Out of stock
Every Other Week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST May 27 to July 8, 2020
7 – 8:30pm ET via Zoom
5/27, 6/10, 6/24, 7/8
Argentina’s Jorge Luis Borges is arguably the most influential short story writer of the 20th century, conjuring alternate realities, infinite libraries and arcane mythologies in a few brief pages. But he was far from alone in shaping the course of Latin American literature. In this reading group, we will take our time discussing the fascinating stories collected in Fictions, before reading short novels by Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, masterful writers in their own right and lifelong friends of Borges and other figures of the Buenos Aires avant-garde scene.
- Week 1: We will discuss the stories collected in Part 1 (“The Garden of Forking Paths”) in Jorge Luis Borges’ Fictions. Please read the following short stories: “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” “The Circular Ruins,” “The Lottery in Babylon,” “A Survey of the Works of Herbert Quain,” “The Library of Babel,” and “The Garden of Forking Paths.”
- Week 2: We will discuss the stories collected in Part 2 (“Artifices”) in Jorge Luis Borges’ Fictions. Please read the following short stories: “Funes the Memorious”, “The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero”, “Death and the Compass”, “The Secret Miracle”, “Three Versions of Judas”, “The End”, “The Cult of the Phoenix”, “The South.”
- Week 3: Discussion of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ masterful The Invention of Morel. Set on an island in Polynesia, Bioy’s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious. Includes a foreword by JL Borges.
- Week 4: Legend has it that Silvina Ocampo worked on The Promise for over twenty-five years, right up to her death in 1993. In this novel, a woman reminisces about her life, and lets her imagination get away with her, after falling overboard into the sea—a reflection of Ocampo’s own struggles with dementia and her interest in memory and identity. Translator Suzanne Jill Levine will be joining us via Zoom at the end of this meeting for a brief Q&A.
Click links to purchase.
Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia with an extensive research background in contemporary literature from Latin America. He has translated novels, stories, screenplays and comics from French, Spanish and Catalan, and was awarded a PEN Translates Prize in 2016. His work has appeared in Harper’s, The White Review, Gulf Coast, and T Magazine.
By Jorge Luis Borges
Published by Penguin Publishing Group
Translated by Andrew Hurley
From Jorge Luis Borges’s 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display his talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master’s work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.
The Invention of Morel
By Adolfo Bioy Casares
Published by New York Review Books
Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine, Ruth L. C. Simms
Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy’s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.
Inspired by Bioy Casares’s fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction’s now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film..
By Silvina Ocampo
Published by City Lights Publishers
Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine, Jessica Powell
A woman traveling on a transatlantic ship has fallen overboard. Adrift at sea, she makes a promise to Saint Rita, “arbiter of the impossible,” that if she survives, she will write her life story. As she drifts, she wonders what she might include in the story of her life—a repertoire of miracles, threats, and people parade tumultuously through her mind. Little by little, her imagination begins to commandeer her memories, escaping the strictures of realism.
Translated into English for the very first time, The Promise showcases Silvina Ocampo at her most feminist, idiosyncratic and subversive. Ocampo worked quietly to perfect this novella over the course of twenty-five years, nearly up until the time of her death in 1993.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
Joyce Before Ulysses: Exploring Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with William Mottolese (Sold Out)
Four Sessions via Zoom Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST January 21 to April 22, 2021
Plotting the Perfect Crime (Story) with Jonathan Santlofer$150
Wednesday - Friday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 27 to January 29, 2021
Inside Criminal Minds: Crafting Psychological Suspense with Alison Gaylin$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST January 29 to January 31, 2021
Writing Sex in Fiction with Regina M. Porter$395
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 3 to March 10, 2021
Building Page-Turning Thrill Rides for Readers with Duane Swierczynski$150
Thursday - Saturday 3:00 pm EST - 5:00 pm EST February 4 to February 6, 2021
From Family Lore to Narrative Fiction with Maisy Card (Sold Out)$395
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 9 to March 16, 2021
Dialogue: Letting Your Characters Do More of the Work with De’Shawn Charles Winslow$495
Once a week Wednesdays, 6:30 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 10 to March 31, 2021
Users and Suckers and Steady Bad Luckers: Writing Complex Characters with William Boyle (Sold Out)$150
Friday - Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST February 12 to February 14, 2021
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EST - 2:00 pm EST February 17, 2021
How to Write Character-Driven Plot with Lauren Wilkinson (Sold Out)$150
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST February 18 to March 4, 2021
New Ways to Jumpstart Stalled Stories with Sahar Mustafah$150
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EST - 4:15 pm EST February 20 to February 21, 2021
What’s Italian? A Journey through 20th Century Italy with Antonio Romani
6 Sessions via Zoom Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST February 23 to May 4, 2021
Reading the Other Americas with Kaiama L. Glover
4 Sessions via Zoom Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EST - 8:30 pm EST February 24 to May 26, 2021
The Art of Fiction Writing with Diane Zinna$495
Once a week Saturdays, 10:00 am EST - 12:00 pm EST February 27 to April 17, 2021
Criminal Justice in Fiction with Jennifer Baker
5 Sessions via Zoom Sundays, 1:00 pm EST - 2:30 pm EST February 28 to June 27, 2021