Thursday, 30 July 2009

Cause Of Death

The deceased presented with some interesting symptomology.

Firstly, while most vital organs were in a good state of health appropriate to the age of the cadaver, the heart had clearly shrunk in both mass and volume. The chamber walls also showed strange stippling, which I can only describe as akin to the wrinkles of a walnut. This does not correlate to any known pathology of the heart and demands further inquiry.

It may be linked to the state of the arterial system, whereby the capillaries had become furred, with obvious impact on blood flow and leading to anaemia throughout the body. On closer inspection, the furring was not the anticipated atherosclerosis, there being no sign of cholesterol, calcium or other fatty deposits. Instead there appeared to be what can only be described as an alphabeti spaghetti of characters. A veritable reader's digest.

By this I mean that corpuscles seem to have mutated, or perhaps fused with letters of the alphabet in word units. There was plenty of evidence of detritus from macrophages and T-Cell lymphocytes, suggesting that at some stage the body had launched an immuno-response assault on these character interlopers. But the density of the undigested words prompts a conclusion that such inroads could not be stemmed. Had the words had their own antigen DNA that locked with that on the surface of the blood cells? This does not seem to be the case from the evidence of microbiological analysis.

Therefore the words seem to not have reproduced themselves by parasiting the cell machinery. Rather they coated the cellular walls like graffiti and hitched a lift. One can almost conjure up the image of words riding their cell mounts and colliding with rivals like dodgem cars. There are plenty of unusually deformed blood cells, indented from impact, distended under the mass of their linguistic cargo. We are still unclear as to the origin of these word units. Clearly their mobility mitigates against a legible transparency of text, which if we could isolate the source material we might adduce the origin and the means of entry into the body.

However, on examination of the brain, we are afforded further tantalising insight. The brain was wholly swaddled by layer upon layer of these same word subunits. Now we can only surmise that this was the generative source of the lexigraphical units. That is they had no external existence, neither bacterial nor viral, but emanated from within the corporeality itself.

I have taken (semi-)professional soundings from online writing communities and believe myself to be some way along the track of unravelling this mystery. I postulate that the corpse is that of an unpublished writer. Suffering from a tumescence of unexpressed, unaired words. Not in the sense that they had not been set down and committed to paper, but that the paper (or computer hard drive) upon which they were preserved, was not being shared with a wider reading audience. Therefore to all intents and purposes, the writer's voice remained unheard. (To my mind there is a linguistic nonsense of a writer committing words to paper in order to have his voice 'heard', increasing the likelihood of tumescence; of the unexpressed self manifesting in a cancer of some sort, though this remains speculation since there was no evidence of metastasis anywhere within the body, save for the non-carcinogenic words themselves).

From my discussions with writers, it seems to be a most common condition, if one that is usually benign. All writers pursuing their goal of being published, of having their words drawn off into print, usually 'inhabit' their novel, to the extent that the words continually course through their veins, since they must be able to locate and recall any single word or phrase from any place in the text. In order that it might require editing, akin to any of our own myriad of surgical procedures in the wards on the floors above my head. Only our doctors do not perform their procedures on the advice of other patients in the ward, unlike the curious brotherhood of writers.

One wit suggested that the mort may have literalised the process, possessing such an ego as to lick the words (to wit, licking itself in order to reabsorb them into his own pneuma). My correspondent further enlightened me that writers are disposed to expectorate these furballs of worded experience, thereby accounting for the periodic outbursts of venting their animus upon other authors on writing forums. In fact the wag offered up his pet theory that such venesection might lie behind the prevalence of the vampire novel, as stricken writers desperately phlebotomise one another, not through malevolent hostility, but rather a sympathetic, mutual remedial act. Like chimpanzees who pick parasites from one another. The theory goes that in time, if the blood is not descaled from the ascendency of their word distemper, then they will succumb to a toxic septicemia and only be able to emit despairingly poisonous words once critical mass has been attained. Then they are beyond cure, since no words that they can commit to paper could ever offer up any humanity.

Of course all this is wholly unsubstantiated by any of the pathological evidence. I humbly offer this paper up as an indicator of a possible new medical syndrome. One that we might wish to pursue with grants for further study. For now, I label it "Blocked Writers Disorder". Whether it is a complaint or an infirmity is just one of the parameters to be established. It certainly seems to have become more acute and prevalent since the onset of online communities opening up the practice to more people, most of whom have not built up a natural immunity.

1 comment:

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