The Morel of the Story

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

I found out about this novel from a friend. He suggested The Invention of Morel to me because he had heard it had a similar feel to the spectacumondously awesome television show LOST. Since I'm a huge fan of that show, I ordered the novel on blind faith.

I chose it as a booksketch inspiration because on the "Eggtown" episode of LOST, one of the characters happened to be reading the novel in one scene! I also sent Ben and Ralph over at the Dharmalars LOST Podcast an email saying that I'd try to do an illustration inspired by the book.

And it was excellent. I can't really tell you anything about what happens, without giving anything away. The entire 90-or-so page novel builds up mystery and mood until the ending. I guess I should try to explain a little so I can justify doing a sketch about it, right?

OK, so the main character is a fugitive who has been hiding out on a deserted island. The island is made up mostly of swamp and marsh, but has some high land, on which a museum, chapel, and swimming pool sit. There are tales of some mysterious disease associated with the island, but the fugitive doesn't really have a choice of better living conditions.

One day, he finds that some strange tourists appear on his island. He doesn't want to be seen (and maybe turned over to the authorities), so he hides and spies. He observes numerous weird and puzzling things, and as the novel progresses, details are revealed pertaining to the nature of the "tourists."

A scientist, Morel, is among them. He seems to be their leader, and it is revealed that he has invented a great machine. I refuse to tell you what the machine is; no spoilers allowed. I don't believe they ever really described the invention, just various parts and workings of it and related inventions.

This sketch is my imagining of Morel's invention.

Also, if you like LOST, you'd probably like this book. And probably the Dharmalars podcast! Check 'em out.


lucky said...

Hi Burt!

This is very cool!
I love the black and white-ness...
and the crazy wonky machine.
I can almost hear the gears whirring!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, unique blog you have here.

Burt said...

Thanks! I'm glad you like the concept. Don't hesitate to join if you'd like to submit booksketches of your own!