English 738T, Spring 2015
Header image

Justin’s PG Suggestions

Posted by Neil on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I do believe we should consider rewriting the story aspect of Patchwork Girl to complicate it further. One of the ways I think we should “edit” the texts is by admitting that we are a collective of authors. So, something akin to:

“Authorial statement: We are not the authors. We are the readers, the collectors, the editors, the vivisectionists. Yes, we have authored this work, we pirates, we ghosts, but you are the author. You are writing this work right now. It cannot exist without you.”

I think this acknowledges both our present situation (as a class working together) but also acknowledges the complicated textual history of the story. “We” can mean the class, Mary/ Shelley, Shelley and PWG, the class and PWG … the ambiguity it creates would fit well with Shelley Jackson’s tone in particular. Such a term would also allow us to incorporate the reader as an author (as I pointed to above).
For the story itself, I thought this could work as a series of interruptions into the narrative (or maybe footnotes?) that give it the sense of collaboration. So, something like this (and remember, I’m not a fiction writer):

From the creature: I wrote of my destruction because deaths are convenient endings. A death makes my story complete, which makes me complete. If I can die, then I had lived. If I suffer death, then I experienced life. This was beautiful. Endings are beautiful. My end made my beginning beautiful. In truth, I continue to exist. To live? Perhaps. I am reluctant to revive my tale, to give it a second (or third or fourth…) life that I was never intended to have. (We disagree). My collaboration with Shelley was supposed to be my final act, my first act of creation. After 175 years, I wanted to create and, in doing so, destroy myself. They — that is to say we — would not allow me such a beautiful end, as Elsie did. Elsie, who is now another piece of me. Another body part? A memory? They — that is to say we — claim it does not matter. Elsie is become one of us.

Looking forward to everyone’s feedback and (constructive) criticisms.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can leave a response, or trackback.

Leave a Reply