Sunday, February 8, 2015

the last book I ever read (Michel Houellebecq's The Map and the Territory, excerpt eight)

from The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq:

Jasselin looked at the door to the house, which stood wide open. A cloud of flies had accumulated nearby; they hovered buzzing, as if awaiting their turn. From a fly’s point of view a human corpse is meat, pure and simple. More stinking air wafted over to them, and the stench was truly atrocious. If he was going to assess the crime scene without going to pieces, he should, he was clearly aware, adopt the fly’s point of view for a few minutes: the remarkable objectivity of the housefly, Musca domestica. Each female of Musca domestica can lay up to five hundred eggs, and occasionally a thousand. These eggs are white and measure around 1.2 mm long. After only a day, the larvae (maggots) leave them; they live and feed on organic matter (generally dead and in an advanced state of decomposition, such as a corpse, detritus, or excrement). The maggots are pale white, about 3 to 9 mm long. They are slender in the mouth region and do not have legs. At the end of their third metamorphosis, the maggots crawl toward a cool, dry place and transform into pupae of a reddish color.

The adult flies live from two weeks to a month in nature, longer in laboratory conditions. After emerging from the pupa, the fly stops growing. Small flies aren’t young flies, but flies that didn’t get enough food in the larval stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment