Act 24

September 12, 2008

Viola’s Bookshelf–Lee Battersby Gender Exchange Remix

In keeping with the literary theme of the past few acts I have added a new gender exchange remix story to Viola’s Bookshelf. This is a remix of Lee Batersby’s Alchymical Romance, a story that was featured as part of the Remix My Lit project–an awesome project that encourages an extension of the practices employed in remix culture (that are most often applied to audio and vision) into the realm of the written word. I really liked their concept and thought it was a perfect opportunity to do some gender exchange remixing for Viola’s Bookshelf, while contributing to the Remix My Lit project at the same time.

I thought Alchymical Romance was a good candidate for gender exchange because within it Battersby deals with issues of desire and intimacy, as well as a feeling of separation from ones community and the wider world. The thing I found most interesting about this exercise was that in Battersby’s original the actions of protagonist seem subtle and and build gradually, hinting at the character’s detachment, yet once the gender was reversed the actions and emotions of the main character seemed quite extreme, passionate, and desperate, and further more, because of the personal isolation, they seemed *expected*. The problem for the protagonist seems, well, more of a problem. I suspect this is because of my own ideas of intimacy and community and it’s perceived importance relative to gender.

So once again Viola’s Bookshelf has shown me where some of my personal assumptions and expectations really lie–yay for learning! :)

Battersby’s original can be found here, and my remix can be found both on Viola’s Bookshelf and on the Remix My Lit site.

2 Responses to “Act 24”

  1. I loved reading your remix- it seems such a simple thing, to flip the gender of the protagonist, and yet doing so throws up so many inherent gender default tricks on the part of the original work– strange reading when you’re the original author :)

    As a mirror to my own interior gender assumptions it was a valuable and enlighening reading experience, and as part of the greater project I thought it was a great way for readers to see how the gender of the protagonist can effect the emotional balance of the narrative.

    Thanks for taking the time to work with the story and give it your own original spin


  2. sajbrfem Says:

    Thanks Lee, I agree, it is a great exercise for writers as well as readers.

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