"Our Medical Correspondent writes:
The birth of a son in the Red Swan Hotel is a fitting tribute to the zeal and perseverance of Mr. Dermot Trellis, who has won international repute in connection with his researches into the theory of aestho-autogamy. The event may be said to crown the savant’s lifework as he has at last realized his dream of producing a living mammal from an operation involving neither fertilization nor conception.
Aestho-autogamy with one unknown quantity on the male side, Mr. Trellis told me in conversation, has long been a commonplace. For fully five centuries in all parts of the world epileptic slavies have been pleading it in extenuation of uncalled for fecundity. It is a very familiar phenomenon in literature. The elimination of conception and pregnancy, however, or the reduction of these processes to the same mysterious abstraction as that of the paternal factor in the commonplace case of unexplained maternity, has been the dream of every practising psycho-eugenist the world over. I am very happy to have been fortunate enough to bring a century of ceaseless experiment and endeavour to a triumphant conclusion. Much of the credit for Mr. Furriskey’s presence on this planet today must go to my late friend and colleague William Tracy, whose early researches furnished me with invaluable data and largely determined the direction of my experiments. The credit for the achievement of a successful act of procreation involving two unknown quantities is as much his as mine.
This graceful reference on the part of Mr. Trellis to the late Mr. William Tracy, the eminent writer of Western romances his Flower o’ the Prairie is still read — is apparently directed at the latter’s gallant efforts to change the monotonous and unimaginative process by which all children are invariably born young.
Many social problems of contemporary interest, he wrote in 1909, could be readily resolved if issue could be born already matured, teethed, reared, educated, and ready to essay those competitive plums which make the Civil Service and the Banks so attractive to the younger breadwinners of today. The process of bringing up children is a tedious anachronism in these enlightened times. Those mortifying stratagems collectively known as birth-control would become a mere memory if parents and married couples could be assured that their legitimate diversion would straightaway result in finished breadwinners or marriageable daughters.
He also envisaged the day when the breeding and safe deliverance of Old Age Pensioners and other aged and infirm eligible for public money would transform matrimony from the sordid struggle that it often is to an adventurous business enterprise of limitless possibilities.
It is also noteworthy that Mr Tracy succeeded, after six disconcerting miscarriages, in having his own wife delivered of a middle-aged Spaniard who lived for only six weeks. A man who carried jealousy to the point of farce, the novelist insisted that his wife and the new arrival should occupy separate beds and use the bathroom at divergent times. Some amusement was elicited in literary circles by the predicament of a women who was delivered of a son old enough to be her father but it served to deflect Mr Tracy not one tittle from his dispassionate quest for scientific truth. His acumen and pertinacity have, in fact, become legendary in the world of psycho-eugenics. Conclusion of foregoing.”
-Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds. 1939. Lol