Issue 2: Oct. – Dec. 2023


Down below, around the villa, all was luminous and grandiose silence, emphasised rather than disturbed by the distant barking of Bendico baiting the gardener’s dog at the far end of the lemon-grove, and by the dull rhythmic beat from the kitchen of a cook’s knife chopping meat for the approaching meal. The sun had absorbed the turbulence of men as well as the harshness of earth. The Prince moved towards the priest’s table, sat down and began drawing pointed little Bourbon lilies with a carefully sharpened pencil which the Jesuit had left behind in his anger. He looked serious but so serene that Father Pirrone no longer felt on tenterhooks.

‘We’re not blind, my dear Father, we’re just human beings. We live in a changing reality to which we try to adapt ourselves like seaweed bending under the pressure of water. Holy Church has been granted an explicit promise of immortality; we, as a social class, have not. Any palliative which may give us another hundred years of life is like eternity to us. We may worry about our children and perhaps our grandchildren; but beyond what we can hope to stroke with these hands of ours we have no obligations. I cannot worry myself about what will happen to any possible descendants in the year 1960. The Church, yes, She must worry, for She is destined not to die. Solace is implicit in Her desperation. Don’t you think that if now or in the future She could save herself by sacrificing us She wouldn’t do so? Of course She would, and rightly.’



Q of the Q is a profound piece of writing that resonates with the general drift of an issue of TWR.

Cover image: A surreal clock; illustration by Farouq Ssebaggala