución: Movimiento político que ilusiona a muchos, desiluciona a más, incomoda a casi todos y enriquece extraordinariamente a unos pocos. Goza de firme prestigio."
    • 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.
      • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "Más exclusivamente que en la vigilia, en el sueño somos nosotros. Contribuimos con todo el reparto."
    • Even more so than when we are awake, we are ourselves when we are asleep. We play all the parts.
      • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "Debió de recibir una buena noticia, porque ayer tenía el pelo blanco y hoy apareció completamente rubia."
    • She must have received some great news, because yesterday her hair was white and today it is completely blond.
    • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "La vida es difícil. Para estar en paz con uno mismo hay que decir la verdad. Para estar en paz con el prójimo hay que mentir."
    • Life's hard. To be in peace with oneself, one must speak the truth. To be in peace with others, one must lie.
      • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "No he notado en las feministas mayor simpatía por las otras mujeres."
    • I have not perceived any increased sympathy for other women in feminists."
      • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "Un médico es la conjunción de un guardapolvo, un estetoscópio y una jerga."
    • A doctor is the conjunction of a white coat, a stethoscope, and a jargon.
    • Descanso de caminantes, 2001.
  • "A veces pienso que La vida de los poetas de Johnson es todo lo que necesito para ser feliz."

External links

About The Invention of Morel


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