Spanish Language Blog

Espiral (Reading and Listening Practice) Posted by on Feb 28, 2022 in Literature

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Espiral (Spiral) is a short story written by Argentine novelist, short-story writer and literary critic Enrique Anderson Imbert. This fascinating minicuento with a circular narrative style is subject to multiple interpretations, where the existence of a parallel universe, the manifestation of the character’s inner self or his own psychological state is left to the imagination of the reader.

Regresé a casa en la madrugada, cayéndome de sueño. Al entrar, todo obscuro. Para no despertar a nadie avancé de puntillas y llegué a la escalera de caracol que conducía a mi cuarto. Apenas puse el pie en el primer escalón, dudé de si ésa era mi casa o una casa idéntica a la mía. Y mientras subía temí que otro muchacho, igual a mí, estuviera durmiendo en mi cuarto y acaso soñándome en el acto mismo de subir por la escalera de caracol. Di la última vuelta, abrí la puerta y allí estaba él, o yo, todo iluminado de luna, sentado en la cama, con los ojos bien abiertos. Nos quedamos un instante mirándonos de hito en hito. Nos sonreímos. Sentí que la sonrisa de él era la que también me pesaba en la boca: como en un espejo, uno de los dos era falaz. «¿Quién sueña con quién?», exclamó uno de nosotros, o quizá ambos simultáneamente. En ese momento oímos ruidos de pasos en la escalera de caracol: de un salto nos metimos uno en otro y así fundidos nos pusimos a soñar al que venía subiendo, que era yo otra vez.


I returned home in the early morning, heavy with sleep. When I entered, everything was dark. In order not to wake anyone, I tiptoed forward and reached the spiral staircase that led to my room. As soon as I set foot on the first step I doubted whether this was my house or a house identical to mine. And as I went up I feared that another boy, just like me, was sleeping in my room and perhaps dreaming me in the very same act of climbing the spiral staircase. I made the last turn, opened the door and there he was, or was I, all moonlit, sitting on the bed, eyes wide open. We stood there for a moment staring at each other. We smiled. I felt that his smile was the same one that weighed on my mouth: as in a mirror, one of us was fake. “Who is dreaming of whom?” one of us exclaimed, or maybe both simultaneously. At that moment we heard footsteps coming up the spiral staircase: in one leap we jumped one into the other and thus fused we began to dream of the one coming up, which was me again.

I hope you enjoyed practicing your reading and listening skills with this riveting piece of literature. Do you want more posts like this? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 ¡Hasta la próxima!


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About the Author: Anais

Hello, Spanish learners! My name's Anais. I'm a Venezuelan freelance translator living in Argentina. I'm a culture and language freak and such a big foodie! I'm thrilled to share my language and culture with all of you and, why not?, some recipes of our traditional delights, too. Stay tuned, guys! :-)


  1. Delia Moreno:

    Espiral is a great idea. Can I suggest more simple texts, with more actions and adventures?
    Muchas gracias