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February 21, 2017 9:35 PM   Subscribe

 
This reminds me in an odd way of the central conceit of Vonnegut's Slapstick, although the timing seems wrong for him to have heard of it.

A very sad story in any case.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:34 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Whew. What a weird story. I've seen sibling rivalry; I've known twins with private behaviors; I've read about folies à deux, with which this seems to share some elements; but this has all those turned up to eleven. Thanks.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:41 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


The book "The Thirteenth Tale" takes somewhat inspiration from them.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:50 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


...as does the song 'Discomania'. "Which one of us am I?"
posted by robself at 12:38 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I vaguely remember watching the unnerving BBC dramatisation of their story (The Silent Twins) shown back in 1986.
posted by misteraitch at 12:40 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


If Jennifer and June were averbal except to each other, how did they pen novellas that were so of the moment about things they could not have experienced firsthand (addiction to Pepsi which is a metaphor for sex! Discos!) that their parents expected literary attention? Wouldn't the isolated genius twins be a bit off-trend while writing stories with lasting meaning?

An alternate hypothesis is that their parents are confabulators who wrote the novellas and the tragic story of Jennifer's death and that none of these narratives are true. Yes, I googled the story too and found lots of idealization about Jennifer's and June's inner monologue but no source material. Source material is a reasonable request in this day and age.
posted by SakuraK at 1:23 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


The story doesn't say they were averbal; it explicitly mentions many occasions when they spoke.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:35 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Came here to say what i_am_joe's_spleen said ....
posted by oheso at 5:19 AM on February 22


The Manic Street Preachers wrote a curiously affecting song about these two girls, called Tsunami.
posted by Encipher at 5:24 AM on February 22


Such a sad story. There's also a book on the Gibbons twins: "The Silent Twins" by Marjorie Wallace. (Edit: this is mentioned in one of the articles.)
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:17 AM on February 22


Yes, I googled the story too and found lots of idealization about Jennifer's and June's inner monologue but no source material. Source material is a reasonable request in this day and age.

Well, there's a book, a documentary, and this well-reported New Yorker piece by Hilton Als. That link was in the the article. So . . .
posted by listen, lady at 7:02 AM on February 22 [7 favorites]




Their story haunts me and fascinates me. Thank you for the post.
posted by Athanassiel at 8:46 PM on February 22


Well, there's a book, a documentary, and this well-reported New Yorker piece by Hilton Als. That link was in the the article. So . . .
posted by listen, lady at 7:02 AM on February 22 [7 favorites +] [!]


I apologize if I missed a link. Currently the New Yorker link isn't in the OP and it is only available to New Yorker subscribers. Above comment also says there are many instances documenting June and Jennifer speaking, but the articles in the OP only discuss "The Silent Twins" who never spoke and only wrote. We might have read different things. In any case I just wanted to understand the story better because it haunted me too.
posted by SakuraK at 1:28 AM on February 23


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