Sam Carter reviews Slum Virgin by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara and The President’s Room by Ricardo Romero - Asymptote

In Julio Cortázar’s “House Taken Over,” a brother and sister, who live off the rents coming in from rural properties, idly inhabit a house in Buenos Aires that is much too large for them. While the sister spends her time knitting sweaters, socks, and other necessities, the brother sips mate and visits bookstores in search of new French titles. Theirs is a quiet life of easy comfort, but after a mysterious sound emanates from an unoccupied room one evening, the siblings seal themselves off in the front half of the house, where they begin to live largely as they had before. Another noise, however, later emerges from within the set of rooms where the siblings have now settled. With little deliberation and less hesitation, they lock the front door and throw away the key, surrendering their home to sounds whose source they never discover.

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