Interesting short novel published in 1940 by Adolfo Bioy Casares. This Wikipedia article says this little novel was Casares’ breakout effort.
I became aware of this title after ready this article which summarized the story as a guy who falls in love with a girl from afar on a tropical paradise. I was interested in how the guy captures the heart of the girl and if they lived happily ever after.
While the summary was faithful to the basics of the story, the story was deeper than a guy’s lust for love of a beautiful beach goddess. While the story is about the guy’s love for the beautiful beach girl it is more about his final realization that he can never love her in reality.
I would say the antagonist is Morel. Although his invention brings the Guy and his Love (her name is Faustine) together it is Morel who believes he is the true love of Faustine and so devises a way to keep them together for all eternity.
The story reminded me of this girl I met in collage. She was beautiful, smart, thin, shorter than myself, conversational with long hair she kept in a pony tail. She was quirky in a way that excited me. We became friends while in college but that is as far as it went as she was engaged and later married. I haven’t talked to her in over thirty years. She is my Faustine.
The novel also reminded me of Elton John’s song “Love Her Like Me” from his “Songs from the West Coast” CD.