Carlos Fuentes Aura’s Old House

Published in 1961, Aura is a masterful story that is part of the Latin American literary movement known as magical realism, starring Felipe Montero, a young historian who one day finds himself in a newspaper with a job. Interested he goes to an old house located at number 815 of Donceles, which is the address indicated in the advertisement and there he learns that the job is to organize and finish writing the memoirs of a general.

In that dark and dreary dwelling lives the widow of the general and her niece Aura, a young woman with piercing green eyes and beautiful, impeccable black hair. Pressed by the beauty of Aura, Felipe accepts the work and lodges in that dwelling of Donceles, where little by little the strange relation between the old woman and her niece, the obscurity that reigns in that house and the things that happen inside, little  by little altering the boundaries between reality and the supernatural.

If we enter Donceles from Eje Central Lázaro Cardenas one of the first things we find is La Casona de Aura, an old bookstore located at number 12 of this street that alludes to the novel of Fuentes, with hundreds of books where there are probably hidden various literary jewels.

Blocks ahead the street of Donceles changes its name to Justo Sierra and the numbering is lost, so in fact the number 815 does not exist. Even Fuentes himself in the novel gives us a clue about the likely location of the house, nothing that the numbers on that street had been changed.

“The windows shadowed by long green curtains: that window from which someone withdraws as soon as you look at it, you look at the cover of whimsical vines, look down at the window and discover 815, before 69 “. Fuentes wrote.

What if, in fact, that 69 hides the true whereabouts of Aura’s house? Searching for that number, hoping to find some old door with the handle of a dog or something that would associate, albeit distantly, with Fuentes’s novel. The number 69 are a couple of stores that had nothing to do with Aura’s mythical home.




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