26. Plants do not actually sleep. Nor do they lie or even bluff. They do, however, expose their genitalia.
Rrow itself, let it be sorrow; let him love it; let him pursue it, ishing for its acquisitiendum. Because he will ab hold, unless but through concer, and also of those who resist.
"No still photograph was capable of describing it. Even television images failed to encompass the panoramic quality of the disaster, the sense within the plain of destruction, of being surrounded by it on all sides. In describing the landscapes of war, we often speak of ‘total’ devastation. But even the most intense aerial bombing leaves walls and foundations of burned-out buildings, as well as parks and woods, roads and tracks, fields and cemeteries. The tsunami spared nothing, and achieved feats of surreal juxtaposition that no mere explosion could match. It plucked forests up by their roots and scattered them miles inland. It peeled the macadam off the roads and cast it hither and thither in buckled ribbons. It stripped houses to their foundations, and lifted cars, lorries, ships and corpses onto the tops of tall buildings." — Richard Lloyd Parry
In fact, my mother carried more than this, as yet undeclared, baby through Irish customs. My father told her to take the suitcase and said nothing (he is a great man for saying nothing), so she stood in all innocence in front of the customs man while he checked the contents. In among the clothes and the souvenir bottles of holy water were a couple of paperback books.
‘Aha!’ said the customs man and he looked at her. Whatever he saw in my mother’s lovely face, he slapped the case shut and waved them through.
She had been used, on her own honeymoon, as a books mule.
Forster certainly didn’t take a bright view of his sexual prospects. His knowledge of sexual matters in general may not have been great: as he admits in the fragmentary memoir called ‘Sex’, written in the Locked Diary but sadly excluded by Philip Gardner, ‘My instinct has never given me true information about sex’; ‘not till I was 30 did I know exactly how male and female joined’ – that is to say, when he was writing Howards End, with its extramarital pregnancy that ‘deeply shocked’ Forster’s mother when she read the book.
The London Review of Books wanted to create a digital literary work that pushed the boundaries of the literary essay well beyond its traditional form; using digital technology to loosen and enhance the structure of the essay, changing the way the reader interacts with the text.
But the big five and Apple are not in a good position to cry foul. First, the publishers, at least, are terrified of speaking out at the risk of upsetting relations with their largest customer. Second, they and Apple have been quite happy to exploit their own monopolistic position when it’s suited them in the past. And third, it may be that they did indeed collude and, under the letter of the law, are guilty.
In Japan, Homer is so familiar that Japanese have been known to describe their own lengthy Heike epic on the (fully historical) downfall of the Taira clan as a Japanese Iliad. It is a truly national epic: I have yet to meet a Japanese who couldn’t recite its opening line – ‘Gionshōja no kane no koe. Shōgyomujō no hibiki ari’, ‘The bell of Gion Temple recalls the impermanence of all things’ – which echoes, though in Buddhist resignation, Homer’s bitter evocation of human mortality at the very start of the Iliad. Like the Iliad, The Tale of the Heike was sung, by blind itinerant monks strumming the four-string biwa, colleagues of the rhapsodes who strummed the often four-stringed phorminx lyre while singing Homeric compositions (and of the cantastorie who recited tales of Federico Secondo Hohenstaufen in the Palermo of my childhood with the aid of highly coloured storyboards; and the Serbian singers of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar recorded by Milman Parry and Albert Lord in 1934-35). Yet another similarity is in the parallel fates of the infant Astyanax, son of Hector, destined successor of King Priam, and that of the child emperor Antoku, the former thrown from the walls of Troy during its sack according to the post-Iliadic Ilias mikra, or ‘Little Iliad’, the latter drowned by his own grandmother, who threw herself into the sea with him after the Taira were defeated in 1185 off Shimonoseki. His mother survived in perpetual sorrow at the appropriately melancholy Jakkō-in nunnery at Ohara just above Kyoto, which no tourist should miss, especially in the rainy mists of June.