The Ending of The Virtual Disappearance of Miriam

Upon reaching the end of the Virtual Disappearance of Miriam one finds the choice between three alternate endings.  This is nothing new, with the development and distribution of the DVD format a viewer gained the ability to view selected deleted scenes and alternate endings to many films.  Along with this Hopscotch is an obvious example of differing stories with each having its own individual endings.  The difference between the previously mentioned works, films still have a specific ending that the viewer sees upon finishing a viewing, and Hopscotch forces the reader to make the choice at the beginning as to which story and ultimately which ending the reader experiances

In the Virtual disappearance of Miriam the viewer, reader, experiancer, or whatever he is called in the case of these works, comes to the end with the ability to choose how the story will end, either with a happy ending, a sad ending, or a postmodern ending,  each changing the story according to the choice of the experiancer, along with changing the closure that an experiancer gets from the work.

Each of these endings, in their own right are part of the challenge against conventional endings to stories, where the protagonist is suppose to win, the antagonist is to loose and everybody is happy.  In the article cited below one of the many characteristics of post modern works are to challenge what the author defines as the grand narratives of social, political, or religious institutions.  The happy ending Miraim is happy, and Luther is dead, the sad ending Miriam is sad and luther is dead, and the post modern ending the whole thing was a dream.  None of which end with any sort of resolution to the story of the attempted reconciliation and tieing up of loose ends in the story such as whether the call to Miriam’s friend was a lie on the part of the friend or not.  In an attempt to mimic the reality of such a call, if this call was made under similar circumstances one side would probably never know whether the other was lying or not.  By not giving resolution the work mimics reality better than most other forms of fiction.  Each of these endings challenges our perception of a story as a rise in action then a fall in action, and finally resolution which none of these offers, just as the rest of the story gives little if any closure to the experiancer.  Through this the mimetics of the story gives a more accurate portrayal of what such a situation might be, aside from Luther being killed at the end.

As a post note, this being the reason i found the ending so amusing, the television series Family Guy does something similar in the episode of Stewie killing Lois, the ending to the story is that the whole episode was simply a virtual reality simulation of Stewie actually killing Lois.  The dialogue goes something along the lines of:

Brian: Wouldn’t a dream sequence just piss a lot of people off, almost like giving them a big middle finger?

Gary Hitchins


~ by garyhitchins on April 11, 2010.

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