The Architectural Novel Reading Group

On Tuesday November 24, Flat i hosted the Architectural Novel Reading Group.

This reading group - free and open to everyone - is run by artist and writer Nabil Ahmed and explores buildings and cities as protagonists in modern and contemporary fiction. Often overlooked, the space of literature can offer a rich, heterogeneous approach to architecture, to reflect on its desires, hauntings, possibilities and failures. The Architectural Novel reading group considers the literary experience as a fundamental way for thinking and writing on architecture.

We read and discussed César Aira's short story 'Ghosts' (1990), which revolves around an immigrant worker’s family living on the haunted construction site of a luxury condominium building. All of the workmen and their wives and children see the ghosts, who literally hang around the place, but one teenage girl becomes the most curious. Her questions about the ghosts get so intense that her mother – in a chilling split second – realizes her daughter’s life hangs in the balance.


César Aira in a bathtub