Sunday, April 20, 2014
Ok, think about a bordello. Think about one of its rooms. Think about what happens inside it in microscopic detail. There is a sperm with its single imperative. Where’s the egg? Oh there it is. Isn’t it huge? Like a sun about to supernova. It must beat its tail harder. It’s a marathon and a sprint and millions of others are in a line. Just one effort and a scream of abracadabra and the portal will open and it will enter and achieve singularity and meltdown.
The bordello is the world of publishing. The egg is the publishing house. The sperm is the writer. The medium in which they all exist is the literary landscape.
What, on this landscape, apart from competition with other sperm, complicates and exaggerates the quest to penetrate the egg? Well, there is a lack of signposting. Gone is the well-trodden relay of readers and editors giving thought to every well turned phrase, sifting out the most fertile tail that wags its owner. Instead there is a new kind of eugenics. The traditional primitive, lusty, organic coupling has given way to a laboratory wherein the sperm are spun through the centrifuge of a literary agent’s subjective criteria to separate strong from weak. The DNA is configured so that the egg will allow it to break through its semi- impermeable shell. The ovum prefers this outsourced, artificial determinism and waits in a kind of languor for the fission of new fiction.
The other way to achieve conception is to swim in different waters in another room. It is a laboratory in which there is no eugenic differentiation. Eggs are as abundant as sperm. Every sperm can find fusion. Here e-publishers make the latter-day supernovae look like mere candles in the cosmos. This is the black hole of e-publishing. No-one ascertains the vigour of the wagging tail or the profile of the DNA inside it. It is a compressed Darwinism. Millions of couplings. Millions of births, all but a very few strong enough to survive for more than days or weeks. Yet every snuffed out spark of life has still contributed to the egg increasing in size and being greedy for more fertilisation.
There is a third way.
Create your own laboratory with your own eggs and sperm derived from your own stem cells. Couple them. Nurture your self-propagated offspring and let them live in this world you have conceived. Let them be promiscuous with strangers. Allow them in turn to be intimate with your creations and, as before, enjoy an earthy, lustful unpredictable intimacy. Then, as they leave the bordello, they can place on the bedside table a payment for what the experience was worth.No comments