the family-jewel-hinged jaw

Speaking of Delany:

In DHALGREN, the protagonist, the Kid, publishes a chapbook of poetry titled BRASS ORCHIDS.

For my own reasons, I just checked the etymology of “orchid.” It comes from the Latin “orchis,” referring to a specific type of orchid. This arises from the Greek “orkhis,” which means “testicle.”

So the chapbook might as well be called BRASS BALLS.

I cannot believe this was an accident.

(I’m sure I’m not the first one to discover this. But Delany-as-Steiner, for all his/her willingness to conduct some pretty detailed dissection of Delany’s animating metaphors, didn’t bother to point it out. I guess she/he’s willing to leave him/her[self] a few secrets after all.)

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One thought on “the family-jewel-hinged jaw

  1. hey i just saw this … when kidd tells ernst the title, they share a punny chuckle, maybe say something like “well that’s appropriate,” so it was sort of said indirectly.

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