Monday, March 5, 2007

Djerassi's Response to Susan Squier

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From: Carol Djerassi
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 23:02:42 -0500

3/5/07 London

Squire raises an interesting and valid point (although it's not "either or" but rather "as well as information transmittal). It is ironic that I have forgotten the McDonald photo of me as a pregnant man which at the time was done for its "shock" value rather than the more sophisticated interpretation mentioned by Squire. Interestingly, when the German translation of my autobiography (English title: The Pill, Pygmy Chimps and Degas' Horse) appeared, it bore the title Die Mutter der Pille (Haffmans Verlag, Zurich 1992) and carried the McDonald photo of me on the spine. In this case, the meaning is considerably more complicated in the Squirean sense, since I make the point in that autobiography that in my opinion, the chemist is always the mother of a synthetic drug and the biologist the father (with the clinician the mid wife), since nothing can be done by the biologist until the chemist has first conceived (pun intended) of the chemical structure of the drug and has then synthesized it. In that sense, the chemical substance is the egg and the biological experiments the sperm, with the key biological experiment being the sperm that achieves fertilization of the egg.

And returning once more to the example I gave
earlier where in my play AN IMMACULATE
MISCONCEPTION a filmed ICSI (single sperm injection) of an egg is projected, its use in the Squirean sense was extended in the French production of my play in Geneva, where the ICSI injection itself was projected unto an egg-shaped surface and this in turn was constructed in such a fashion that the love scene between the (unwitting) sperm donor and the female reproductive biologist was performed within that egg. I am attaching three pictures from that French theatre production to illustrate that point.

Carl Djerassi

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