Men of Science

02/12/17

When we think of a scientist today, we imagine a person surrounded by prejudice.
Since these are prejudices we live by, he may be a reasonably happy man. Bottles of rare
substances measured by odd and intimate instruments have been replaced by a relatively
stable family life.
The scientist’s eyes remain naked, but his mind is clothed in procedures that have
served him well. For example, trees, aluminum, books and waterfalls are only a few of
the items formerly fastened to beasts of burden known as “citizens” with strong leather
straps and restraining devices which have now been identified as “marriages.”
If we notice that light objects such as feathers and witty composers of verse fall
slowly to the ground while a serious indictment of contemporary American values
crashes abruptly to the theater floor, then we might decide that blowing one’s nose with
one finger is fully acceptable if done delicately, without malice of forethought, but
exceedingly dangerous when presented metaphorically as analogous incisive intellectual
discourse.
And if we notice the tiny wheelbarrows filled with toothpaste lined up alongside
the primitive man beating fire with a stick, we might wish to conduct an experiment
concerning the juxtaposition of men of principle and men of transition. And as we note
the prejudices of the very language in which we conduct our experiments, we might
conclude that getting light from an idea is certainly more challenging than getting light
from a blazing stick, although it’s less likely to impress the neighbors.


Fiction. Modern Abstract Fables.

(First edition, hardcover with dustjacket, 524 pages, $36.50 USD.)



Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days draws from fairy tales, a condescending of a 1938 Social Studies reader for 6th grade, an 1890 handbook on marital compatibility, numerous annoying educational advancement studies, the myths and legends of third-world countries and minority peoples, pulp fiction, a history of carnival side shows, folktales, frequent conversations with Crows, Owls and a wide variety of underground inhabitants, insects and the people who collect them, Joseph Cornell, Günter Eich, Russell Edson, the French Surrealist poets, the Quay Brothers, letterpress printing, and the author’s inability to channel his imagination linearly.

Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.