Matteo Pericoli is the founder of the Laboratory of Literary Architecture, an interdisciplinary project that looks at fiction through the lens of architecture, designing and building stories as architectural projects. In this series, he shares some of his designs and what they reveal about the stories they’re modeled on.
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s The Key, a man writes in his diary about the sexual fantasies he has been having about his wife. Hoping she’ll read it, he locks it in a drawer and leaves the key on the floor. As soon as his wife sees the key, she understands her husband’s intentions and begins, in turn, to keep her own diary. Knowing that he, too, will read it, she writes to deliberately mislead him, claiming that she hasn’t read—will never read—his diary. A perfect dovetail.
The two spouses’ souls, sharing both a space and a life, never meet nor try to know each other. They intersect without ever touching. The diaries are only apparently filled with secrets and truths, as each word is carefully chosen, keeping in mind the spying partner. The reader has access only to the diaries—everything is presented to us clearly and chronologically, starting with the entry in which, on New Year’s Day, the husband writes: “This year I intend to begin writing freely about a topic which, in the past, I have hesitated even to mention here.” Read More