clockroot books

There is an Argentine poetry before Bayley,
and another after him.
—Alberto Vanasco







 Edgar Bayley

Born in Buenos Aires, Edgar Bayley (1919–1990) was an active and influential participant in avant-garde Argentine poetry, representing a major figure in its literary magazines and institutions throughout the latter half of the last century, and was among the founders of the invencionista movement that swept the city, and a bit beyond, in the 1940s and ‘50s. Poet, playwright, director, translator, and essayist, he is the author of fourteen published works in diverse genres.

Bayley’s influence on twentieth-century Argentine literature was at once profound and understated. Born of a strange brand of gentle edginess, his work introduces an element of provocation that is non-aggressive, but not completely harmless, either; through humor, irony, and an astoundingly non-threatening fearlessness, his work questions the establishment without offending it or anyone in it. Both his critical and creative writings exhibit a seemingly inexhaustible fascination with, and commitment to, the shape and nature of literature, approaching its essence as a teeming source of desirable wonder, and not a medium to be mastered, or for that matter, master-able.

In Argentina, Bayley’s legacy is undergoing a revival, and he has been the subject of several distinguished academic books and papers in recent years, most notably Innumerable fluir, a recent book by Maria Amelia Arancet-Ruda. The Life and Memoirs of Doctor Pi marks the first translation of his work into English.

portrait of Bayley © Julio Martínez Howard


The Life and Memoirs of Doctor Pi