Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Déjà vu again: Adolfo Bioy Casares's La invención de Morel/The Invention of Morel

A while back I posted a blog entry that referred to Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares's 1940 novella La invención de Morel/The Invention of Morel (see Déjà vu: 'uncanny recognition' or 'perpetual return'?). I wanted to post a link to a really interesting article about this novella that I have come across since which appears on the senses of cinema site. The article -- 'Last Year at Marienbad: An Intertextual Meditation' -- is by Thomas Beltzer; you can access it HERE.

The article deals with issues of literary and filmic recognition in the context of intertextuality and allusion (see also another blog post of mine on Pleasurable recognition in film adaptation). It examines how Alain Resnais's 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad (L'Année Dernière à Marienbad) 'more than secretly allude[s] to The Invention of Morel' (Beltzer), but it also examines some of Bioy Casares's own inspiration for his novella (Louise Brooks, H.G.Wells). The allusions to The Invention of Morel performed by Eliseo Subiela's 1986 film Hombre mirando al sudeste/Man Facing Southeast (see also HERE) are also compellingly explored.

Beltzer concludes his fascinating essay thus: 'This basic feeling with which many of us live daily is expressed in the increasing catalogue of ontological vertigo films of which Last Year at Marienbad may be the first in line because of its now-revealed relationship with The Invention of Morel.'

P.S. While I'm on the subject of Bioy Casares's novella, fans of Lost may like to know that the character of Sawyer is seen reading The Invention of Morel in an episode in Season 5. See a nice blog entry on the relevance of this novella for Sawyer's own predicament, at that point in the series (with some very good pictures of Sawyer), at SOME OTHER LOST SCREENS. And, finally, there's a funny little video on Sawyer's general passion for reading ('Reading is Sexy') by LilianaMW at YouTube, though it doesn't include the Bioy Casares episode. OK. Enough Déjà vu already...

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