The title is a phrase from the fifteen lines of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land quoted after the novel's dedication to a Mrs Gladys Maasdorp "of Southern Rhodesia, for whom I feel the greatest affection and admiration." Found on both lines 354 and 386 of Part V: 'What the Thunder Said', it is one of the more jubilant and reviving images used in that section, despite its theme of destruction's power over growth. Lessing also quotes an anonymous author: "It is by the failures and misfits of a civilization that one can best judge its weaknesses."
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