Saturday, January 11, 2014

Remembering my mother Mary Ellmann

In memory of my mother, Mary Ellmann, who was born on January 5 93 years ago, here is her always timely description, in her book Thinking About Women, of the "extraordinary expedition" of the ovum:
an unseen equivalent of going down the Mississippi on a raft or over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Ordinarily too, the ovum travels singly, like Lewis or Clark, in the kind of existential loneliness which Norman Mailer usually admires. One might say that the activity of ova involves a daring and independence absent, in fact, from the activity of spermatozoa, which move in jostling masses, swarming out on signal like a crowd of commuters from the 5:15. 
That about sums it up, don't you think?

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