For the POTMs that are also part of an informative or entertaining thread, I will indicate such. If the thread is a dead end, I will also indicate such.(That's the plan, anyway)
This is perhaps Bulwer-Lytton's most famous passage:
"It was a dark and stormy night and the rain fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."
I think it is quite clear that Bulwer-Lytton is referring to the the last war against Iraq - which was of course known as Desert Storm. Torrents, in the original, is simply another way of saying "rivers", a natural image for the two great rivers of the Mesopotamia, "the land between the rivers", now known as Iraq.
The rain, of course, refers to "Steel Rain" - the Iraqi name for the multi-launch missile batteries used by the US during that war http://www.ngb.army.mil/gallery/heritage/steelrain.shtml
Clearly, as Desert Storm referred to the US action, the US missile batteries, the "steel rain" had to checked for practical reasons while the wind, the "storm" rushed forward to control the streets and "roads" of the towns and highways at is moved forwards.
Many have been puzzled by the reference to London in this difficult passage, but they have not read it with a heart open to Bulwer-Lytton's true purpose. "London", of course, can mean in common speech the British Government, as you might say, "London approved the invasion." Many have been led astray by trying to read this passage metaphorically rather than finding the true meaning, which is quite straightforward. Does not Bulmer-Lytton make it clear for us - "it is in London that our scene lies. You see? It is in London that we view these events, but that does not mean that they occurred in London. It is a measure of the poetry of this passage that "our scene" alliterates so perfectly with "our CNN." Now we can see the true message of the passage ...
Desert Storm is raining steel on the populated areas of Mesopotamia (Iraq), while we watch it (it is our scene) from London - remember that Bulmer-Lytton was English so it is natural for him to locate the viewer there.)
What of "agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness" - is this not obscure? There can be little doubt that this refers to Israel, the "light unto the gentiles." How fierce it's struggles, how scanty its resources in comparison to its enemies! And how agitated its people at that time of trouble, as missiles reached its cities!
Seen in this light, it is clear that Bulwer-Lytton's great work starts and proceeds as a summary of the great world events that lead to our inevitable end.
If more proof were needed, and only the most hardened skeptic would need more, turn to page 147 and this passage ...
"As the trees rapidly disappeared behind them, the riders entered, at a hand gallop, on a broad tract of waste land ... So briskly leaped the heart of the leader of the three,"
You see now - to what else could "three horsemen" refer?
As I browse the archives, i am finding a few broken links and other obstacles, so these posts will be few and far between. Stay tuned...