La Invención de Morel (Adolfo Bioy Casares, 1940), una novela pionera de la realidad virtual
(Originalmente en EastboundR)
If you are a movie lover, fascinated by images, those fragments of time forever frozen on footage, if you’re enthralled by the beloved past, fictional o real, printed there for eternity…then you are also likely to love Bioy Casares’ The Invention of Morel.
Why? Many of us occasionally have felt under the spell of a movie star. Thrilled by her talent, personality, voice or beauty. Either a living present day star or, more often, one that is long gone. In this case there is hardly any difference. What is what we call a star or a movie legend? Actually “a star” is nothing more than a bunch of sounds and images, haunting our minds. Nothing more than virtual stuff, so powerful, that is, as to create in us a feeling of actual reality.
The person who was the basis for the now mighty myth may have long disappeared, slipped away into non-existence, but oddly it feels as real as if she was actually out there, somewhere. True she is not tangible or material, but in some mysterious way she’s fully real.
One of the issues of The Invention of Morel is hopeless love and its obsessions and infatuations. Our fancies for no longer existent people, or in a broader sense, for people that are first of all our own creations, be they as well either present-day physical, or dead and gone. Unreachable in both cases. if not as merely phantoms in our minds.
Technology and dreams
Movies, those phantom-generators, have always dealt with technology. Movies are a product of culture but also an outcome of technological progression. And as image technology moves on, images become more and more real, so they will reach the point that they become indistinguishable from reality. (Probably we’re not that far-off from it by now). And myths created out of the images, those fancies based on long gone stars, will then become still more overwhelmingly alive in our imagination. Progression in technology will have a great impact on our dreams. These will be more polished, a result of an increasingly more sophisticated manufacturing.
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