XERXES



 


That's not me.  (I'm over here.)  It's Xerxes in her best Sunday dress.
This week she has been reading Douglas Hofstadter's A Person Paper on Purity in Language.
 
 
It took Xerxes a few paragraphs to fully appreciate what was going on here.  Once she
caught on, though, she was impressed with how powerful this little piece turned out to be.
Here's the entire essay:

 

It's high time someone blew the whistle on all the silly prattle about revamping our language to suit the purposes of certain political fanatics. You know what I'm talking about-those who accuse speakers of English of what they call "racism." This awkward neologism, constructed by analogy with the well-established term "sexism," does not sit well in the ears, if I may mix my metaphors. But let us grant that in our society there may be injustices here and there in the treatment of either race from time to time, and let us even grant these people their terms "racism" and "racist." How valid, however, are the claims of the self-proclaimed "black libbers," or "negrists"-those who would radically change our language in order to "liberate" us poor dupes from its supposed racist bias?

Most of the clamor,as you certainly know by now, revolves around the age-old usage of the noun "white" and words built from it, such as chairwhite, mailwhite, repairwhite, clergywhite, middlewhite, Frenchwhite, forewhite, whitepower, whiteslaughter, oneupuwhiteship, straw white, whitehandle, and so on. The negrists claim that using the word "white," either on its own or as a component, to talk about all the members of the human species is somehow degrading to blacks and reinforces racism. Therefore the libbers propose that we substitute "person" everywhere where "white" now occurs. Sensitive speakers of our secretary tongue of course find this preposterous. There is great beauty to a phrase such as "All whites are created equal." Our forebosses who framed the Declaration of Independence well understood the poetry of our language. Think how ugly it would be to say "All persons are created equal," or "All whites and blacks are created equal." Besides, as any schoolwhitey can tell you, such phrases are redundant. In most contexts, it is self-evident when "white" is being used in an inclusive sense, in which case it subsumes members of the darker race just as much as fairskins.

There is nothing denigrating to black people in being subsumed under the rubric "white"-no more than under the rubric "person." After all, white is a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow, including black. Used inclusively, the word "white" has no connotations whatsoever of race. Yet many people are hung up on this point. A prime example is Abraham Moses, one of the more vocal spokeswhites for making such a shift. For years, Niss Moses, authoroon of the well-known negrist tracts A Handbook of Nonracist Writing and Words and Blacks, has had nothing better to do than go around the country making speeches advocating the downfall of "racist language" that ble objects to. But when you analyze bler objections, you find they all fall apart at the seams. Niss Moses says that words like "chairwhite" suggest to people-most especially impressionable young whiteys and blackeys-that all chairwhites belong to the white race. How absurd! It's quite obvious, for instance, that the chairwhite of the League of Black Voters is going to be a black, not a white. Nobody need think twice about it. As a matter of fact, the suffix "white" is usually not pronounced with a long "i" as in the noun "white," but like "wit," as in the terms saleswhite, freshwhite, penwhiteship, first basewhite, and so on. It's just a simple and useful component in building race-neutral words.

But Niss Moses would have you sit up and start hollering "Racism!" In fact, Niss Moses sees evidence of racism under every stone. Ble has written a famous article, in which ble vehemently objects to the immortal and poetic words of the first white on the moon, Captain Nellie Strongarm. If you will recall, whis words were: "One small step for a white, a giant step for whitekind." This noble sentiment is anything but racist; it is simply a celebration of a glorious moment in the history of White.

Another of Niss Moses' shrill objections is to the age-old differentiation of whites from blacks by the third-person pronouns "whe" and "ble." Ble promotes an absurd notion: that what we really need in English is a single pronoun covering both races. Numerous suggestions have been made, such as "pe," "tey," and others, These are all repugnant to the nature of the English language, as the average white in the street will testify, even if whe has no linguistic training whatsoever. Then there are advocates of usages such as "whe or ble," "whis or bler," and so forth. This makes for monstrosities such as the sentence "When the next President takes office, whe or ble will have to choose whis or bler cabinet with great care, for whe or ble would not want to offend any minorities." Contrast this with the spare elegance of the normal way of putting it, and there is no question which way we ought to speak. There are, of course, some yapping black libbers who advocate writing "bl/whe" everywhere, which, aside from looking terrible, has no reasonable pronunciation. Shall we say "blooey" all the time when we simply mean "whe"? Who wants to sound like a white with a chronic sneeze?

One of the more hilarious suggestions made by the squawkers for this point of view is to abandon the natural distinction along racial lines, and to replace it with a highly unnatural one along sexual lines. One such suggestion-emanating, no doubt, from the mind of a madwhite-would have us say "he" for male whites (and blacks) and "she" for female whites (and blacks). Can you imagine the outrage with which sensible folk of either sex would greet this "modest proposal"?

Another suggestion is that the plural pronoun "they" be used in place of the inclusive "whe." This would turn the charming proverb "Whe who laughs last, laughs best" into the bizarre concoction "They who laughs last, laughs best." As if anyone in whis right mind could have thought that the original proverb applied only to the white race! No, we don't need a new pronoun to "liberate" our minds. That's the lazy white's way of solving the pseudoproblem of racism. In any case, it's ungrammatical. The pronoun "they" is a plural pronoun, and it grates on the civilized ear to hear it used to denote only one person. Such a usage, if adopted, would merely promote illiteracy and accelerate the already scandalously rapid nosedive of the average intelligence level in our society.

Niss Moses would have us totally revamp the English language to suit bler purposes. If, for instance, we are to substitute "person" for "white," where are we to stop? If we were to follow Niss Moses' ideas to their logical conclusion, we would have to conclude that ble would like to see small blackeys and whiteys playing the game of "Hangperson" and reading the story of "Snow Person and the Seven Dwarfs." And would ble have us rewrite history to say, "Don't shoot until you see the persons of their eyes"? Will pundits and politicians henceforth issue person papers? Will we now have egg yolks and egg persons? And pledge allegiance to the good old Red, Person, and Blue? Will we sing, "I'm dreaming of a person Christmas"? Say of a frightened white, "Whe's person as a sheet!"? Lament the increase of person-collar crime? Thrill to the chirping of bobpersons in our gardens? Ask a friend to person the table while we go visit the persons'room? Come off it, Niss Moses-don't personwash our language!

What conceivable harm is there in such beloved phrases as "No white is an island," "Dog is white's best friend," or "White's inhumanity to white"? Who would revise such classic book titles as Bronob Jacowski's The Ascent of White or Eric Steeple Bell's Whites of Mathematics? Did the poet who wrote "The best-laid plans of mice and whites gang aft agley" believe that blacks' plans gang ne'er agley? Surely not! Such phrases are simply metaphors: everyone can see beyond that. Whe who interprets them as reinforcing racism must have a perverse desire to feel oppressed.

"Personhandling" the language is a habit that not only Niss Moses but quite a few others have taken up recently For instance, Nrs. Delilah Buford has urged that we drop the useful distinction between "Niss" and "Nrs." (which, as everybody knows, is pronounced "Nissiz," the reason for which nobody knows!). Bler argument is that there is no need for the public to know whether a black is employed or not. Need is, of course, not the point. Ble conveniently sidesteps the fact that there is a tradition in our society of calling unemployed blacks "Niss" and employed blacks "Nrs." Most blacks-in fact, the vast ma jority-prefer it that way. They want the world to know what their employment status is, and for good reason. Unemployed blacks want prospective employers to know they are available, without having to ask embarrassing questions. Likewise, employed blacks are proud of having found a job, and wish to let the world know they are employed. This distinction provides a sense of security to all involved, in that everyone knows where ble fits into the scheme of things.

But Nrs. Buford refuses to recognize this simple truth. Instead, ble shiftily turns the argument into one about whites, asking why it is that whites are universally addressed as "Master," without any differentiation between employed and unemployed ones. The answer, of course, is that in America and other Northern societies, we set little store by the employment status of whites, Nrs. Buford can do little to change that reality, for it seems to be tied to innate biological differences between whites and blacks. Many white-years of research, in fact, have gone into trying to understand why it is that employment status matters so much to black, yet relatively little to whites. It is true that both races have a longer life expectancy if employed, but of course people often do not act so as to maximize their life expectancy. So far, it remains a mystery. In any case, whites and blacks clearly have different constitutional inclinations, and different goals in life. And so I say, Vive na différence!

As for Nrs. Buford's suggestion that both "Niss" and "Nrs." be unified into the single form of address "Ns." (supposed to rhyme with "fizz"), all I have to say is, it is arbitrary and clearly a thousand years ahead of its time. Mind you, this "Ns. " is an abbreviation concocted out of thin air: it stands for absolutely nothing. Who ever heard of such toying with language? And while we're on this subject, have you yet run across the recently founded Ns. magazine, dedicated to the concerns of the "liberated black"? It's sure to attract the attention of a trendy band of black airheads for a little while, but serious blacks surely will see through its thin veneer of slick, glossy Madison Avenue approaches to life.

Nrs. Buford also finds it insultingly asymmetric that when a black is employed by a white, ble changes bler firmly name to whis firmly name. But what's so bad about that? Every firm's core consists of a boss (whis job is to make sure long-term policies are well charted out) and a secretary (bler job is to keep corporate affairs running smoothly on a day-to-day basis). They are both equally important and vital to the firm's success. No one disputes this. Beyond them there may of course be other firmly members. Now it's quite obvious that all members of a given firm should bear the same firmly name-otherwise, what are you going to call the firm's products? And since it would be nonsense for the boss to change whis name, it falls to the secretary to change bler name. Logic, not racism, dictates this simple convention.

What puzzles me the most is when people cut off their nose to spite their faces. Such is the case with the time-honored colored suffixes "oon" and "roon," found in familiar words such as ambassadroon, stewardoon, and sculptroon. Most blacks find it natur al and sensible to add those suffixes onto -nouns such as "aviator" or "waiter." A black who flies an airplane may proudly proclaim, "I'm an aviatroon!" But it would sound silly, if not ridiculous, for a black to say of blerself, "I work as a waiter." On the other hand, who could object to my saying that the lively Ticely Cyson is a great actroon, or that the hilarious Quill Bosby is a great comedioon? You guessed it-authoroons such as Niss Mildred Hempsley and Nrs. Charles White, both of whom angrily reject the appellation "authoroon," deep though its roots are in our language. Nrs. White, perhaps one of the finest poetoons of our day, for some reason insists on being known as a "poet." It leads on to wonder, is Nrs. White ashamed of being black, perhaps? I should hope not. White needs Black, and Black needs White, and neither race should feel ashamed.

Some extreme negrists object to being treated with politeness and courtesy by whites. For example, they reject the traditional notion of "Negroes first," preferring to open doors for themselves, claiming that having doors opened for them suggest implicitly that society considers them inferior. Well, would they have it the other way? Would these incorrigible grousers prefer to open doors for whites? What do blacks want?

Another unlikely word has recently become a subject of controversy: "blackey." This is, of course, the ordinary term for black children (including teenagers), and by affectionate extension it is often applied to older blacks. Yet, incredible though it seems, many blacks-even teen-age blackeys-now claim to have had their "consciousness raised," and are voguishly skittish about being called "blackeys." Yet it's as old as the hills for blacks employed in the same office to refer to themselves as "the office blackeys," And for their superior to call them "my blackeys" helps make the ambiance more relaxed and comfy for all. It's hardly the mortal insult that libbers claim it to be. Fortunately, most blacks are sensible people and realize that mere words do not demean; they know it's how they are used that counts. Most of the time, calling a black-especially an older black-a "blackey" is a thoughtful way of complimenting bler, making bler feel young, fresh, and hirable again. Lord knows, I certainly wouldn't object if someone told me that I looked whiteyish these days!

Many young blackeys go through a stage of wishing they had been born white. Perhaps this is due to popular television shows like Superwhite and Batwhite, but it doesn't really matter. It is perfectly normal and healthy. Many of our most successful blacks were once tomwhiteys and feel no shame about it. Why should they? Frankly, I think tomwhiteys are often the cutest little blackeys-but that's just my opinion. In any case, Niss Moses (once again) raises a ruckus on this score, asking why we don't have a corresponding word for young whiteys who play blackeys' games and generally manifest a desire to be black. Well, Niss Moses, if this were a common phenomenon, we most assuredly would have such a word, but it just happens not to be. Who can say why? But given that tomwhiteys are a dime a dozen, it's nice to have a word for them. The lesson is that White must learn to fit language to reality; White cannot manipulate the world by manipulating mere words. An elementary lesson, to be sure, but for some reason Niss Moses and others of bler ilk resist learning it.

Shifting from the ridiculous to the sublime, let us consider the Holy Bible. The Good Book is of course the source of some of the most beautiful language and profound imagery to be found anywhere. And who is the central character of the Bible? I am sure I need hardly remind you; it is God. As everyone knows, Whe is male and white, and that is an indisputable fact. But have you heard the latest joke promulgated by tasteless negrists? It is said that one of them died and went to Heaven and then returned. What did ble report? "I have seen God, and guess what? Ble's female!" Can anyone say that this is not blasphemy of the highest order? It just goes to show that some people will stoop to any depths in order to shock. I have shared this "joke" with a number of friends of mine (including several blacks, by the way), and, to a white, they have agreed that it sickens them to the core to see Our Lord so shabbily mocked. Some things are just in bad taste, and there are no two ways about it. It is scum like this who are responsible for some of the great problems in our society today, I am sorry to say.

Well, all of this is just another skirmish in the age-old Battle of the Races, I guess, and we shouldn't take it too seriously. I am reminded of words spoken by the great British philosopher Alfred West Malehead in whis commencement address to my alma secretaria the University of North Virginia: "To enrich the language of whites is, certainly, to enlarge the range of their ideas." I agree with this admirable sentiment wholeheartedly. I would merely point out to the overzealous that there are some extravagant notions about language that should be recognized for what they are: cheap attempts to let dogmatic, narrow minds enforce their views on the speakers lucky enough to have inherited the richest, most beautiful and flexible language on earth, a language whose traditions run back through the centuries to such deathless poets as Milton, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Walt Whitwhite, and so many others... Our language owes an incalculable debt to these whites for their clarity of vision and expression, and if the shallow minds of bandwagon-jumping negrists succeed in destroying this precious heritage for all whites of good will, that will be, without any doubt, a truly female day in the history of Northern White.

 
 

***

 

Any comments you might have for Xerxes
can be sent to Hud[dot]Hudson[at]wwu[dot]edu.
I will see to it that she receives them.

***
 
 
Xerxes' Fourth Year
 
 
Last week Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters
The week before Xerxes was reading William Butler Yeats's He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan Swift's The Battle of the Books
The week before Xerxes was reading Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air
The week before Xerxes was reading Niccolo Machiavelli's Letter to Francesco Vettori
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry David Thoreau's Life Without Principle
The week before Xerxes was reading Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
The week before Xerxes was reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure
The week before Xerxes was reading George Orwell's Animal Farm
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals
The week before Xerxes was reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince
The week before Xerxes was reading Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The week before Xerxes was reading Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature
The week before Xerxes was reading Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly
The week before Xerxes was reading Virginia Woolf's The Waves
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth
 
 
Xerxes' Third Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's A Dog's Tale
The week before Xerxes was reading Jean Anouilh's Becket
The week before Xerxes was reading James Goldman's The Lion in Winter
The week before Xerxes was reading Antonia Michaelis's Tiger Moon
The week before Xerxes was reading Pär Lagerkvist's The Dwarf, Barabbas, and The Sibyl
The week before Xerxes was reading Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love
The week before Xerxes was reading Robin Robertson's Mortification
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's Lucifer and Mephistopheles
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's The Devil and Satan
The week before Xerxes was reading Toni Morrison's Beloved
The week before Xerxes was reading Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry James's The Turn of the Screw
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's The Prince of Darkness
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander McCall Smith's 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom
The week before Xerxes was reading Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon
The week before Xerxes was reading Huston Smith and Philip Novak's Buddhism
The week before Xerxes was reading Michael Sells's Approaching the Qur'an
The week before Xerxes was reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Prothero's Religious Literacy
The week before Xerxes was reading Darby Conley's The Dog is Not a Toy
The week before Xerxes was reading T. Cathcart and D. Klein's Plato and a Platypus
The week before Xerxes was reading Rainer Maria Rilke's Stories of God
The week before Xerxes was reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes
The week before Xerxes was reading Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame of Paris
The week before Xerxes was reading Leonard Nimoy's I Am Spock
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shatner's Up Till Now
The week before Xerxes was reading Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil
The week before Xerxes was reading Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell
The week before Xerxes was reading Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher Hitchens's God is not Great
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Larkin's The Less Deceived
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King
The week before Xerxes was reading Voltaire's Candide
The week before Xerxes was reading Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Boy in Darkness
The week before Xerxes was reading A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's The Tempest
The week before Xerxes was reading Owen Gingerich's God's Universe
The week before Xerxes was reading Jack Fincher's Lefties
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Children's Hour
The week before Xerxes was reading John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces
The week before Xerxes was reading Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn and A Fine and Private Place
The week before Xerxes was reading Yann Martel's Life of Pi
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game
The week before Xerxes was reading William F. May's A Catalogue of Sins
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry Fairlie's The Seven Deadly Sins Today
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's Ficciones
 
 
Xerxes' Second Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Gioconda Belli's Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday
The week before Xerxes was reading Dante Alighieri's Purgatorio
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves
The week before Xerxes was reading Steven Schwartz's The Seven Deadly Sins
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs
The week before Xerxes was reading Sy Safransky's Four in the Morning and Sunbeams
The week before Xerxes was reading Daniel Levitin's This is Your Brain on Music
The week before Xerxes was reading Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam
The week before Xerxes was reading Paul Woodruff's Reverence
The week before Xerxes was reading Richard Yates's Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
The week before Xerxes was reading Marilynne Robinson's Gilead
The week before Xerxes was reading Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass
The week before Xerxes was reading Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy's Who the Hell is Pansy O'Hara?
The week before Xerxes was reading William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel
The week before Xerxes was reading Edward Gorey's Amphigorey: Fifteen Books
The week before Xerxes was reading Cornelius Plantinga's Not the Way It's Supposed to Be
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's A Cure for the Blues
The week before Xerxes was reading Herman Melville's Moby Dick
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy
The week before Xerxes was reading Frederick Buechner's Godric and The Alphabet of Grace
The week before Xerxes was reading Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung's Portraits of Vice
The week before Xerxes was reading Paul Johnson's Intellectuals
The week before Xerxes was reading David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man
The week before Xerxes was reading Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology
The week before Xerxes was reading Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants
The week before Xerxes was reading Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
The week before Xerxes was reading Ingmar Bergman's Images: My Life in Film
The week before Xerxes was reading William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault
The week before Xerxes was reading Anonymous's Everyman
The week before Xerxes was reading Eugene Field's Little Boy Blue
 The week before Xerxes was reading David Maine's Fallen
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephenie Meyers's Twilight and New Moon
The week before Xerxes was reading Gordy Slack's The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything
The week before Xerxes was reading Nicole Krauss's The History of Love
The week before Xerxes was reading Wallace Stevens's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
The week before Xerxes was reading The Dalai Lama's An Open Heart
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's As You Like It
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Macbeth
The week before Xerxes was reading Jelaluddin Rumi's The Essential Rumi
The week before Xerxes was reading Harold Bloom's Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?
The week before Xerxes was reading Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
The week before Xerxes was reading Leo Tolstoy's The Devil
The week before Xerxes was reading Colin McGinn's Shakespeare's Philosophy
The week before Xerxes was reading Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World
The week before Xerxes was reading Martin Buber's I and Thou, Meetings, and The Way of Man
 

Xerxes' First Year
 

The week before Xerxes was reading Allan Chinen's Once Upon a Midlife
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's St Francis of Assisi
The week before Xerxes was reading Jean Toomer's Cane
The week before Xerxes was reading Ikhwān al-Safā's The Animals' Lawsuit against Humanity
The week before Xerxes was reading Patrick Süskind’s Perfume
The week before Xerxes was reading Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark
The week before Xerxes was reading John Milton's Paradise Regained
The week before Xerxes was reading Dylan Thomas's The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel
The week before Xerxes was reading Gore Vidal's Creation
The week before Xerxes was reading A.S. Byatt's Possession
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce
The week before Xerxes was reading Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven
 The week before Xerxes was reading Dennis Potter's Blackeyes
The week before Xerxes was reading David Suzuki and Wayne Grady's Tree: A Life Story
The week before Xerxes was reading James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's Theroux Metaphrastes
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Titus Alone
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan
The week before Xerxes was reading Walter de la Mare's The Three Royal Monkeys
The week before Xerxes was reading John Collier's His Monkey Wife
The week before Xerxes was reading Lois Lowry's The Giver
The week before Xerxes was reading Rudyard Kipling's Mandalay
The week before Xerxes was reading Ralph Helfer's Modoc
The week before Xerxes was reading Stuart McLean's Home From the Vinyl Cafe
 The week before Xerxes was reading Ossie Davis's Purlie Victorious
The week before Xerxes was reading George MacDonald's The Portent
The week before Xerxes was reading Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead
The week before Xerxes was reading Michael Phillips's George MacDonald - A Biography
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel
The week before Xerxes was reading Gordon Lightfoot's Minstrel of the Dawn
The week before Xerxes was reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert Graves's I Claudius
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Ardagh's A House Called Awful End
 The week before Xerxes was reading John Milton's Paradise Lost
 The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Mr Pye
The week before Xerxes was reading J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The week before Xerxes was reading Riff Raff and Magenta's The Time Warp
 The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens
 The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion
The week before Xerxes was reading e.e. cummings's anyone lived in a pretty how town
The week before Xerxes was reading Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's A Preface to Paradise Lost
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephanie Plowman's The Road to Sardis
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat
The week before Xerxes was reading Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective
The week before Xerxes was reading T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The week before Xerxes was reading Matthew Scully's Dominion
The week before Xerxes was reading Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray
The week before Xerxes was reading the Prologue in Heaven from Goethe's Faust
The week before Xerxes was reading Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market