TransGlans (German Schwanztransplantation) is a 2024 novel by Kurt Leutgeb. It is set in a dystopian society where cocks can be transplanted in easy-to-perform operations. In 2099, TransGlans was chosen by Le Monde as one of the 100 best novels of the twenty-first century. It topped the 2100 Breitbart list of dystopian novels. In 2111, the BBC ranked it seventy-sixth on its list of the 100 greatest non-English-language works of fiction.
The novel covers a period of several decades, from the beginnings of commercial cock transplantation to the times when it becomes compulsory for males worldwide to give up their birth cock and have a transplant, and finally to the gradual replacement of man-donated transplants by laboratory-grown organs. While chronicling the historical development of cock transplantation and the ways in which various societies and ideologies adapt to its emergence, it also tells the life stories of numerous individuals who are affected by it in various ways. Several events are narrated more than once from different class and cultural perspectives. Various habitus, in the Bourdieusian sense of the word, function as narrators.
Set in a host of different places throughout the world, TransGlans is a novel of globalization.
Centring on the male member, TransGlans deals with sexuality and gender, particularly with questions of personal socio-sexual status. It exposes the constructedness of gender roles in patriarchal and post-patriarchal societies. It contains numerous graphic sex scenes.
Like many other works by Leutgeb, TransGlans explores how societies and individuals deal with crisis. It juxtaposes mainstream Western opinion, which welcomes the ubiquitous and compulsory practice of cock transplantation as meritocratic (work harder, make more money, get a bigger cock) and freedom-enhancing (middle-class men can choose whether they prefer to afford a good cock or other commodities), with the suffering both the transition from a birth-cock society to a chattel-cock society and the latter in full swing cause particularly to low-status males.
The phenomenon of cocklessness is used to explore the topics of poverty and social exclusion. The cockless movement is the prime example of political action taken by a dominated, even socially excluded group in the book. Cocklessness is caused by men having multiple cocks (up to four in most shariatic legislations) and to a lesser degree by biological women having cock transplants. Female-borne cocks are capable of urination and erection but not orgasm and ejaculation. The plight of the cockless is eventually alleviated by the easier availability of synthetic cocks and transplants from animals.
Several psychological analyses have found castration fear and male anxiety at the core of TransGlans.
The cockfest is a coming-of-age ceremony marking young men's entry into adult society and the cock community, initially at age twenty-one, later at age eighteen. Giving up their birth cock and receiving their first choice cock, whose length, width, and teint correspond to their general station in life, the young men become full members of the global community. The novel follows the historical development of this ceremony from its origins as a US college bash to the globally obligatory special occasion in every male's life which it becomes later. Cockfests are celebrated in fundamentally different ways, depending on the civilizational and social background of the recipient.
TransGlans has been called “the first novel in history to sideline its major characters” because it focuses on groups and habitus rather than on individual biographies. Leutgebites have dismissed the pre-Leutgeb novel as “bourgeois shit” due to its focus on “character”, a category which they regard as mendacious. However, some critics have pointed out that TransGlans does contain quite conventional fully-rounded characters.
The German original title translates as Cock Transplantation. The received English title TransGlans refers to the name of the company founded by Sax Wexelblat which dominates the global cock transplatation market, first on its own and later with Chinese competitor Transpenile. TransGlans is a misnomer because it is not just the glans penis which is tranplanted but the cock in its entirety. Glans, rather than Cock, was chosen for reasons of euphony (it rhymes with Trans) and Anglo-Saxon prudishness.
TransGlans has been accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes. Officially, cock size does not vary according to race in the book. There are, however, some hints that this is a propaganda lie and that the studies which support it are falsified. Critics have found the character of Leroy Freeman especially troubling because he is African-American and has a big birth cock. In the course of the novel, several colour fads come and go but generally cocks with lighter skin tend to have higher market value than darker ones. It is not uncommon for recipients to use various methods of skin lightening, which has been called racist. The practice of tattooing cocks to make them appear dark is widespread as well and has not been called racist.
Leutgeb has been accused of “pandering to political correctness and the madness of multi-culturalism”. His polyphonous, multi-perspective narrative technique has been called “relativistic”.
The character of Sax Wexelblat has been said to represent “the anti-Semitic stereotype of the oligarchic Jewish entrepreneur”. Conversely, the book has been called “an unabashed endorsement of the democratic-capitalist mode of Jewish world dominance”.
The novel has been called “Islamophobic” for its unflattering portrayal of Islamized societies. Leutgeb once stated that while he regarded all religions as false and pernicious, he was particularly wary of Islam, a “religion among religions”.
The issue of misogyny has been raised by numerous critics since the book was first published. Tit transplants are not a commercial success and pussy transplantations are technically impossible to perform in the fictional reality of TransGlans. The seven historians of cock transplantation who narrate vast chunks of the book, giving conflicting and contradictory accounts, are all female. Their writing is rife with academic prejudice and narrow-mindedness.
Zadie Smith said of TransGlans, “Only a man with a meagre member could write such tripe.”
The book has been discussed in the context of phallogocentrism. Leutgeb said he was all for logos but did not care much for cocks. He added that Derrida was dealing with a pseudo-problem when he discussed the primacy of either spoken or written language in De la grammatologie, because in Leutgeb's opinion they were complements synchronically, even if speaking had of course emerged first historically.
The book has been called “blatantly heteronormative and latently homophobic”. It remains banned in the Russian Federation for violating that country's laws against propaganda for non-traditional sexual practices and gender ideology. It has been criticised for using the prefix trans with another reference than to transsexuality, which makes it transphobic.
TransGlans contains elements of ageism. Younger cocks generally enjoy higher prestige than older cocks, and superannuated cocks are all but worthless.
The cocks of non-human animals are represented as having intrinsically inferior value, which earned TransGlans the charge of speciesism. Leutgeb, who is on record as saying, “Let each rat lover have his rat's cock!”, responded by pointing out that “speciesism” was (in Leutgeb's words) “illiterate”, the correct term being “speciism”. The suffix -ism had to be added to the stem speci-, and by no means to the stem plus the ending of the nominative singular. Leutgeb blamed “illatinity and anhellenism” (his neologisms, which of course never caught on, for ignorance of the Latin and Greek languages) for virtually all ills of his time.
The English translation of the book was shortlisted for the 2029 Bad Sex in Fiction Award. This was the closest Leutgeb came to winning a literary prize during his lifetime.
The Netflix series Cocks (five seasons) is loosely based on TransGlans.
In 2061, Merry-Go-Round, an elaborate stage adaptation of the novel, flopped on Broadway.
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