196 The Enfant Terrible of Literature My Reviewers' Sense of Need My reviewers felt no sense of need to understand me—if they had they would have developed the mental organism which would have enabled them to do so. When the time comes that they want to do so they will throw out a little mental pseudopodium without much difficulty. They threw it out when they wanted to misunderstand me—with a good deal of the pseudo in it, too. The Authoress of the Odyssey The amount of pains which my reviewers have taken to understand this book is not so great as to encourage the belief that they would understand the Odyssey, however much they studied it. Again, the people who could read the Odyssey without coming to much the same conclusions as mine are not likely to admit that they ought to have done so. If a man tells me that a house in which I have long lived is inconvenient, not to say unwholesome, and that I have been very stupid in not finding this out for myself, I should be apt in the first instance to tell him that he knew nothing about it, and that I was quite comfortable; by and by, I should begin to be a\vare that I was not so comfortable as I thought I was, and in the end I should probably make the suggested alterations in my house if, on reflection, I found them sensibly conceived. But I should kick hard at first. Homer and liis Commentators Homeric commentators have been blind so long that nothing will do for them but Homer must be blind too. They have transferred their own blindness to the poet. The Iliad In the Iliad, civilisation bursts upon us as a strong stream out of a rock. We know that the water has gathered from many a distant vein underground, but we do not see these. Or it is like the drawing up the curtain on the opening of a play—the scene is then first revealed.