Monday, July 09, 2007

Writing in Different Genres

I. Write a Naturalistic Scene.

(Y is a middle-aged woman. Z is a middle-aged man)

Y: Too much.
Z: It's worth it.
Y: How many more times?
Z: You're a very, very bad -
Y: Shut the fuck up. You don't live with her. You don't have to listen to her insult your children and your -
Z: You don't love your own mother.
Y: I feed her. I wash her.
Z: You've never loved her.
Y: I carry her body when she wants to use the toilet.
Z: You've always resented her love for me.
Y: I wipe her backside when she shits.
Z: Because I'm the son. I never asked for this love. I'll pay what I can for the operation -
Y: You couldn't pay half of the bill last month. I paid for the hospital, the wheelchair, the physiotherapy -
(Enter Doctor)
D: Family of Madam Oh Guan Chin?
Y and Z: Yes?
D: We're very sorry.
Z: What happened? Is she dead? Is she -
Y: Choi!
D: No no no no, she's still conscious. But for how long -
Y: We came too late.
D: For how long we don't know. We need to know. Will you sign these papers approving -
Z: Yes.
Y: How much?
D: Organ donation is becoming more and more important as a means of saving people's lives -
Z: Fuck no!
Y: Ziqiang! Give me the papers.
Z: Give me the papers!
Y: Our mother is dying. You don't even have the money to keep her in your own home. Now you want to keep even her organs?
Z: She wouldn't want it that way.
Y: I lived with her all these years.
Z: She wouldn't want it that way.
Y: I think I know what she would and wouldn't -
Z: Give me the papers.
D: She's still conscious.
Z: Let me see her.
Y: Let me see her. Of course. (laughs) You only visit her when she's in pain. You're her guardian angel. Her little god. You come along when she needs her son to rescue her.
D: Madam Oh has asked to see her son.
Y: Okay! You take over from here. (backing away) You tell her she's dying. You tell her she has to keep her organs.
Z: Yiling –
D: Sign here and here.
Z: My last payment hasn't come in.
Y: Ziqiang. You are too much!

II. Rewrite the Scene in a Non-Naturalistic Genre.

(Y is a middle-aged woman. Z is a middle-aged man)

Y: Fie, 'tis overmuch!
Z: Nay, but 'tis worth it.
Y: Worth what? To live another petty year,
To feel the cutlass of a different surgeon
And die a second death?
Z: I had not thought.
Thou art an evil daughter then, Ysolde.
A venom-hearted devil, spawned of Eve.
Y: You say this sir, who hath not housed this woman.
This daft besom, who crieth the abuse
Of my own lord and kin -
Z: I had not thought
That child might walk that loveth not her mother.
Y: I feed her, Zechariah, bathe her limbs,
I aid her bowels in yon garderobe -
Z: Thou hateth her but for her blessed love,
That love dispens'd on I, her son alone.
Y: What son art thou who canst not guard thy mother?
Who oft doth rob the banks to feed thy debtors,
Who oft doth make excuses for they loans?
I paid for all her ointments, pills and tinctures.
I paid my life for hers, for want of love.
(Enter Chirurgeon)
Y: What news?
Z: Quick, hence! The sum.
C: My lord and lady -
Z: Not death! Fie, sound the alarum and knell!
C: She breathes, sir, but be warn'd: death waits in distance;
She lingers on but for a last farewell.
I have a contract.
Z: Still a bill! I'll sign.
Y: How much? We are not keepers of a fortune.
C: I have a contract that will share her vitals,
Her liver, heart and spleen for ailing folk.
Z: Fie, nay!
Y: Good sir, the papers.
Z: Hand them hence,
I'll rip these rags to shreds to greet the winds!
Y: Thou miserable dog. She meets her end,
Thou wouldst begrudge the poor of their desserts?
Z: She would not wish it so. I am her son.
Y: With me she long hath dwelt!
Z: I am her son.
Y: Then see her. Tell her heaven doth approach.
You are her only son. Pay for her death.

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