‘The Temple of Iconoclasts’ by Juan Rodolfo Wilcock

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My brother told me about the enigmatic book, The Temple of Iconoclasts by Argentine writer Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. The work fits in the tradition of Imaginary Lives (1896, see previous post) by Marcel Schwob, Jorge Luis Borges’ A Universal History of Infamy and Alfonso Reyes’s Real And Imagined Portraits, in which the line between fact and fiction is blurred.

In Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003Roberto Bolaño has this to say:

The Temple of Iconoclasts is one of the best books of the twentieth century. … Some of his characters are real historical figures, like Hans Hörbiger, the Austrian scientist who advanced the theory of successive moons and counted Hitler among … Owing a debt to BorgesAlfonso Reyes, and Marcel Schwob, who in turn owe a debt, in the manner of funhouse mirrors, to the prose of the encyclopedistsThe Temple of Iconoclasts is a collection of biographies of mad inventors, adventurers, scientists, and the odd artist. 

See also: fictional encyclopedia.