Posted: Jan 17, 2023 4:48 am
by Spearthrower
don't get me started wrote:
The above mentioned Banks SF novels have two books with titles drawn directly from Eliot's masterpiece.
Consider Phlebas & Look to Windward. I've often wondered why he chose those two quotes in particular.

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                   A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                                   Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

My guess is it's something to do with hubris as these two books are about the violent clash and consequences of the Idiran and the Culture, two star spanning behemoths whose lofty arrogance (particularly the Culture) brings them to the brink of their own annihilation (actually and figuratively respectively), with Phlebas acting as an Ozymandias style warning.