Thursday, August 27, 2009

Room's of Their own

Having recently finished V. Wolf's A Room of One's Own, I got to imagining other writers as if they were women.

In first was J. Keruoac, the veritable vagabond himself.  I imagine a number of differences were Jack a woman.  First, I figure she wouldn't have been so found of railroad cars, hitchhiking, and garden-level squats.   Instead, I see a bit more apprehension in her travels.  I'm sure level-three sex offenders would be at the top of the fear-list, as well as all her friends.  I doubt her womanizing down south would have reversed very literarily...except to a Very Progressive Crowd.  And that scene pissing off the back of the flat-bed truck would have put the whole thing over the edge.  Nice try girl-named-Jack, but no cigar(s).

Next up is R. Ellison of Invisible Man fame.  Of course, the title would have been different.  What's more, I don't think it would have the same sting.  In the 50's, women were just coming into literary visibility.  A whole book on the subject would have been ill-timed and not a likely choice for publishing.  In the book, however, we could trade the paint factory for a bakery.  And the political escapades for a series of home-furnishings commercials.  The opening wrestling scene could stay, but we'd have to add some mud.  And maybe we fore-go the whole process of becoming and realizing one's invisibility, and settle for just figuring the whole damn thing was planned.  Sorry Ralphy, but I think you'd have sucked as a girl.

Lastly I have P. K. Dick.  No jokes about the name.  Now then.  While it's hard to isolate a typifying Dick novel, I imagine we have to trade the predictably present drug-addiction for society-inflicted psychological problems.  Then we trade Dick's hardened male figures (caught in helpless situations) for otherwise helpless women caught in hardening situations.  Very good.  But most of all, we'll need to trade in all the technology jargon (invariably unexplained) and get some Huxleyan eugenics programs.  All in all, the novels would be a hit!  Way to go Dick!

There you have it.  Now, if they all meet in a bar?  Depends on the bar, but I'm guessing they don't have a thing to say to one another.

   - G.