paramecium poiesis

If I could, I would stick a straw in Emmanuel Carrère's head and drink his brain juice, like he were some novel-writing drinking box of Tang. I'd absorb his literary talent and suddenly find myself able to negotiate complex mazes that only Carrère knew. The danger of doing that - beside the ever-present risk of kuru - is not that I may end up writing books too similar to Carrère's, with his characteristic style and preoccupations, but that I may simply rewrite his corpus (Also I may find myself writing in French). What if I find my fingers typing out the text of I Am Alive and You Are Dead or The Adversary when I mean to be writing about, say, an adolescent who kills his classmates, or a breezy lifestyle book on martini culture? I imagine myself poring over the proofs, understanding that they were more than just plagiarisms. They were evidence that I had killed Emmanuel Carrère by sucking out his brain through a straw.

I would be doomed but unable to stop myself, thoughtfully making corrections that only brought my text even closer in line with my victim's. I would be writing out a confession, one for which I had received a grant or an advance perhaps. I would put if off as long as I could, until the day would come when I would have to show something for the money that I'd spent.

Once the books were published, surely people would notice that my works were identical to Carrère's in every aspect but the name on the page. Then suspicion would fall on me. The only way to counteract this suspicion would be to assume Carrère's identity, move to France, take up with his family and live my life as if I were my victim. Then one day, on some pretense, I would take a trip to Ireland, track down Michel Houellebecq and suck his brain out through a sharpened straw. And the whole process would begin once more.

*Many thanks to New World Disorder for providing the link to. Gary Indiana's Bookforum article on Carrère also mentions paramecia in connection with the author, which is a weird coincidence.*