Errol Orhan’s review of Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi
Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi
He returned to Buenos Aires in , where he helped to found several avant-garde literary periodicals. In , after the fall of Juan Peron, whom he vigorously opposed, he was appointed director of the Argentine National Library. Borges regularly taught and lectured throughout the United States and Europe. His ideas have been a profound influence on writers throughout the Western world and on the most recent developments in literary and critical theory. A prolific writer of essays, short stories, and plays, Borges's concerns are perhaps clearest in his stories. He regarded people's endeavors to understand an incomprehensible world as fiction; hence, his fiction is metaphysical and based on what he called an esthetics of the intellect. Some critics have called him a mystic of the intellect.
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Bustos Domecq, appeared in Argentine bookshops. Thus, Don Isidro Parodi, the first amateur sleuth in Argentine literature, was born. Bustos Domecq a pen name. In essence Borges and Bioy Casares invented a new author with a complete biography whose features are very different from the sum of them two. One other aspect which is worth noting about this book is the uses of the local slang, something that, unfortunately, is lost in translation. Besides, over time some local references have been lost.
Bustos Domecq made his first appearance as F. Francisco Bustos, the pseudonym under which Borges, in , published his first fictional story, now known as "Hombre de la esquina rosada", "Man from the Pink Corner" but originally titled "Hombre de las orillas" "Man from the Slums" or more literally "Man from the Outskirts" , Francisco Bustos being the name of "one forefather's forefather". He changed his first initial and acquired a second surname which in Argentina connotes either "old money" or simply, as in the rest of Latin America , the mother's maiden name as Borges and Bioy Casares later used the pseudonym "H. Bustos Domecq" for some of their lighter works. According to Borges, Bustos was the name of one of his great-grandfathers, while Domecq was the name of one of Bioy's great-grandfathers. Both dealt with the exacerbated sense of manhood among the compadritos in the slums of Buenos Aires circa The Bustos Domecq materials provided comic relief for cultivated Latin Americans, but also, famously, conveyed a subtle yet unambiguous pro-allied message in the edition of Parodi — which was not a surprise for people who knew the authors but was, nevertheless, a contrarian statement given the state of Argentine politics at the time.