Do you remember last Saturday’s post, and the prompt with the anthropomorphised cities?
Well, a couple of interesting things happened because of that post. The first is Davide Mana‘s take on the game – which, it seems, has produced not only four lovely sketches, but also the resurrection of an old and intriguing project of his.
And then, in the comments, Davide Tessitore wrote this…
Asti is a farmer in his fifties. He keeps apart from the rest of his family and is suspicious of strangers. He likes his wine strong. He reads Mediaeval poems and practices fencing, longing for long-lost youth. He used to live in a castle, but now all he’s got is a vineyard.
And I don’t know about you, but this faded gentleman put me in mind of Gautier’s Sigognac if he had never left and become the Captain Fracasse… In time he would have been forced to sell the castle – and this is exactly how I imagine he would have ended up. Except that he would have no family left to shun, of course – but still.
And because I can’t resist metaliterary games and glimmering toys, here is another prompt: what would literary characters become in a few decades, if their story as we know it never happened?
What if, say, Sydney Carton never met Lucie Manette? Or – perhaps more interesting – what if he did, but no Charles Darnay were there to win the girl at first sight? What if Capulets and Montagues thought it a great idea to have their kids marry to conclude the feud?* What if Lizzie Bennet decided that she’s had enough of that overbearing and rude Mr. Darcy (or vice versa)? What if…?
To me – being the ever so slightly bleak person I am – the road not written suggest tamer, greyer, bitterish alternatives, but in truth, there is no limit to the possibilities. Who’s to say Lizzie couldn’t run from home and become a highwaywoman? What do you think, o Readers? Want to play?
And don’t you love how prompt begets prompt?
* Back in the day I’ve actually written a little play about this one…
Davide Mana said:
Thank you for the links!
This post instantly reminded me of The Eldritch New Adventures of Becky Sharp, by Micah Harris. You can imagine the reason why.
And I love the idea of derailing some well-settled literary career and imagining alternative takes on famous characters.
By the way, I know about the plane tree and all that, but are you familiar with the works of Kim Newman? He’s the sort of author that does a lot of this kind of metafictional derailing.
la Clarina said:
Kim Newman… is that the fellow with the vampire Red Baron?
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