Macedonio Fernández was an enigmatic figure shadowing over the literary scene in Buenos Aires during the early 20th century.

Macedonio Fernandez

In a new essay published in The Quarterly Conversation, Marcelo Ballvé writes about the influence of Macedonio on Argentina’s most famous writer – The Man Who Invented Borges.

Both men were enamored of speculative philosophy, and arguably it was Macedonio who was responsible for making a metaphysician out of Borges. Both writers were incessant explorers of a handful of themes: the inexistence of the individual personality, the elastic nature of time, the permeability of waking life to dreams and vice-versa; one might say: the instability of reality in general. In both writers’ work the supposedly bedrock concepts by which we live are revealed to be unstable isotopes, slippery and layered, none being in essence what they appear to be and all of course eminently moldable, especially within the pages of a story, poem, or essay.