Friday, November 21, 1997

Diary: A Writing Project

Alright, now I've decided to start an ambitious project: I will start writing a piece of fiction, in secret, about transvestitism.  I'll tell it like one of my postmodern tales.  It will be narrated by both the shrink and the patient.  The patient will be the trannie, and the shrink will present his case, not quite as a case study, but as a long anecdote, an interesting tidbit of information.  Much of the story will be the patient's diary.  It will be edited by the shrink.  And perhaps another person.  It will be my original idea for my story of two narrators.  The trouble is that I can never reveal what I am doing, and I must (if at all) publish this under a pen name, for fear of having my name forever associated with transvestism.

Anyway, here's the basic plan:

Foreword by the shrink.  Introduction to the subject from a pseudo-scientific perspective.  Then a disclaimer: this is not science.  This is an interesting story for the world to hear and enjoy.  The shrink, however, must treat his subject with a bit of detachment, a bit of disdain, and even a bit of admiration.  He must not, however, edit the diaries too extensively.  He treats his subject seriously.  I, on the other hand, will treat him comically.  The trick here is to figure out exactly what a shrink would do in such a situation, having heard such a disquieting tale of sexual perversion, and who will not admit to finding it incredibly arousing (although there should be hints).  I'm not even sure that this shrink should be male.  How about a female shrink wondering about the effect of these revelations on her own views of gender roles and whatnot.  Yes, I think that that's the way to go.  Anyway, the foreword will be straightforward on the surface, but actually quite satirical and comical under the surface.  My hero (the patient) will be a trickster figure, running around trying things, being foolish, straddling definitions.

Then, a similar structure as that of Gone Indian.  The shrink will talk a bit, then the diaries, alternating until near the end.  An important difference: the story will not follow a linear chronology as Kroetsch tends to.  It will have to be completely logical in its leaps and bounds, but, as the shrink takes it from scattered literary remains, she must piece it together somehow, not necessarily systematically, but narratively.  She will use her bits to comment on the diaries, and to make her points about gender roles in today's society, (subtly) about how our generation is so obsessed with the right to be individual that it accepts such behaviour blindly as an expression of the "true" self.

It will end somehow.  I'm not sure how.  But it must end.

I just did a quick search on [the college library database].  I came up with at least 9 promising titles.  This could be quite daunting.  I don't even know when I'll have time to do all this.  Oh, well.  I'll find time somewhere.

Anyway, all this is for another file, I think.  I'll copy this stuff over.

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