GHOST LITERATURE II

Another famous novel written by an anonymous ghost of the Victorian era is ‘Naked in the Ferris Wheel’. Nor here do we see any reference to a ghost, despite the narrator’s insistence on talking about the ‘ectoplasm’. The ‘ectoplasm’ is a pejorative allusion to Claude, the protagonist, whom the narrator mocks all the time due to his habit of going naked everywhere “because clothes itch” -which forces him to live furtively. However, when Claude is fired from his job as a grocery store clerk (for going to work “in the early morning while the customers still sleep” and returning home “when they wake up”), his wife first kills him and then kicks him out: a nonsensical succession of events that has been interpreted as evidence of his becoming a ghost. (Although such interpretation is called into question by the fact that his wife later kills him again, which would be meaningless if he were already a ghost.)
Also worthy of special mention is the novel in verse ‘Around the world on one foot’, written by Sir Conrad Montagu, ghost. Interestingly, Montagu, while alive, wrote numerous ghost stories, but stopped writing them once he died. The aforementioned book is the only novel Sir Montagu wrote as a ghost, and in it there is no trace of ghostly creatures although the narrative is riddled with accidental deaths. Indeed, one by one the characters stumble upon ‘the fateful step’, breaking their neck without this entailing their transformation into deceased ones, and even less into ghosts, despite the insistence of the bearded woman and the chiropractor. (Interestingly enough, Sir Montagu died as the result of a fall down the stairs when he was chasing a soap bar that had slipped from his hands while bathing.)

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