Monday, October 26, 2015

Anatomy of a Genius - some gothic flash fiction to get you into Halloween mood

      I’ve been tuning up my gothic sensibility as Halloween rapidly approaches, and to help get into the mood, I’ve written a short piece of flash fiction which has just been published by The Galway Review. ‘Anatomy of a Genius’ is inspired by real events that took place in 1768 after the death of author, Laurence Sterne. 
Portrait of Laurence Sterne by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1760

      Body snatching by 'resurrectionists' or 'resurrection-men' was not outlawed until the Anatomy Act of 1832. 'Truth is certainly stranger than fiction' in this curious case of life imitating art. By way of a gloss, ‘Yorick’ is the name of the dead court jester whose skull is exhumed by the gravedigger in Act 5, Scene 1, of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The same name was used by Laurence Sterne in his novels Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey as the surname of one of the characters, a parson who is a humorous portrait of the author. Indeed, Parson Yorick is supposed to be descended from Shakespeare's Yorick. 

I hope you enjoy the piece which you can read here.

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