Babies from Cambridge
By PETER STOTHARD
The cover of the latest Cambridge Literary Review (not illustrated here) shows a baby in a glass box.
The butterfly mobiles and bedroom pictures suggest that she has been there for longer than for post-natal intensive care.
Peridot is the daughter of a professor from Cambridge, Massachusetts whose early concern for ‘perfect control of her environment’ creates a woman both saucy and sexless.
Or so she is at the beginning of Donald Barthelme’s uncollected story, ‘The Ontological Basis of Two’, originally published under a pseudonym in 1963 for the men's literary magazine Cavalier (a 1966 issue illustrated above).
Later Peridot is freed — to the pleasure of the narrator and one of many post-modern pleasures in CLR 5, edited by Boris Jardine and Lydia Wilson, which also includes a fine essay by David Hendy on another forgotten magazine, Wireless World, and some ‘intoxicating’ techno-fiction of fifty years before.