A Plan for Escape by Adolfo Bioy-casares ; Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine
New York : E. P. Dutton, 1975. First American Edition. Stated "First edition w/full numbers line" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 115 pages ; 22 cm. $7.95 dust jacket. Original owner blind stamp on the half title page. A very good + copy with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
A PLAN FOR ESCAPE
TRANSLATED BY SUZANNE JILL LEVINE
My first afternoon in these islands has not yet ended, and 1 have already seen something so alarming that I must ask for your help These are the opening words of a remarkable novel that in theme and treatment is reminiscent of the famous short stories of Jorge Luis Borges—not surprising in view of the fact that Adolfo Bioy-Casares has been Borges' friend, collaborator, and acknowledged disciple. Borges' preoccupation with the philosophical concepts of time and space are echoed here, although the truth is hidden from the reader until the end of this baffling and haunting tale.
From the time the hero, Henri Nevers, a French naval lieutenant, is posted to Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana and its island penal colonies, he is confronted by a series of inexplicable events—garbled messages, strange disappearances, death. Nevers is led to doubt the evidence of his senses. As Daniel Halpern, editor of Antaeus, writes: "The story...arrives at the end with startling juxtapositions—sensory and narrative. Bioy-Casares' statement is finally one of freedom, the illusion of freedom, that metaphorically transforms itself in the final pages with an unsettling effect."
ADOLFO BIOY-CASARES lives and writes in Buenos Aires. His friendship with Jorge Luis Borges goes back some forty years. He wrote A Plan for Escape (Plan de Evasion) in the early 1940s when Peronism severely curtailed the writer's freedom. It was published shortly after The Invention of Morel, probably Bioy-Casares' most famous story and the inspiration for the movie Last Year at Marien-bad. His latest novel, Dormir al Sol, is currently a best seller in Argentina and has led to an increased appreciation of his importance in contemporary Latin American literature.
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