November 24, 2008
Act 35 is another installment on Viola’s Bookshelf, courtesy of the remix my lit project. This time I used the gender exchange formula on Kim Wilkins’ horror short story, Dreamless. As with all the Viola’s Bookshelf stories it will show different things for different readers, but for me I think that this time something is lost in the exchange. The original story described the fate of two young boys, and 11 year old and a toddler, and the peril that faced them as they lived as vagrants in a car wrecking yard. So much of the story’s emotional currency is in the vulnerability of the boys. There is such poignancy in the gap between the desire of the 11 year old to be a grown-up man able to protect himself and his young sibling, and the weakness he actually feels.
When the genders are reversed I think that the vulenerability of young girls is more of a given, and what is less of a given is the assumption that given the chance to grow up girls will cease to be vulenerable–as is the assumption about men being played on in this story.
In any case it is a well crafted story, but be warned, it is a horror story and is an excelent example of the genre.