Dr. Jekyll forced himself to follow a strict rule: He never spoke of his private research on human subjects. He never deigned to read commission guidelines, no longer saw his colleagues socially; he did not smoke cigars or swirl warm brandy in glass bowls while their arguments—their ignorance— pushed him, their questions pressed him (if they only knew!). He could not lose control. Dr. Frankenstein always kept his sources secret, but he was attacked and harassed anyway—a constant nattering on ethics! Sometimes he faltered, wondered if he should get a government grant— but the protocols stopped him of course. People would come, examine the lab; he'd have to write reports, he'd have to tell them where, and how, he got everything. [End Page 69] Such a thought never entered Dr. Moreau's head; he refused to consider it, his island laboratory would not hold inspections; the idea was absurd! He knew if even once he shook hands with government, if even once he appeared as a footnote in their files, the boats would come, to snoop and then complain; he knew their queasy spirits, their narrow minds. Dr. Mengele was a reader; he smiled, indulged his fabled colleagues. But, occasionally, he sneered. They were petty thinkers, their issues, he thought, trivial. Where was the argument? What, after all, were these problems they wrestled? If they were real, they might have answered him: It was easy for you, Josef; everything you needed was given without question. He could say then, Yes! In the real world, we have pure science.

Judith Arcana

Judith Arcana is a Jewish anarchist feminist witch and writer. Her many political, literary, and spiritual influences include Emma Goldman, Grace Paley and Starhawk. Judith's work is forthcoming soon in Poetica, BuffaloCarp, Women's Lives and Big Water. Her newest book is reviewed in this issue: What if your mother (Chicory Blue Press, 2005) is a collection of poems and monologues about motherhood; the focus is on issues that are rarely examined with the necessary complexity: abortion, adoption, biotechnology, et al.

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Archived 2012
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