Teaching Notes for Scales of the Ouroboros
Use in the classroom to discuss: segmented narratives; internal structures; third-person narrative strategies; interlocking narratives; observation and surveillance; transversal movements; murder mysteries; road trips; charts; bodies of water; technological (mis)communication; the weight of witness; the rules and roles of numbers; crabs; cats; the history of the Heimlich maneuver.
Pairs well with Weird Weeks, The Movie My Murderer Makes Season II, Reports, Dante’s Cartography
Scales of the Ouroboros by Mark Jednaszewski
Gather round the bosun, the captain, the cat; gather round the oilers, the engineers, the deck cadet. There are snakes amongst the crew. In Mark Jednaszewski’s Scales of the Ouroboros, every encounter ends in an impasse: the oiler’s twin asks no question, the captain’s wife offers no answer, and the chief mate officiates no ceremonies. The cargo carrier crosses the world’s waters and its sailors play out modern sea shanties, heaving themselves up into each other's lives for brief, brittle moments—or taking them. Pour a cup of coffee. Advance the clocks one hour. See what eats itself.