Dylan was spelling words to himself in the car on Saturday. “Ouch is an O-W and a C-H.” (Thank you Electric Company.)
The the discovery that warned my heart: “And if you put them the other way, it says ‘Chow’!” Aahhh, his very first wordplay!
Let’s see if I can eke one more day’s blogging out of the conversation on literary spin-offs. A message board poster pointed out the phenomenon of an author rewriting his or her own works from a different character’s viewpoint, but the only suggestions so far were two genre authors: Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Shadow series and apparently some unpublished Stephenie Meyer book.
In trying to think of other examples (mostly to prove it wasn’t just LDS authors or genre authors using the device) the only books that came to mind were kiddie-lit that I haven’t read for decades. Fans of John D. Fitzgerald’s Great Brain books probably remember that Me and My Little Brain takes place in parallel with The Great Brain at the Academy, though I don’t remember too many retellings of the same events. A more memorable example is Mary Stolz’s minor classic The Bully of Barkham Street, which is actually a retelling of her much-less-read A Dog on Barkham Street. The ambitious twist of Bully is to retell the first book’s events from the viewpoint of the villain, a swaggering neighborhood bully, and in the process make him much more interesting and sympathetic than his victim, the original protagonist. (Incidentally, Stolz just died a few months ago.)
So, given that this is a pretty sophisticated, po-mo device, why can I not find examples outside of 1960s children’s books? Somebody suggest some with a better pedigree.