Dear Reader,

This morning at my desk I was distracted from the sound of oinking* by the sight of a small, hunched homunculus in a red Vivienne Westwood cape, nacreous beads around its neck, scuttling across the carpark.

‘Aha’, I thought to myself, ‘there goes the Professor of PLDO,** sneaking in via the servants’ entrance as usual to avoid the cruel jibes of the porters about her taste in clothing’.

But as I watched her dung-beetle-like form pause and swivel her head 360 degrees next to one of the Vice-Chancellor’s gold limousines, dear Reader, something struck me as Not Quite Right.

For the Professor of PLDO’s usual carefully combed left parting was on the right.

Her eyes, normally so dull, had a glittering, feverish quality to them.

Her limbs jerked like an automaton, as if controlled by radio frequency from a secret bunker not two miles from the Humanities Beacon.

I watched as she moved, stiff-legged, towards the patio, the handle of a small trowel just visible beneath her cape.

Dear Reader, I had to act fast.

I burst through the French doors and seized her by the elbow.

‘Lucinda!’, I exclaimed. ‘How peaky you look! Come, let us stroll together to admire the University’s latest visitor attraction. It will do wonders for your catalepsy.’

Later that morning, dear Reader, I received a phone call from the Piggery. Were the pearls mine, they said, that they had found in the turnip swill?


*Yes, dear Reader. The University’s Organic Petting Piggery has opened at last.

** Professor of the Play of Light on Domestic Objects. Do keep up.

*** This week’s homework, dear Reader, is a spot of Freud:


9 thoughts on “Lessons in Literary Theory (II): The Doppelgänger

  1. Small, hunched and beetle-like we may be, but we are loyal, brave and uncannily resourceful. Did you really think I would send my beloved sister alone into the fray? My careful choice of cochineal cloak served its purpose well, drawing your attention to my twin (or was it me -partings are so easy to switch?). The covert camera trowel, which I retrieved from the organic swill was far more important to us than the cheap beads with which you tried to choke my sister (how fortunate that I know how to execute the Heimlich manoeuvre) and I now have complete and devastating evidence of your perfidy you swine.

    1. What a terrible whirlwind of confused identities the modern world is, dear Lucille, what with all the doubles and sockpuppets and complete strangers attempting to pull the wool over each other’s eyes that infest it.

      But I am sure I will always know you.

      PS. I asked Darren from IT to remove your camera batteries last week (not university-approved).

  2. Those of us who are still alive are organising a little collection to buy new camera batteries for Lucille. A fund-raising singalong will be held this evening in the No Ada Allowed Museum and Gallery on campus, by the Senseless Slaughter shelves (Dewey 364.3).

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