In The Museum of Useless Efforts Cristina Peri Rossi renders familiar, everyday situations uncanny through lyrical reinterpretations; at the same time, she somehow makes the uncanny appear quite ordinary. Crafting peculiar — and sometimes claustrophobically small — worlds, Peri Rossi explores the universal themes of desire, violence, and truth and the simultaneous and contradictory human capacities to repress and resist, speak and silence, desire and ignore. In these tales an insomniac is tormented by a stubborn lamb that refuses to jump over the fence; the momentary hesitation of a man on a crowded subway staircase who forgets whether he was going up or down unleashes pandemonium; and a patient receives a frantic call from his psychoanalyst, distraught that his wife has taken a new lover.
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