On “Pushcorpse”

The experiment that was “Pushcorpse,” organized (and conceived?) by Shya Scanlon, is now published in No Colony 3. 65 writers all writing the same story, or rather pushing its corpse forward.

Reading it now, no longer as 1/65 of a contributor but just a casual reader, in its final No Colony resting place, what I found to be a curious aspect was that it served as a microcosm for the flow of memes. The one meme that holds on throughout is the Ginger meme. Remember that there was no obligation on the part of anyone to keep any character as a protagonist, yet Ginger continued to fill the role, despite efforts to kill her (often in grotesque description). Yet after she would die she would be back at the bar again a few paragraphs later. The plot summary seems to be Ginger at a bar while 65 people impose their will upon her, often killing her, but in doing so over and over again, keep her alive.

The whole work is an unusual example of metafiction. A reader is constantly aware of the struggle of too many people trying to direct the flow of something. There was meta-self-deprecation when writers felt the work as a whole was not meeting their expectations. The use of STOP became a meme as people became frustrated at the flow and wanted to abruptly change it. There is a moment when the meta element becomes literal (Ginger actually becomes one of the 65 and is trying to decide what to write) and from that point on, the work’s meta-ness becomes a meme and it all ends on this note.


Random / 17 Comments
April 14th, 2011 / 11:59 am