"God, what a muck-heap my mind is, thought Tallis."

— Murdoch, Iris (191-1999)

Place of Publication
Chatto & Windus
"God, what a muck-heap my mind is, thought Tallis."
Metaphor in Context
The room was small and narrow and the bed, which stretched along the wall, took up most of it. There were no sheets, but a mound of thin blankets underneath which Tallis slept in winter and on top of which he slept in summer. Books were piled against the other wall. Tallis pulled his legs up and leaned back. He could not think without a table. Better to give up and sleep now. Get up early and finish lecture. Better without a table. Better give up and sleep now. Get up early and finish lecture. Better not thoughts now. Sleep. Unbeing. No point in kneeling down, folding hands, muttering. Self-abasement, prostration, licking the groung and wriggling through. Tears and sex. God, what a muck-heap my mind is, thought Tallis. He closed his eyes and tried to breathe slowly and regularly. Words came without volition, sinking very slowly through his mind like pebbles. Words out of some lost and ancient past. Lighten my darkness. Tiddy pom tiddy pom tiddy pom from up above. The perils and dangers of this night. With his eyes still closed he uncurled his legs and turned over to lie prone upon the bed burying his face in the pillow. That peace which the world cannot give. There was light somewhere, cool precious light, somewhere quite else. The pillow smelt of dust and age and grief. It was an old pillow. It had attended upon life and death and birth and was tired of them all. It had no pillow slip on and it tickled Tallis's nose. Get undressed and turn out the light. Idiotic go sleep like this.
Searching "muckheap" in Google Books
Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat (London: Chatto & Windus, 1970).
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.