Sunday, January 10, 2010
"Spontaneous Generation," by Louis Bourgeois
I responded positively from the start just because of the title. As a kid I recalled feeling the duality surrounding ‘spontaneous generation,’ the magic and the derision by science. But the writing here is what carries the moment. It’s a coming-of-age story with hindsight offering such strong images like the goat, and the song “Tom Sawyer” by Rush. Something about goats and the way they see with those peculiar eyes harks back to pre-evolutionary time. The image of Tom Sawyer coupled with rock music suggests a variation on spontaneous generation, the change from boy to man, from play and exploration to abiding by social rules, or commenting on them. The writing is lyrical and delivers a punch. Read it here in Shaking Like a Mountain.