Noted Without Comment

by zunguzungu

T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom has already, by page 2, blown my mind:

The Arab was by nature continent; and the use of universal marriage had nearly abolished irregular courses in his tribes. The public women of the rare settlements we encountered in our months of wandering would have been nothing to our numbers, even had their raddled meat been palatable to a man of healthy parts. In horror of such sordid commerce our youths began indifferently to slake one another’s few needs in their own clean bodies — a cold convenience that, by comparison, seemed sexless and even pure. Later, some began to justify this sterile process, and swore that friends quivering together in the yielding sand with intimate hot limbs in supreme embrace, found there hidden in the darkness a sensual co-efficient of the mental passion which was welding our souls and spirits in one flaming effort. Several, thirsting to punish appetites they could not wholly prevent, took a savage pride in degrading the body, and offered themself fiercely in any habit which promised physical pain or filth.

Anyone want to read along? I haven’t quite started the book yet — still thinking through In the Eye of the Sun and finishing a chapter draft — but I’m thinking to really get into it after the weekend.