The Temple of Iconoclasts  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

La sinagoga de los iconoclastas (1981, The Temple of Iconoclasts) by Argentine writer Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. It was translated into English by Lawrence Venuti. The work fits in the tradition of Imaginary Lives (1896) 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.

From the publisher:

"Using short, encyclopaedic/biographical entries, Wilcock profiles people who are definitely iconoclasts. They tear down traditional beliefs and scientific notions on many different topics, from utopias to biology, offering a riveting array of ideas. Some real people with iconoclastic bents are included along with some bizarre fictional characters."
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 Borges, Alfonso Reyes, and Marcel Schwob, who in turn owe a debt, in the manner of funhouse mirrors, to the prose of the encyclopedists, The Temple of Iconoclasts is a collection of biographies of mad inventors, adventurers, scientists, and the odd artist. --Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003 by Roberto Bolaño, ‎Ignacio Echevarria

See also

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