PERCOLATION

27 Aug

I am now reading Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, originally published in 1942 (translated to English in 1981). It is Borges’ first collaboration with Adolfo Bioy-Casares. Bioy (1914-1999) and Borges met in 1932, and only joined their literary intellect as a spirited amusement (this book has been touted to be a minor work for both). Two of the best known and more influential Argentine writers, they complimented their 40 year long friendship with satirical comical intent, much to the dismay of their literary critics.

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentinean poet, essayist and short story writer. In 1961, he received the first International Publishers’ Prize Prix Formentor (meant to rival the Nobel Prize in prestige). Among his short stories, The Garden of Forking Paths published in 1941, and translated into English for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1948, are his most famous: Ficciones; and The Aleph.

“The philosophical term “Borgesian conundrum” is named after him and has been defined as the ontological question of “whether the writer writes the story, or it writes him.””  Wikipedia.

Six Problems is a parody on the detective genre. Even the Preface is an amusing allusiveness of parody, written by Gervasio Montenegro, who, in actuality is a character in several of the stories. There are six chapters. Each comprising a ‘problem’ for Don Isidro.

“In an unusual twist on the traditional armchair detective, don Isidro, jailbird and former barbershop owner, unravels each mystery brought to his cell by a host of flamboyant characters, parodies of different elements of Argentinean society. Among these, an easily duped journalist, an actor who gives a new meaning to egotism, and members of a Buenos Aires literary circle, each more absurd than the next, are some of the clientele who stop by the prison to see if don Isidro is “in” for a consult.” quotation, in part, from Fantastic Fiction.

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One Response to “PERCOLATION”

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  1. SIX PROBLEMS FOR DON ISIDRO PARODI « WORDMAN - August 30, 2012

    […] whole parody/satire thing wrapped in comedic intent.  Anyway ………. I wrote about this book here (before I  finished reading it), if you’re […]

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