THE LOST PARTS OF ARTIFICIAL WOMEN

Sarah L. Higley, The University of Rochester, NY

1. PREFACE

The following is an experiment in erudition, story-telling, and language; it is a plunge in the dark; an anti-essay; a hybrid text in thirteen parts. No scholar in a learned article could prove that the romance fairy-woman, the composite woman of medieval rhetoric and the automaton had anything in common, but Melusine, who has turned to alchemy and golem-making (having exhausted her talents building cities) can. To rescue woman from the sin and contagion of the womb, she gathers the lost parts of artificial women before and after her time and muses on the fusions of woman and machine, as surely as she laments, every Saturday, the confusion of woman and monster, maligned by rumor, punished by deformity, and replicated in many tongues and traditions. Notes provided for the curious.

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