Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Feverish Enigmas of Life and Death

"The constant battle with the reproductive process, a war in which her only allies were pharmaceutical robots, alien agents whose artificial assistance seemed more treacherous than trustworthy, was gnawing with plastic teeth at her very concepts of love. Was it entirely paranoid to suspect that all those stoppers, thingamagigs and substances devised to prevent conception were intended not to liberate womankind from the biological and social penalties imposed on her natural passions but, rather, at the insidious design of capitalistic puritans, were supposed to technologize sex, to dilute its dark juices, to contain its wilder fires, to censor its sweet nastiness, to scrub it clean (clean as a laboratory autoclave, clean as a hospital bed), to order it uniform, to render it safe; to eliminate the risk of uncontrollable feelings, illogical commitments and deep involvements (substituting for those risks the less mysterious, tamer risks of infection, hemorrhage, cancer and hormone imbalance); yes, to make sexual love so secure and same and sanitary, so slick and frolicsome, so casual that it is not a manifestation of love at all, but a near anonymous, near autonomous, hedonistic scratching of a bunny itch, an itch far removed from any direct relation to the feverish enigmas of Life and Death..."

Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker (1980).