Snippets #52



Narcissiana: On Collecting-Translation of Fredrick Sjoberg The Fly Trap

Almost any disturbance at all can create a whole new environment, which may sometimes meet the rather intricate demands that some insignificant fly makes on life. It can be quite simple. Let’s say that a young landscape architect falls in love with a girl who says she adores the heavy fragrance of balsam poplar, whereupon he, of course, has an entire forest of balsam poplar planted, perhaps at a university that hires him to design its landscaping just at the time he’s falling in love, and at night these woods come to be used as a meeting place by, say, the semisecret Students for the Liberation of White Russia, who put up completely unreadable posters about their hopeless struggle on the smooth trunks of the fast-growing poplars, using the only tool their organization has a plentiful supply of—namely, White Russian thumbtacks, which contain indeterminable metallic impurities that give rise to a rare form of rot in the tree’s inner bark that some even rarer hoverfly’s sap-eating larvae require in order to survive to adulthood.



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