Robert Byron (1905-1941), The Road to Oxiana
(London: Picador, 1994), pp. 376-377:
This morning at the Legation I met a Colonel Porter
who asked what my share in the world's work was. I
said I had been looking at Mohammadan architecture.
'Mind you,' he replied, 'I've seen a good deal of
Mohammadan architecture one way and another, in
Palestine, Egypt, and Persia, and I've given a good deal
of thought to the matter. I can tell you the key to the
problem if you like.'
'Really. What is it?'
'The whole thing's phallic,' he uttered in a ghoulish
I was surprised at first to note the influence of Freud
on the North-West Frontier, but soon discovered that
for Colonel Porter the universe itself was phallic.