He was one of those delightful, irresponsible, erratic persons whose heads thoughts of this kind do not enter, and who are about as deadly to those whose lives are bound up with theirs as a Upas tree
I shouldn't have given my mind to it again, I hope, if to this prison you had not been brought, and in an hour unfortunate for me, this day!' (In his agitation Young John adopted his mother's powerful construction of sentences.) 'When you first came upon me, sir, in the Lodge, this day, more as if a Upas tree
had been made a capture of than a private defendant, such mingled streams of feelings broke loose again within me, that everything was for the first few minutes swept away before them, and I was going round and round in a vortex.
The argument developed here starts from a more adequate understanding of reality and mobilises the Indonesian upas tree
to symbolise London's relation to Britain.
There is a tree called the upas tree
, beneath and around which nothing else can grow.
The readability of a volume entirely dedicated to the venenatious distillate of the Upas tree
and its lesser arboreal relation, Strychnos nux-vomica, may seem at first blush questionable, but Dr Buckingham's toxicological treatise is as powerful and affecting a concentrate as the specific poison which is its subject.
Perhaps the most intriguing--and most telling--echo in The Bells of Saint Babel's concerns 'The Upas Tree
', one of the last book's 'Four Poems After Pushkin', which modernises the Russian poet's story of the fabled tree that destroyed everything around it.
Darts were made from bamboo, then dipped in a poison made from the sap of the ipoh or upas tree
; Right: a fight between gauchos, Argentina, 1900.
This critique denies the nation's claim to speak for the country as a whole and sees nationalism as a master discourse, the upas tree
in the shadow of which everything shrivels and dies.
In a more recent book, we can read: "There is a fabulous legend that it is deadly merely to sleep in the shade of the upas tree
" (Smith 1997:36).
There was also a sprinkling of ghost and horror tales: "The Girl They Couldn't Hang," "The Upas Tree
." Algernon Blackwood's 1910 story "The Wendigo" was reprinted in a Lilliput of the 1950s.
Checkland's The Upas Tree
(the intriguing title borrowing the name of a tree in Java, reputed to have the power to destroy other growths for a radius of 15 miles), the author describes its relative importance.