This is morning at the Legation I met a Colonel Porter who asked what my share in the world’s work was. I said I had been looking at Mohammadan architecture.
“Mind you,” he replied, “I’ve seen a good deal of Palestine, Egypt, and Persia, and I’ve given a good deal of thought to the matter. I can tell you the key to the problem if you like.”
“Really. What is it?”
“The whole thing’s phallic”, he uttered in a ghoulish whisper.
I was surprised at first to note the influence of Freud on the North-West Frontier, but soon discovered that for Colonel Porter the universe itself was phallic. (The Road to Oxiana)
These are the lucky ones. Always, they believe, they have found the solution to the problem of the world; the answer revealed in some good book, or by a wise man with a charming smile and a sales patter of uncanny profundity.