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.