Donovan’s Brain?

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Photo by Roman.

Donovan’s Brain is the title of a 1942 sci-fi / horror novel by author and screen writer Curt Siodmak. According to Wikipedia, it’s been made into movies more than once, including a 1953 production that shares the title. I saw the movie once ages ago and actually have a 1969 re-issue of the book, but I remember almost nothing about it except that it probably could also be classed as detective fiction.

Disembodied brains have been a constant trope of horror and fascination in the sci-fi and fantasy genres probably as long as folks have been writing such stuff. It would be an interesting compare and contrast of the treatments of that plot device by various authors. I mean, consider on one hand the heads preserved alive in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength or the intelligences embodied in light in Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars and Against the Fall of Night. In the face of the mighty productivity of the authors of popular fiction, the bibliography alone would be a significant project.

And, of course, what do zombies want? Brains…

One lunch time when my Dad was working a day shift, Mom asked if I’d like something different for lunch: baked calf brains. Dad was one of those meat and very salty potatoes sort of guys so this was not something he’d have cared for… But I was game. No, it did not taste like chicken. As I recall, Mom’s production tasted like meatloaf, a meatloaf of sincerely alarming appearance.

I think I finished my serving but I’m certain I did not ask for more.

I was inspired to suspect that many of my fellow children had meatloaf for brains and alas that nothing since has challenged that prejudice.

Though to be fair, we all have meatloaf brains. *

On the other hand, maybe the photo is of a very large wad of used chewing gum…

But really, the photo above is not someone’s discarded higher or lower functions but what looks to be the result of maybe a full can of spray foam, the kind of stuff used to seal rodent holes. Was that the intent here? They could have done as well with less, especially if steel wool also blocked the hole. But this overkill makes for a much more interesting photo, yes?


* For an interesting perspective on this, see “All People Are Created Educable, a Vital Oft-Forgotten Tenet of Modern Democracy” over at Ex Urbe.

Author: rmichaelroman

... whatever ...

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