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Do people remember Shelley Jackson's 'Skin', a short story in which 2096 people each have a word tattooed on them?

From this time on, participants will be known as "words". They are not understood as carriers or agents of the words they bear, but as their embodiments. As a result, injuries to the printed text, such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, tattoo cover work or the loss of body parts, will not be considered to alter the work. Only the death of words effaces them from the text. As words die the story will change; when the last word dies the story will also have died. The author will make every effort to attend the funerals of her words.

There's a google map on her site, showing where the words are. Fascinating stuff.

I wish I had come up with this idea, and that I had been well known enough, really, to have an audience who would willingly have my words tattooed on them. I doubt I could get one volunteer to have a word tattooed on them.

I am currently designing my experimental fiction courses, hence my interest in Jackson's 'Skin', again. I am thinking of creating a piece that involves magic markers and using them to write your own autobiography on your own body. Should be fun, if it works out. Guess I'll find out later in the week, when I'm running the workshop. Could fall flat on its ass.


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Jan. 15th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
> Could fall flat on its ass.

Which will help with dissemination, provided the magic marker's still wet.
Jan. 15th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
ho ho.
Jan. 15th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Sad that the pins on the map are a bit wrong - with Perth on the east coast
Jan. 15th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
yeah, i saw that too. i thought maybe it might be confused with penrith, which is in sydney.
Jan. 15th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 15th, 2007 11:46 am (UTC)
the magic markers one, or the jackson piece? both are good, i find :)
Jan. 15th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
If you'd done it, who would get to tattoo 'cunt' on themselves? :)
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