Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Duplication or Extinction


I don't usually explain my work and I apologize for the rather boring summary I wrote of a truly wonderful short story. This collage is called Dummy Duplication and is inspired by Susan Sontag's short story, "The Dummy". In the story, the narrator's life has become intolerable to him both at home with his wife and children and at work. He determines that there are only two ways to solve problems, either through extinction or duplication and because he does not want to commit suicide, he chooses to duplicate himself. He creates a dummy that is physically identical to him and is able to function just as he would. Not only does no one notice, the dummy smokes and drinks less, excels at his job and his wife seems as satisfied as before. The narrator had planned on leading many exciting lives while the dummy fulfilled all his obligations but he states that the "experiment failed for lack of interest, from exhaustion" and instead leads the life of a derelict. He thought he was tired of being the person he was, turns out he doesn't want to be a "person" at all. Then things start to go wrong, the dummy falls in love with his secretary and wants to leave the wife and children. There is a shift in the dynamics, the narrator defers to and now must copy the dummy who has become more "him" than he is now. The narrator convinces the dummy to keep the status quo until he can build another dummy to replace the first who is just as convincing both at home and work. Both dummies go on to lead happy and successful lives while the narrator continues to drift, occasionally visiting both the dummies, neither seeming happy to seem him. I think after this, I will stick to my paper and glue and leave the writing to others.

1 comment:

Linda Crispell said...

Great short story and wonderful collage.