Adolfo Bioy Casares

Adolfo Bioy Casares (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈðolfo ˈβjoi kaˈsaɾes]; September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, and translator. He was a friend and frequent collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, and is the author of the fantastic fiction novel The Invention of Morel.

Adolfo Bioy Casares
Bioy Casares in 1968
Bioy Casares in 1968
BornSeptember 15, 1914
Buenos Aires, Argentina
DiedMarch 8, 1999 (aged 84)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Resting placeLa Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina
OccupationWriter, poet, critic, librarian
Notable worksThe Invention of Morel
Notable awardsMiguel de Cervantes Prize (1991)


Adolfo Bioy Casares was born on September 15, 1914 in Buenos Aires, the only child of Adolfo Bioy Domecq and Marta Ignacia Casares Lynch. He was born in Recoleta, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires traditionally inhabited by upper-class families, where he would reside the majority of his life. Due to his family's high social class, he was able to dedicate himself exclusively to literature and, at the same time, distinguish his work from the traditional literary medium of his time. He wrote his first story ("Iris y Margarita") at the age of eleven. He began his secondary education in the Instituto Libre de Segunda Enseñanza at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Later, he started but did not end up finishing degrees in law, philosophy, and literature. Fueled by disappointment with the university atmosphere, he moved to a family ranch where, when he didn't have visitors, he devoted himself almost entirely to his study of literature. By the time he reached his late twenties, he maintained proficiency in Spanish, English, French (which he spoke from the age of 4) and German. Between 1929 and 1937 Bioy Casares published a number of books (Prólogo, 17 disparos contra lo porvenir, Caos, La nueva tormenta, La estatua casera, Luis Greve, muerto) that he would later disdain, restricting additional publications and refusing to discuss them, labeling all his work previous to 1940 as 'horrible'.

In 1932 he met Jorge Luis Borges at Villa Ocampo, a house in San Isidro belonging to Victoria Ocampo. There, she often hosted different international figures and organized cultural celebrations, one of which brought Borges and Bioy Casares together. Bioy Casares recalled that on that particular occasion, the two writers stepped away from the rest of the guests, only to be reprimanded by Ocampo.[1] This reproach provoked them to leave the gathering and return to the city together. The journey sealed a lifelong friendship and many influential literary collaborations. Under the pseudonyms H. Bustos Domecq and Benito Suárez Lynch, the two teamed up on a variety of projects from short stories (Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi, Dos fantasías memorables, Un modelo para la muerte), to screenplays (Los orilleros, Invasión), and fantastic fiction (Antología de la literatura fantástica, Cuentos breves y extraordinarios). Between 1945 and 1955, they directed "El séptimo círculo" ("The Seventh Circle"), a collection of translations of popular English detective fiction, a genre that Borges greatly admired. In 2006, Borges, a biographical volume of more than 1600 pages from Bioy Casares' journals, revealed many additional details of the friendship shared by the two writers. Bioy Casares had already prepared and corrected the texts some time previously, but he never was able to publish them himself.

In 1940, he published the short novel The Invention of Morel, which marked the beginning of his literary maturity. The novel's introduction was written by Borges, in which he comments on the absence of precursors to science fiction in Spanish literature, presenting Bioy Casares as the pioneer of a new genre. The novella was very well accepted and received the Primer Premio Municipal de Literatura (First Municipal Prize of Literature) in 1941. During this same time, in collaboration with Borges and Silvina Ocampo, he published two anthologies: Antología de la literatura fantástica (1940) y Antología poética argentina (1941).

In 1940, Bioy Casares married Silvina Ocampo, Victoria's sister, who was a painter as well as a writer. In 1954, one of Bioy Casares' mistresses gave birth in the United States to his daughter, Marta, who was subsequently adopted by his wife Silvina. Marta was killed in an automobile accident just three weeks after Silvina Ocampo's death, leaving Adolfo with 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. Fabián Bioy died, aged 40, in Paris, France on 11 February 2006.

Bioy won several awards, including the Gran Premio de Honor of SADE (the Argentine Society of Writers, 1975), the French Legion of Honour (1981), the Diamond Konex Award of Literature (1994) the title of Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires (1986), and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (awarded to him in 1991 in Alcalá de Henares). Adolfo Bioy Casares is buried in La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires.


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 an introduction 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 to be the inspiration for Alan Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad[2] and an influence on the TV series Lost.

Novels and novellas

  • La nueva tormenta o la vida de Juan Ruteno, 167 pp. (1935; "The New Storm or The Life of Juan Ruteno")
  • La invención de Morel, 126 pp. (1940; translated into English as The Invention of Morel, 1964, ISBN 1-59017-057-1)
  • El perjurio de la nieve, 64 pp. (1944; "The Snow's Perjury")
  • Plan de evasión, 162 pp. (1945; translated into English as A Plan for Escape, 1975, ISBN 1-55597-107-5)
  • El sueño de los héroes, 216 pp. (1954; translated into English as The Dream of Heroes, 1987, ISBN 0-7043-2634-5)
  • Homenaje a Francisco Almeyra, 37 pp. (1954; "Homage to Francisco Almeyra")
  • Diario de la guerra del cerdo, 207 pp. (1969; translated into English as Diary of the War of the Pig, 1972, ISBN 0-07-073742-8)
  • Dormir al Sol, 229 pp. (1973; translated into English as Asleep in the Sun, 1978, ISBN 0-89255-030-9)
  • La aventura de un fotógrafo en La Plata, 223 pp. (1985; translated into English as The Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata, 1989, ISBN 0-7475-0798-8)
  • Un campeón desparejo, 110 pp. (1993; "An Uneven Champion")

Short story collections

  • 17 disparos contra el porvenir, 173 pp. (1933; "17 Shots Against the Future")
  • Caos, 283 pp. (1934, "Chaos")
  • Luis Greve, muerto, 157 pp. (1937; "Luis Greve, Deceased")
  • La trama celeste, 246 pp. (1948; "The Celestial Plot")
  • Las vísperas de Fausto, 15 pp. (1949; "Faust's Eve")
  • Historia prodigiosa, 151 pp. (1956; "A Remarkable History")
  • El lado de la sombra, 192 pp. (1962; "The Shady Side")
  • El gran serafín, 190 pp. (1967; "The Great Seraph")
  • El héroe de las mujeres, 191 pp. (1978; "The Hero of Women")
  • Historias desaforadas, 231 pp. (1986; "Colossal Stories")
  • Una muñeca rusa, 179 pp. (1991; translated into English as A Russian Doll and Other Stories, 1992, ISBN 0-8112-1211-4)

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

  • Selected Stories, 176 pp. (1994, ISBN 0-8112-1275-0)


Bioy Casares, Ocampo y Borges
Bioy Casares with Victoria Ocampo and Jorge Luis Borges
  • La otra aventura, 153 pp. (1968, "The Other Adventure")
  • Memoria sobre la pampa y los gauchos, 57 pp. (1970, "Memoir on the Pampas and the Gauchos")

Miscellanies (mixed collections of stories, poems, essays, reflections, aphorisms, etc.)

  • Prólogo, 127 pp. (1929; "Prologue")
  • La estatua casera, 51 pp. (1936; "The Household Statue")
  • Guirnalda con amores, 200 pp. (1959; "Garland with Loves")

Dictionary of Argentinean slang

  • Breve diccionario del argentino exquisito, 161 pp. (1971; "Brief Dictionary of Affected Argentineans")


  • En viaje (1967), 260 pp. (1996; "Travelling in 1967"; letters to Silvina Ocampo)


  • Descanso de caminantes. Diarios íntimos, 507 pp. (2001; "Rest for Travellers and Intimate Diaries"; a selection from his Journals)

Works written in collaboration with Jorge Luis Borges

  • Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi (1942; translated into English as Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, 1981, ISBN 0-525-48035-8)
  • Dos fantasías memorables (1946; "Two Memorable Fantasies")
  • Un modelo para la muerte (1946; "A Model for Death")
  • Cuentos breves y extraordinarios (1955; "Short and Amazing Stories")
  • Crónicas de Bustos Domecq (1967; translated into English as Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, 1976, ISBN 0-525-47548-6)
  • Libro del cielo y del infierno, (1960; "The Book of Heaven and Hell")
  • Nuevos cuentos de Bustos Domecq (1977; "New Stories by Bustos Domecq")

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.

Works written in collaboration with Silvina Ocampo

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

Screenplays written in collaboration with Jorge Luis Borges


  1. ^ «El tercer hombre.» 22 de agosto de 1999. Archived August 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Clarín.
  2. ^ Thomas Beltzer, Last Year at Marienbad: An Intertextual Meditation [1].

External links

1999 in Argentina

Events from the year 1999 in Argentina

Agustín Díaz Pacheco

Agustín Díaz Pacheco (born 1952, Tenerife) is a Spanish writer. He has received many prizes for his stories and novels.

His publications include Los nenúfares de piedra, stories, (Ángel Acosta First Prize for Narrative, 1981); La cadena de agua y otros cuentos (1984); El camarote de la memoria (Ángel Guerra Prize for Novel, 1986), edited by Cathedral Editorial (Madrid, 1987) and reedited in the collection Anthology of Canary Literature; La rotura indemne and La red, first prize for unanimity from the Competition of Canary Stories (1986); La mirada de plata, stories, 1991; Proa en nieblas, stories, Ediciones Baile del Sol, 2001 (Tenerife); Breves atajos, stories and short stories, Ediciones Baile del Sol, 2001 (Tenerife), and Línea de naufragio (First Prize for unanimity from the VIII Competition Ateneo de La Laguna-CajaCanarias, 2002), published by Ediciones El Toro de Barro, Madrid/Cuenca, 2003.

His texts appear in four anthologies of Canary Island authors, and his novel El camarote de la memoria was selected for the periodical Discoplay (Madrid, 1987), along with works from Salman Rushdie, Malcolm Lowry, Carmen Martín Gaite, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Ambrose Bierce and Adolfo Bioy Casares, and for the publication CrónicaLatinoamericana (Londres, 1996); El camarote de la memoria has been studied, like texts from Víctor Doreste, Víctor Ramírez, y J.J.Armas Marcelo, by the professor and essayist El Hadji Amadou Ndoye, who included the novel in his book Estudios sobre narrativa canaria.

His stories have been the object of studies in the curricula of some universities, such as the University of Georgia in the United States. He often contributes to cultural pages, supplements, and opinion articles. His work has been translated into French, Croatian, English, and German.

Café La Biela

Café La Biela (in English: The Connecting-rod Café) is a traditional café in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, Argentina situated at 600 Quintana Avenue on the corner of Junin street, opposite the church of Nuestra Senora del Pilar and the adjoining Recoleta Cemetery. The café has a large terrace in front with outdoor tables under the shade of a giant rubber tree, and is a popular with locals and tourists alike.

Esteban Adrogué

Esteban Adrogué (September 2, 1815 – 1903) was an Argentine citizen born in Buenos Aires and founder of the city of Adrogué in the southern part of Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Son of Don José Ramón Adrogué and Doña Petrona Portela. His father, originally from Valencia, Spain, was a merchant, activity that he would later develop, to reach a solid economical position. He dedicated his life to commerce and saved a good deal of money that would allow him to become a pioneer in the urbanization of the southern part of Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina.

His enterprising and progressive spirit took him to worry about public works and participated in many of them. During his lifetime, he participated in the construction on the Alsina bridge, located over the Matanza River, the electricity and gas-based lighting in Buenos Aires and the pavement on the streets.

By the middle of the 19th century, he was one of the founders of the city of Lomas de Zamora, contributing also to the creation of the partido bearing the same name. In the 1870s he started the project that would make him famous, the foundation of the city of Adrogué, originally called Almirante Brown, and the foundation of the Almirante Brown Partido. It was built as a fashionable area, safe from yellow fever.Esteban Adrogué wanted the town that would bear his name to stand out from the others, so it possesses an original layout and numerous lush trees on the sidewalks, and was the summer resort of preference of the porteños aristocracy between 1872 and 1920. He was the owner of the Las Delicias hotel, formerly his own private residence, which accommodated several distinguished figures like Jorge Luis Borges, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Silvina Ocampo, Victoria Ocampo y Carlos Pellegrini, among others.

On April 12, 1837, he married Isidora Amestoy Arnais y Pinazo.

Esteban Adrogué died in 1903. A monument in his honor is established in the square baring his name, located in the center of the city of Adrogué. His remains rest in the La Recoleta Cemetery, in Buenos Aires.

Fernando Sorrentino

Fernando Sorrentino (born November 8, 1942 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine writer. His works have been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, German, French, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Bulgarian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tamil, Kannada, and Kabyle.

In 2006 Fernando Sorrentino published a collection of short stories entitled: "Per colpa del dottor Moreau ed altri racconti fantastici".

The collection includes all his short stories translated in Italian and is published by Progetto Babele literary magazine. The same literary magazine published a new collection in 2013: "Per difendersi dagli scorpioni ed altri racconti insoliti".

H. Bustos Domecq

H. Bustos Domecq (Honorio Bustos Domecq) is a pseudonym used for several collaborative works by the Argentine writers Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Hugo Santiago

Hugo Santiago Muchnick (12 December 1939 – 27 February 2018) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and lived in France from 1959 until his death in 2018.

Santiago studied Literature, Philosophy and Music. From 1959-66 he was assistant director to Robert Bresson. In 1969, he made his first feature film Invasión in his native Argentina based on an idea by celebrated writers Adolfo Bioy Casares and Jorge Luis Borges, who also co-wrote the script. Adolfo Bioy Casares described the film in May 1969 as follows:"Invasión modernises the theme of The Iliad: it does not praise the shrewdness and effectiveness of the conqueror, but rather the courage of a handful of warriors ready to defend their Troy-which is far too much like Buenos Aires-where there is always a group of friends and a tango inviting you to fight for just and noble causes. Homer will forgive me: the heart is always on the side of those who resist. I believe Hugo Santiago has created an extraordinary film".

This was followed by another collaboration with the famed writers Les Aultres in 1974. In 1979 he made Écoute voir... with Catherine Deneuve cast as a female detective investigating a gang looking to control people using radio waves. He returned to Argentina with Les Trottoirs de Saturne a reflection on his own exile in 1986. Prior to his latest feature film, stylish detective thriller Le Loup de la côte Ouest (2002), he directed theatrical adaptations for the screen of Sophocles (Électre), Bertolt Brecht (La Vie de Galilée) and the Opera by Iannis Xenakis (La Geste gibelline).

Prior to directing in 1961 he was a choreographer and metteur en scene for Histoire du Soldat at the Stravinsky Festival. He has supported the work of other filmmakers over the years, including producing Sérail / Surreal Estate by Eduardo de Gregorio (1976) and narrating Raúl Ruiz's Les Trois couronnes du matelot (1983). He also appeared in Ruiz's short film Colloque de chiens in 1977.

In Memoriam (film)

In Memoriam is the 1977 Spanish directorial debut of Enrique Brasó. The film is based on a story by the Argentine writer, Adolfo Bioy Casares. The film explores the thwarted romance between Julio (José Luis Gómez) and Paulina (Geraldine Chaplin). Brasó collaborated with Chaplin again, as a writer in In the City Without Limits (2002) and Oculto (2005). In Memoriam was released in Spain on 2 September 1977.

Jorge Luis Borges bibliography

This is a bibliography of works by Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet, and translator Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986).

Each year links to its corresponding "[year] in literature" article (for prose) or "[year] in poetry" article (for verse).

La aventura de un fotógrafo en La Plata

La aventura de un fotógrafo en La Plata is an Argentine novel, written by Adolfo Bioy Casares. It was first published in 1985. In the prologue to the 2005 edition, the author admits that it is possible that the novel alludes, subconsciously, to the desaparecidos, stating, “I do not believe that one can have such a terrible nightmare and refrain from writing about it in the morning.”

Morel's Invention (film)

Morel's Invention (Italian: L'invenzione di Morel) is a 1974 Italian science fiction film directed by Emidio Greco and starring Anna Karina. It is based on the novel The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Nicolás Barrios-Lynch

Nicolás Barrios-Lynch (1910–1986) was an Argentine educator and pioneer of the rural libraries movement across South America. After his teaching career, he became a dedicated promoter of public and rural libraries, and the inclusion of foreign books and texts of Argentinean original peoples literature in public education, spreading commercial education for entrepreneurship of educational tourism, became Director of Rural Education programs at the Ministry of Public Transportation, and at Argentina's Ministry of Education contributing in philanthropic initiatives for the sustainability of the National Library of Teachers located at the Sarmiento Palace.

Silvina Ocampo

Silvina Ocampo Aguirre (July 21, 1903 – December 14, 1993) was an Argentine poet and short-fiction writer.Ocampo was born in Buenos Aires, the youngest of six children of Manuel Ocampo and Ramona Aguirre. She was educated at home by tutors. One of her sisters was Victoria Ocampo, the publisher of the literarily important Argentine magazine Sur. She studied drawing in Paris under Giorgio de Chirico. She was married to Adolfo Bioy Casares, whose lover she became (1933) when Bioy was 19. They were married in 1940. In 1954 she adopted Bioy’s daughter from another woman, Marta Bioy Ocampo (1954–94), who 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 recently (as of 2006) awarded by a Buenos Aires court to yet another love child of Adolfo Bioy Casares, Fabián Bioy. Fabián Bioy died, aged 40, in February 2006.

With Fabián Bioy's death, it is likely the many documents and manuscripts of both writers will soon become available to scholars.

Suzanne Jill Levine

Suzanne Jill Levine (born October 21, 1946) is an American writer, poet, literary translator, critic and scholar. Levine was born on October 21, 1946 in in New York City.

She earned a BA at Vassar College in 1967, an MA at Columbia University in 1969, and a PhD at New York University in 1976. She specializes in Translation Studies (her book The Subversive Scribe (1991) was influential on the development of translation theory in the USA and elsewhere) and Latin American literature. Some of her most best known translations include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Manuel Puig, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Guillermo Cabrera Infante. She wrote the biography Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions (2001), published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Levine is an honorary member of IAPTI.

The Book of Fantasy

The Book of Fantasy is the English translation of Antología de la Literatura Fantástica, an anthology of appromixately 81 fantastic short stories, fragments, excerpts, and poems edited by Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo. It was first published in Argentina in 1940, and revised in 1965 and 1976. Anthony Kerrigan previously translated the similar work Cuentos Breves y Extraordinarios as Extraordinary Tales, published by Herder & Herder in 1971. The 1988 Viking Penguin edition for English-speaking countries includes a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The idea and seed for this volume came into being one "night in 1937 in Buenos Aires, when Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo fell to talking - so Casares tells us - 'about fantastic literature. ..simply a compilation of stories from fantastic literature which seemed to us to be the best.'"

The Celestial Plot

The Celestial Plot (Spanish: La trama celeste) is a book by Adolfo Bioy Casares. It is a collection of short stories and includes a work with the same name.

The Hero of Women

The Hero of Women (Spanish: El héroe de las mujeres) is a book by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares published in 1978. It is a collection of short stories and includes a work with that same name.

The Invention of Morel

La invención de Morel (American Spanish: [la imbenˈsjon de moˈɾel]; 1940) — translated as The Invention of Morel or Morel's Invention — is a novel by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares. It was Bioy Casares' breakthrough effort, for which he won the 1941 First Municipal Prize for Literature of the City of Buenos Aires. He considered it the true beginning of his literary career, despite being his seventh book. The first edition cover artist was Norah Borges, sister of Bioy Casares' lifelong friend, Jorge Luis Borges.

Victoria Ocampo

Victoria Ocampo (7 April 1890 – 27 January 1979) was an Argentine writer and intellectual, described by Jorge Luis Borges as La mujer más argentina ("The quintessential Argentine woman"). Best known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the literary magazine Sur, she was also a writer and critic in her own right and one of the most prominent South American women of her time. Her sister, Silvina Ocampo, also a writer, was married to Adolfo Bioy Casares.

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