Artist of the Week: Adolfo Bioy Casares

“To classify it [the novel] as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole.”Jorge Luis Borges

The Invention of Morel may be described, without exaggeration, as a perfect novel.” – Octavio Paz

This is what two literary titans had to say about Adolfo Bioy Casares’ best work. His magnum opus. The Invention of Morel. An odd piece of work, difficult to define as science fiction, almost impossible to define it as something else.

Not nearly as famous as his lifelong friend, Jorge Luis Borges, Casares is every bit as talented. A great visionary, a wonderful stylist (as most South American writers are), Casares is well the time and effort to read.

 

“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.”

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Religion? Profession?

religionJ.D. Salinger once wrote (in his novella, Seymour: An Introduction), “Do you know what I was smiling at? You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never. I’m a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked. You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished […] I’m so sure you’ll get asked only two questions.’ Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won’t even underline that. It’s too important to be underlined.”

Overall, I believe this is some of the best writing advice ever written. But I’d like to analyze the hell out of this paragraph, and tell you what I think about writing being either a profession or a religion. Continue reading

TMM: Writing Habits

Writing is a profound and elemental aspect of life. A form of communication, a method by which man tries to feel less lonely. Even though it may appear to be a simple gesture, deeply rooted in our culture and tradition, writing is sometimes subject to odd habits and superstitions. Continue reading

The Presence of Absence

poemFilthy God
Beware of light!
Crush,destroy the gift of sight
Let the mortals fight in the dark
Like the beasts on Noah`s ark
Let them cry in fear and shame
For they all shall seek in vain
Desperate,weak
Like Abel`s Cain
They will turn against their own
Crushing each and every bone
Nature`s each and every stone…

With this poem written by Sabin Iliev we’re introducing a new weekly thing called Poem of the Week. Each Wednesday we’ll be selecting a poem to be featured on irevuo, for your entertainment.

Amazon’s Around the World in 80 Books

around“Hand-picked Reads for Every Traveler” is the way Amazon pitches its new e-book discovery tool. Their book editors have selected 80 of the world’s most famous novels, memoirs, or travel books in an attempt to give readers a sense of “being there.”

Simply put, it’s like travel but it’s not. Continue reading

TMM: But it’s not even midnight.

tmmThe muse does not wait for you to get ready. The muse does not appear when you want it to appear.

This is what we like to say to ourselves whenever we don’t feel like writing. When we’re too hungry, too tired, too cold to write. When we’ve got other things to think about. When the world seems out-of-balance in such a way that you writing would simply cause the Universe to implode. Continue reading