Exiled in Paris, Meriwether Gorse, a romantic vagabond, whose self-importance grossly outweighed his accomplishment, began the theoretical obliteration of the muses. He intended to demonstrate that the forms of creation that they embodied were illusory. There was no Calliope from whose breast he could suckle inspiration; the mysteries hidden in literature and between a woman’s legs did not coincide. The essential difference of function between Meriwether’s movements of creation and that which he rebuked was a question of intaking versus outpouring; that which was freely given over against that which was coaxed out.
As he wrote, the nine grew anxious. They could not afford Meriwether’s attack on the slender threads of devotion they yet had. In a brief, but heated, conclave it was determined that Erato would be sent to distract this man from his work.
When she appeared to him in all her glory, he addressed her with contempt. “I thought one of you might try to interfere.”
“Meriwether Gorse do not speak to me so disdainfully. I am not a mortal to be disregarded, not when I bring pleasures you cannot imagine.”
“Don’t speak to me of your pleasures. I cannot take them; I have found the higher. With one four letter word I can destroy you. The similarity it has to what you offer is merely coincidence. There never have been muses.”
Erato left defeated. Melpomene thought to do better, but it was too late. A thought was born, the knife on which inspirations balance.