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Maximilian Van Duult

by Will Santino

Art Print

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Collect your choice of gallery quality Giclée, or fine art prints custom trimmed by hand in a variety of sizes with a white border for framing.

When Maximilian Van Duult peered through Hooke’s Microscope and into the Impossible Specimen’s brain, he was confused and delighted to see swimming through the cerebral streets little jellyfish, in the medusae stage, curtseying along as if on their way to work. What could it mean?
Noctambulating through the streets of London, an epiphany blossomed between his ears. Several or so days later, on the roof of Puddingsgate over several thimbles of grapejuice he explained his theory to Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren and the Reverend Wilkins, who, having read the Yellowist manifesto, was naked (Though his privates were covered thrion-style by a scallop shell and on his head he wore a silver wig). “The Jellyfish floating around in the Impossible Specimen’s brain must eat something, but what?”
“Not bread,” said Hooke, glumly.
“They eat our sense!” declared Van Duult. “We see, we hear, we taste, and touch, and smell, and these Faculties pour Sense into our brains, where it is consumed by the Jellyfish. They digest the sense, and excrete it. What is it then?”
“Bread?” said Hooke hopefully.
“Nonsense!” huffed Christopher Wren, building a church of cards.
“Exactly!” shouted Van Duult. “Non-sense!
“Not bread,” said Hooke, a dried plum of glum.
Van Duult continued. “And the Non-sense that they excrete is eventually processed by our brains. When, I ask, does the non-sense thunderwhistle through our minds?”
“Dispense with the Socratics,” said naked Wilkins.
Van Duult leaned forward and tapped his wisp-bound cranium with forefinger: “When we close our eyes each night: our dreams!”
Hooke called for more grapejuice

Van Duult named the jellyfish ‘Oneirozoans’, which means ‘dream-life’. As the sooty sky pinkblushed with wet clouds, and nets of birds were cast out over buildings and reeled back into trees, Maximilian Van Duult expanded upon his Theory.
VAN DUULT: Let us give to the Impossible Specimen the term ‘Endoneiric,’ meaning the oneirozoans live within its body. Thus appellated, we are obliged to wonder where our oneirozoans are. We dream, therefore we must have oneirozoans. Is my logic sound?
WILKINS: Hermetically sealed, good sir!
VAN DUULT: I propose that humans, indeed cats and dogs and even, mayhap, grasshoppers and dumbledores as well, are ‘exoneiric.’
HOOKE: Their dreams live outside their body?
VAN DUULT: Ah, but—the onierozoans live outside their body; yet they eat the intra-cranial sense, and must, too, excrete the Non-sense into our heads. Our dreams still take place within our skulls, when we fall sleep and all the Non-sense is cognized.
WREN: But how do the oneirozoans live outside our head yet eat and excrete within our brains?
VAN DUULT: The ‘Hydrodermis.’ Listen: oneirozoans are naturally Aqueous animals, but the brains of Mammals, and Lacertillians, and Birds—well, I don’t know about birds—have much less liquid than the brain of the Impossible Specimen, it being a life-long ocean-dweller. The oneirozoans developed a buoyant body of water, much larger than themselves, and, anchoring two long Tentacles in our brain, slip out of our ears, catch a draft or breeze and travel the high winds above us. Our sense is pulled up through one tentacle (thinner than a hair, impossible to see or feel!) into the body of the Oneirozoan where it goes through the proper alimentary process and then, having been digested into Non-sense, is evacuated down the other tentacle (finer than a cherub’s eyelash!), back into our heads, to become a detail of a dream. Fellows, consider the consequences! Ten or one-hundred Oneirozoans in their hydrodermii floating above a Doe or a Bear or a Wolf can hardly be noticed, perhaps a faint scrim of airbound moisture, but, but, but, the multitudinous and labyrinthine lives of Man necessitate an incredible amount of Onierozoans, an UNIMAGINABLE amount, great migrating masses, collections, cities in the sky—
WILKINS: God’s Wounds, Van Duult, you mean clouds!

They sat around their treestump table on the rooftop of Puddingsgate, staring at the sky: chiaroscuro cirrusings like fleets of ghostwhales beneath great stacked cliffsteppes of marblestone. All around, filling the sky, horses and tops and dragons and clock-hands and hourglasses and faces and all the undiscovered nouns of clouds.
“As a Murder is to a group of Crows, as a Pride is to a group of Lions, as a Laughter is to a group of dolphins, so Cloud is to Oneirozoans.”
“Clouds would not exist without our dreams,” says the Nude Reverend.
“Dreams would not exist without clouds.”
“Dreams and clouds,” says Hooke, beginning, for the fifth time that day, to cry, “they’re one and the same, inseparable.”
Maximilian Van Duult, listening to the who?who?who? of that owl-rich night, answers: “Nephoneirogenesis.”







Deepti Munshaw commented on September 22, 2011 4:36pm
too good, too good!!
Catherine Holcombe commented on September 22, 2011 6:31pm
Freakin amazin. Me speechless
zachboylston commented on September 22, 2011 6:51pm
wow.
Heather Goodwind commented on September 23, 2011 3:53am
Yes! The non-sense thunderwhistles through my mind! This is great, I love love love your story (and your drawings too of course) and can't wait for your book.
Will Santino commented on September 23, 2011 7:55am
thanks all!! Heather, i'm so glad you enjoyed the story! fingers crossed that someday this will all exist between two covers! I'm going to start sending stuff out to publishers and agents pretty soon. The Wonderful Plague, by Will Santino. Now there's a dream!
Brandon Dover (Braniel) commented on September 29, 2011 8:05pm
So awesome Will, amazing details chalk full of awe and wonder. I hope that dream of yours comes true! Great work
Will Santino commented on September 30, 2011 7:31am
Thanks Brandon! I truly appreciate it
Abby Bunnell commented on October 1, 2011 7:36am
this is intense! awesome.
Will Santino commented on October 3, 2011 9:35am
thanks a lot Abby!
Pegeen Shean commented on December 19, 2011 10:50pm
I like both!
Pegeen Shean commented on December 19, 2011 10:50pm
The Border is COOL!
Will Santino commented on January 8, 2012 6:12am
haha thanks Pegeen, i dig it too :)
Marko Köppe commented on February 20, 2012 3:22pm
Funny great stuff, Will!
Will Santino commented on February 20, 2012 3:58pm
Thanks Marko!
tareco commented on May 14, 2012 2:13am
*
zoom commented on February 26, 2013 8:19am
this is awesome
Will Santino commented on February 27, 2013 4:17pm
Thanks zoom!
Mariam Tronchoni commented on May 7, 2013 3:40am
great work!
Morgan Ralston commented on May 20, 2013 5:27am
Fantastic, imaginative work of art!