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The German title of the novel is Ego


Marx, Deceased should have been entitled Ego
Carl Djerassi Scientist
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And I’ve cannibalised it in what is probably psychologically autobiographical-psychologically the most important novel I’ve published and it’s a very good one, and had excellent reviews. Although strangely enough, it’s the only novel that has not been published in paperback, because it was the only non-scientific novel. And it’s called, Marx, Deceased. Marx like Karl Marx, but it’s not about Karl Marx, it’s about a writer named Stephen Marx. And I think to this day, I’m not sure why I picked Marx, except that I wanted to use a word... a name that was not overtly Jewish, but nevertheless should be a Jew. I mean, it could have been a non-Jew. And that was very important. And years later, I converted the topic of that novel into a play of mine, which was my first non-scientific play, my fourth play. It’s called, Ego. And, in fact, I realised that the novel, Marx, Deceased... the much better title of it would be, Ego.

Austrian-American Carl Djerassi (1923-2015) was best known for his work on the synthesis of the steroid cortisone and then of a progesterone derivative that was the basis of the first contraceptive pill. He wrote a number of books, plays and poems, in the process inventing a new genre, 'science-in-fiction', illustrated by the novel 'Cantor's Dilemma' which explores ethics in science.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Stephen Marx, Ego, Marx, Deceased

Duration: 1 minute, 17 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008