Subversion is bliss

Of the importance of downfalls, deaths, births, betrayals and religion

I have never been a bright student. I did not notice this fact, so to say, even after i had started with my B.A. on English Language and Literature. What I wanted to do was to digest all literature in a second (I still keep trying to do it btw), I was too impatient. I could not do well but I could not escape the magic of all those pages as well. Letters come together and they make up the world. The meaning, the light, the hope, the menace. They are all hidded between the lines. I had been pleased with my life until I discovered a spring – a source – maybe a waterfall! I started to subvert…

Subversion… How? What?

I started to write amateur sketches at my former university. A huge number of texts from various genres under the umbrella of English Literature provided me with the background I needed. I don’t even remember the number of the texts I used. Odysseus, Moll Flanders, Wuthering Heights, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Waiting for Godot and many others…The process of writing an amateur subversion sketch begins with picking up the most interesting points from the text. The climax is important to attract the attention of the future audience of the sketch, the downfall is really important if it is the story of a tragic hero which you will be subverting. Deaths, births, betrayals, reference to politics, religion… Everything is important, truth be told. One should know how to choose the proper ones among them. And now it is the turn of the pen, paper and especially your mind which, from this moment on, is not suppressed, limited, pressed by the material world. You can draw a pair of wings for you in your mind and fly wherever you want… You are free when you are writing. You have no face, no voice, no identity at all. Something writes it. You can never detect what exactly it is…

Although you have a background text with main characters, plot and themes, you can shape the new text – this subversion sketch – you are writing yourself. Let the subversion begin!You can subvert the so-called reality in the text, one of the characters or an episode. That subversion stands for your point of view, and reflects your own interpretation of the text. When you start to subvert, you edit, revise, rewrite the text and eventually it belongs to you. A new world you created yourself. Now you have a new place to visit during your escapist moments…

I had subverted for 4 years before I completed my B.A in Turkey. I was ‘Grendel’s mother’ once. She was knitting a pullover for his son. My ‘Moll Flanders’ was suppressed by her mother who clings to Turkish traditions and morals. My ‘Juliet’ was married to ‘Romeo’ and a Muslim character witnessed their eternal love instead of a priest. I was ‘Lysistrata’ once. My husband was at war and I not only came up with the sex-strike idea but also cursed the prime minister of the country I was born in…

My last subversion sketch targeted Atima Srivastava’s Transmission. She was in Germany where I continue with my M.A. for a creative writing workshop. I found two guys from India, a Turkish girl and a classmate from Italy-Crimea for this last subversion. We prepared a welcome sketch for Atima.

Welcome sketch: Transmission

Three characters from Atim(a) Srivastava’s Transmission are now in Germany for a creative writing workshop. Atim(a) is here as well, although he is visible only to Angie and the potential audience of the sketch…


Hidden truths!

Troubling secrets!

Multiple realities!

Did Kathy really become infected with HIV?

Are Angie and her family are really from India?

Did Philippa really get run over?

Why did Atim(a) Srivastava portray these two American bosses as such profit-loving and bad characters?

Was Lol really a skinhead?



Atima Srivastava, the writer who visited our university, was sitting in front of us and had a curious look on her face. Our interpretation of the text and what we edited and formed as a subversion sketch out of it took its start finally. I changed Atima’s sex. The writer in my fictional world was Atim(a) instead of Atima – a male version of her. I materialized three main characters from the novel and brought them to the stage. Atim(a) was a ghost in my world by the way. Only the protagonist of the sketch could see him at the stage. I turned this protagonist into a rebel. She was like John Fowles’ Mantissa.

Kathy is another character from the novel and she was HIV positive. This was what Atima Srivastava wrote in her novel. (I want to call her a wizard from now on because she is the writer: she has this magical gift to compose a music through making use of letters and words). That was one side of the coin, the true side, the real narrative. Now we are flipping the coin and you are now aware of the other side of coin. My side. The side I shaped, coloured and controlled… My Kathy was not HIV positive. She lied to everyone, including Atima, to keep a male character in the novel close to her…

Angie, the protagonist of the novel, was the child of an immigrant family. They were actually from New Delhi.

Stop there!

This is only one side of the coin and I can do what I want with the text in my subversion sketch. My Angie and her family are not from India. They are pure Britons but they are somehow interested in the culture of the former Jewel of the Crown and now, they try to create this New Delhi life in Britain. They have actually nothing to do with New Delhi.

Ermmm… Ok. The two American bosses in the novel. They interviewed Kathy and they were planning to make money actually and these two Americans were super super greedy… but… only… on one side of the coin. I modified the text and the narrative again! That was fun! My two American bosses are actually innocent. Atim(a), the author, was actually from Russia and he was haunted by all these Cold War memories. That’s why he portrayed these Americans as evil in the novel..

The last example is on the way. Atima Srivastava is a writer from India, now living in London. She wrote now novels and she is now looking straight at me. This is the reality but where is my reality? What is reality? Which one is the truth? Is it what I see or what I dream..ah..sorry – what I subvert maybe? My Atim(a) Srivastava is not Atim(a) Srivastava… This was a fictional name she found for herself. The real Atim(a) from my point of view is… Margaret Thatcher! Yes, I wanted to come up with this so-called truth of mine. Margaret Thatcher has now this Alzheimer and her doctors advised her to try to remember something from her past but the only thing she could remember was the privatization policy, the fantasies of being an Iron Lady and snatching the school childrens’ milk. She now tries her best to remember something from her past and also amuses herself by writing fictions like this novel after she comes up with some fictional author names for her.


Here is my author…

You should see the face of Atima Srivastava while she was watching us. She was really cute by the way. I miss her a lot. That was our interpretation, dear Atima. A new world which was added on yours.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I just wanted to inform you a bit of this process of writing subversion sketch. It is like magic when you do it. At least, it is the kind of magic which I use in my life… To keep myself happy.