What exactly is Casares trying to tell us about literary and artistic creation in his book The Invention of Morel?
Is it a cautionary tale? A Lament? I don't know. He is clearly revealing something complex about the duplication of experience that is literature and art, but I don't know what.
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The question posed by Casares is a bi-level one. He asks us to question our perception of actual, temporal events. He asks us to question our experience of fictional events. Perhaps his objective might be summed up in the question: How real is fiction?
Casares is postulating that when we encounter fiction and become engrossed in it, we may in fact be becoming part of it, as the narrator experiences when he gets trapped inside the museum until the tide goes out and the invention of Morel stops working for a time.
Casares is further postulating that when we, in temporal-spatial events, experience an work of art or literature, we may in fact be fooled by what it is that we see. This calls into suspicion every "interpretation" of art and literature while simultaneously validating the creator's intention in producing the art or literature. This suggestion--that only the creator's intention leads to a right interpretation--goes contrary to modern and postmodern criticism.
I am writing this to leave a record of the adverse miracle. If I am not drowned or killed trying to escape in the next few days, I hope to write two books. I shall entitle them Apology for the Survivors and Tribute to Malthus. ... I intend to show that the world is an implacable hell for fugitives....
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