From The Silentiary

“The Silentiary” by Antonio Di Benedetto
Translated by Esther Allen

If it had happened, this hypothetical story could have taken place in a Latin American city, as of the late post-war era (the years 1950 and thereafter are plausible).


The front gate gives directly onto the dingy tiled patio. I open the gate and meet the noise.

I look around for it, as if to determine its shape and the extent of its vitality. It’s coming from beyond the bedrooms, from an empty lot I’ve never seen, behind a spacious house that faces a different street.