Issue 35, Final Fringe

Ethel Rohan Discusses "Illustrated Girl"

by Fringe Magazine 10.18.2010

Ethel Rohan, author of “Illustrated Girl,” fills us in on the story’s inception:

I’m intrigued by what we do to our bodies, what others do to our bodies, with and without permission, and what all that reveals about us. In particular, I’m fascinated by our urges to embellish the human body, to make art of it. Those of us who feel adrift, at the outside of things, also capture my imagination. This short work brings these personal obsessions together.

There’s more of me in here, too. I hate that others can be judgmental and hypocritical, hate that I can be judgmental and hypocritical. I’ve also worked for one too many sanctimonious perverts who misuse their power. Actually, one is too many. All that’s also in here.

However, I had none of this in mind when I set out to write this work. I had a girl in mind, a girl who covered her body in tattoos, who wanted to be free to make her art and to share it with the world. I love that even when I don’t know where I’m going in the work, I always arrive someplace where there’s someone waiting, whispering, gesturing. Where there are unexpected and yet inevitable pieces of me.

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Fringe: it’s the noun that verbs your world, and the magazine you’re reading. We publish work that is political or experimental in form or content and define both “political” and “experimental” broadly. “Political” can mean work that incorporates or comments on current events or it can mean literature and art that further personal dignity and advocate human rights. We regard “experimental” work as work that breaks with the canon, takes formal risks, or explores a strange or impossible point of view.

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