How I created a novel meme

Last night, under the influence of the free blended spirits in the backpackers hostel I stay, I told a young traveler named Joey the outline of my satire novel. Joey was interested so with but few leaps and bounds I told him the entire story. He told me he liked it, but what really touched me was when he told the story in his own words over dinner, to even younger travelers.

I never considered that story as part of the ontology that supports my everyday life. It was more like a unicorn or an elf than like money or Murphy’s law. But as I heard the story told by Joey, all of a sudden that changed. My story now exists beyond the mind of its introvert author: It has become a meme in the sense of Richard Dawkins and Susan Blackmore. It will assert, or not, its own place in the memosphere as others will tell and retell the story. Mutations of the meme will be of course beyond my control, but here is what I imagine the meme will be like after a dozen meme generations:

A man who wanted to kill himself accidentally kills a woman with his suicide pill which she mistakes for a party pill. He panicks and flees in the forest but is discovered by the police. They think he is a refugee and he makes up a name, Kalim or something, and even the name of a country.

Then a billionaire buys land and creates that country. Kalim is the only official citizen because that is what it said on his papers. (It’s a bit Kafkaesque). Then the billionaire takes in all these refugees because it gives him the power to send them in small vessels to the European coast. [End of reconstructed fragment, I don’t want to give away too much]

How I created a novel meme was originally published on Meandering home

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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