the short story project

Siamese Carcinoma

Adam Blumenthal On:

Siamese Carcinoma by Ignacio Padilla

Castor and Pollux are Siamese twins. Their mother invests much effort in order for them to resemble the Greek gods whose names they bare (and who are the twins represented in Gemini mythology). She regards their very existence as “a triumph of faith over the prognostications of common logic.” She expects her sons to inherit a fate similar to that of a pair of famous and auspicious twins from Siam who had “fallen under the protection of the emperor.” However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear to the reader that it does not deal with the mythical or public aspects of the Siamese existence, but rather with the conflicts between them, with the fundamental character differences, with the battle over the body. And Padilla, it goes without saying, does not seek the points of balance, but the moments of violence and force that the twins exert on each other. He gradually abandons the allegedly light tone with which the story begins, and penetrates deeper into the Siamese condition: who has ownership of the body? Can more than one soul exist within the body? Is the fate of one necessarily identical to the fate of the other?