The Book Beat Reading Group will meet Wed., March 7 (instead of Feb, 29th) to discuss The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel) – a book ahead of its time. Meetings are held at the Goldfish Teahouse (117 W. Fourth, in downtown Royal Oak) at 7pm. Books are discounted 15% at Book Beat (26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park, MI). All are welcome!
“I imitated him, to the point of transcription, to the point of devoted and impassioned plagiarism. I felt: Macedonio is metaphysics, is literature. Whoever preceded him might shine in history, but they were all rough drafts of Macedonio, imperfect previous versions. To not imitate this canon would have represented incredible negligence.”—Jorge Luis Borges
Written during the 1930s and ’40s – the heyday of Argentine literary culture – Museum is in many ways an “anti-novel: It opens with more than fifty prologues – including ones addressed “To My Authorial Persona,” “To the Critics,” and “To Readers Who Will Perish If They Don’t Know What the Novel Is About” – that are by turns philosophical, outrageous, ponderous, and cryptic. The second half of the book is the novel itself, a story about a group of characters (some borrowed from other texts) who live on an estancia called “La Novelo”.
Macedonio Fernández is considered one of the greatest Argentine writers of the twentieth century. He was a close friend of Jorge Luis Borges, and Macedonio’s metaphysical and aesthetic ideas greatly influenced Borges’s generation. The mythical life of Macedonio is almost as interesting and fun as his books. Some of the stories about his life include: his campaign for president, which consisted of leaving notecards with the word “Macedonio” on them throughout Buenos Aires’ cafés; his attempt to found a utopian society, only to be thwarted by pesky mosquitoes; and his belief that he shouldn’t publish, instead allowing his work time to “age.” He passed away in 1952, and the first edition of Museo de la Novela de la Eterna was released in 1967.