Monday, April 21, 2014

Invocation: the regendered remix

I did some quick-and-dirty hacks on the Invocation text, to shuffle around pronouns for all characters roughly at random. Here's the PDF & I will do a Kindle version some time (& maybe even dead trees too).

Some background: when I started writing Invocation, one of the main things I wanted to explore was the relationship between memory and gender. Gendered memory; mneumonic gender; the way both gender and memory relate to performance, inscription, repetition and overdetermination; and I was interested in gender fluidity, but also in a fantastically enabled gender hybridity without necessarily an associated fluidity. Shards of gendered memory materialising in a person by magical authorial fiat. A kind of non-binary gender that wasn't quite post-binary, if that makes sense: the binary is still there, at least provisionally, and the routes out or onward or beyond the binary are not marked, but the binary is Rubick's-shuffled, it's anagrammatized.

I totally didn't really get round to doing any of that. It was all supposed to be so simple: the soul-anagrams would be a solution to, or an extreme example of (or I guess, in TV Tropes lingo, an averting of) the one really big mystery of paranormal romance: how did the heroine know this supernaturally annoying douche would spasm into a supernaturally decent crush object? But by the time the souls were interfused enough for it to matter, it was late in the book, and I was already amateurishly juggling everything that had emerged along the way, so that certain early aspirations were neglected. 

The regendered remix is a gimmick and it doesn't in any way address the rueful abstract above, but I find the way it reads pretty irresistible. It makes an already confusing story even harder to follow, since post-remix subjects and objects are often ambiguous, so who the hell just said that or did that or what's going on whaaat? -- but your negative capability-fu is strong, and you are just not easily posed. 

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