[Ebook] ➨ The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare By G.K. Chesterton – Prestigelakesidehabitat.info

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare G K Chesterton S Surreal Masterpiece Is A Psychological Thriller That Centers On Seven Anarchists In Turn Of The Century London Who Call Themselves By The Names Of The Days Of The Week Chesterton Explores The Meanings Of Their Disguised Identities In What Is A Fascinating Mystery And, Ultimately, A Spellbinding AllegoryAs Jonathan Lethem Remarks In His Introduction, The Real Characters Are The Ideas Chesterton S Nutty Agenda Is Really Quite Simple To Expose Moral Relativism And Parlor Nihilism For The Devils He Believes Them To Be This Wouldn T Be Interesting At All, Though, If He Didn T Also Show Such Passion For Giving The Devil His Due He Animates The Forces Of Chaos And Anarchy With Every Ounce Of Imaginative Verve And Rhetorical Force In His Body The Man Who Was Thursday reads like P.G Wodehouse writing from a Phillip K Dick plot while on a Nyquil bender It begins with two poets arguing in the park about whether poetry isakin to law or anarchy It turns out that the poet espousing anarchy is actually a member of an anarchist soceity and takes Syme, the other poet, to their meeting place to prove it after a vow of secrecy Syme is actually a member of an anti anarchy branch of Scotland Yard and usurps Gregory s spot as the new Th The Man Who Was Thursday reads like P.G Wodehouse writing from a Phillip K Dick plot while on a Nyquil bender It begins with two poets arguing in the park about whether poetry isakin to law or anarchy It turns out that the poet espousing anarchy is actually a member of an anarchist soceity and takes Syme, the other poet, to their meeting place to prove it after a vow of secrecy Syme is actually a member of an anti anarchy branch of Scotland Yard and usurps Gregory s spot as the new Thursday in the Council.Gabriel Symes tells the story of his own recruitment into Scotland Yard by a philosopher policeman and goes on to infiltrate the Council of Days, each one taking the name of a day of the week.None of the Council members are what they seemed at first glance About halfway through, I was convinced none of them were actually anarchists.I m a little torn between whether I like this better than The Napoleon of Notting Hill They probably really shouldn t be compared since they re different kinds of books They say that LSD was first synthesisterised in 1938, so it couldn t be that But opium was imbibed in British society as we know from Thomas de Quincy up to Sherlock Holmes, so I m going with opium.This strange novel is a phantasmagoria which begins as a surrealistic spoof of Boy s Own detective adventures in which our hero infiltrates the central council of the evil anarchists who are bent on destroying human society Gatheringabsurd elements elephant chases through central London, medi They say that LSD was first synthesisterised in 1938, so it couldn t be that But opium was imbibed in British society as we know from Thomas de Quincy up to Sherlock Holmes, so I m going with opium.This strange novel is a phantasmagoria which begins as a surrealistic spoof of Boy s Own detective adventures in which our hero infiltrates the central council of the evil anarchists who are bent on destroying human society Gatheringabsurd elements elephant chases through central London, medieval dance raves , it ends up as some kind of incoherent religious parable The only sense I could make of it was that the message is Hindu all of the world is divine, all of the world is God, all of the world is God dancing joyously with herself That s about it, if anyone can nail it downthan that, I m all ears.As I read this, two things struck me, aside from thinking GK Chesterton s cocoa had been spiked with acid I thought of an Arthur Penn movie from 1966 called The Chase, which begins conventionally and gets weirder and wilder as it progresses must see that one again And I thought that I ve never come across so many beards in a single novel maybe GK was a male facial hair fetishist every character, and they re ALL men, has their beard or lack of beard carefully noted, so many beards there are that each time I opened my copy I thought I heard sociologists singing folk songs.In one word bonkers What What the hell did I just read Anarchists and poets That part was deliciously, rebelliously fun to read No doubt this is a novel idea and Chesterton s imagination is superb The first 30 40 pages were awesome and I thought this could be my next 5 star rating As I began to read this book enthralled I found myself smiling frequently, laughing often, and being thoroughly impressed.Then I found myself lost in an absurdist, magical realism murky realm of steam punk whatthehell And then the What What the hell did I just read Anarchists and poets That part was deliciously, rebelliously fun to read No doubt this is a novel idea and Chesterton s imagination is superb The first 30 40 pages were awesome and I thought this could be my next 5 star rating As I began to read this book enthralled I found myself smiling frequently, laughing often, and being thoroughly impressed.Then I found myself lost in an absurdist, magical realism murky realm of steam punk whatthehell And then the ending a steaming hot cup of damnedifIknowwhatthehellhewasgettingatsomekindofChristianallegory.Chesterton s mastery of the English language, his rare skill at irony and his insidious ability to turn a phrase are on shining display in this 1908 publication There are likely English professors out there who will say this was the best thing since macaroni and cheese.But not me A sure fire cure for writer s block.Now, my opium toking friend, you are on the road to writing a classic, time tested piece of literature that ll influence writers for decades to come.It s difficult to give any sort of concrete plot synopsis without major spoilers, but, Gabriel Syme, a police detective recruited by odd means into an anti terrorist squad, infiltrates a band of seven anarchists all named after the days of the week Sunday is the leader Mr Syme is now Thursday.Wacky surreal nihi A sure fire cure for writer s block.Now, my opium toking friend, you are on the road to writing a classic, time tested piece of literature that ll influence writers for decades to come.It s difficult to give any sort of concrete plot synopsis without major spoilers, but, Gabriel Syme, a police detective recruited by odd means into an anti terrorist squad, infiltrates a band of seven anarchists all named after the days of the week Sunday is the leader Mr Syme is now Thursday.Wacky surreal nihilistic hijinks ensue.Like many books written around this time, The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday Still with me, Goodreader , attempts to take on a slice of the times, in this case anarchism Chesterton also throws in an occasional religious epiphany and a WTF I don t remember this from Sunday School ending.Despite some mind bending elements, this is a nice tongue in cheek adventure, loaded with wit and quotable passages the chapter where the protagonists are pursued by a mob is especially memorable Reading it, reminded me of a decent episode of the Avengers.This was a buddy read with the Pantsless opium smoking den of non crunchy anarchists.File this one under wacky literary classics that don t suck but will leave you scratching your head Humanity crushed once again 50 dead, 120 injured Grave face of terror strikes again Familiar headlines scream through the pages of the newspapers each time a bomb goes off annihilating blameless lives Through teeth gritting resilience, public outcry resonates through the deafened ears of failed intelligence and faith in the state s law and order hangs by a thin string As the weeks pass by rapid sketches of the alleged bombers, email links, forensic reports, collected evidence from theHumanity crushed once again 50 dead, 120 injured Grave face of terror strikes again Familiar headlines scream through the pages of the newspapers each time a bomb goes off annihilating blameless lives Through teeth gritting resilience, public outcry resonates through the deafened ears of failed intelligence and faith in the state s law and order hangs by a thin string As the weeks pass by rapid sketches of the alleged bombers, email links, forensic reports, collected evidence from the attacked ground and pictures of rehabilitating victims are splashed across the dailies If by any chance the investigation comes through, anonymous visages covered with black rags are photographed outside the courtroom, readied for trial procedures, which may go on for months, maybe even years As the days go by, life returns to normalcy yes It is a tricky word everything is forgotten and the news fade until once again humanity is crushed by another dastardly attack The analytical carnival starts once again This is the time I dearly wish we had philosophical policemen just like Chesterton describes in his book Policemen officers of law , who would discover the book of sonnets and verses from where the crimes will be committed those that recognize the intricate web of intellectual crimes The derivation of dreadful thoughts the human mind, so malicious and calculating camouflaged within an affluent, composed and erudite exterior It is that very egocentric brainpower which churns out sadistic alterations from harmless verses and then picks vulnerable actors to craft that design into realismEvil philosopher is not trying to alter things but to annihilate themThis book isthan a mere plot of undercover detectives and their clandestine exploration of the Secret anarchist Councilmen Chesterton pens that a small time criminal isof a good person His aim is to eradicated only a certain obstacle and not annihilate the edifice What caught my eye in one of the chapters was the elucidation of stereotyping poverty to rebellious festeringYou ve got that eternal idiotic ides that if anarchy came it would come from the poor Why should it The poor been rebels, but they have never been anarchists they haveinterest than anyone else in there being some decent government The poor man really has a stake in the country The rich man hasn t he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly the rich have always objected to being governed at all Aristocrats are always anarchists as you can see from the baron s wars.When a bomber or an active terrorist is caught, he mostly turns out to be from an impoverished background, where his ravenous mind and mislaid faith is manipulated to find refuge in an illusionary godly abode These are mere actors for crying out loud, chosen by the scheming selfish elements who are coward enough to remain behind the backstage curtains The affluent as elucidated in this narration are the ones to be feared They have an abundance of monetary resources, have sheltering capacity in far away lands, if need be and have a mind that concocts the unexpected Where do you think the enormous funds come for fertilizing terror I do not want elucidate detailed reports of various pathways of monetary funds wired to definite cults or charitable institutions that ultimately fund the immoral actions But, the currency sure is not a bequest from the poor or some excise complements from our paychecks The respective courtesy comes from those societal fundamentals that remain unscathed or unfazed by decree Who do you suppose manages the advanced scientific technologies in various bombing devices The knowledgeable elite, isn t it The erudite or should I say the cr me de la cr me of religious preachers who instead of spreading peace and equality manipulates vulnerable populace digging their raw wounds every time through words that revolt in their bleeding wounds I could go on and on, as it angers me to see such naivety among the elements of law and order or purposefully turning a blind eye on the so called modernists who may be responsible in concocting the ongoing mayhem of lawlessness Why couldn t there be some philosophical policemen here in India or any place that incessantly plays the role of a powerless victim Chapter 4 The Tale of the Detective is the deciding chapter that outlines infinitesimal details of who Gabriel Syme really is Syme sneaks his way into a clandestine council of seven men, each named after a day of the week Syme becomes the inevitable Thursday though a pact he made with Lucian Gregory ,a poet and a true anarchist Fear catches with Syme as his path deepens into the sinister world of the other six council men the President being the most feared of all Chesterton throws a light on various aspects of fear that thrives within and outside us We rebel against the only side that corrupts us What makes a mutineer and destroy the very notion of survival We try and run from fear and pain, until one eventually catches up and makes us susceptible to uncouth rudiments that shelter our mental nakedness It is the most treacherous survival, if every time we need proof of familiarity to feel safe When fear caught up with Syme suffocating his senses, he would feel protected only if a blue card a source of identification given to every policemen in England was shown to him How vulnerable was Syme to live in a world of treachery and deceit Makes me think of all the trepidation we feel every time we walk outside our homes or travel the security checks, the sense of familiarity that we seek in bloodcurdling situations, the proof of safety that we search or reveal spins a web of utter vulnerability that looms within the safest corners of our thoughts The Man Who Was Thursday is a treasure that needs to be dug up by reading between the lines of a puzzling narrative to know what Chesterton is really sayingRevolt in its abstract can be revolting It is like vomiting Lastly, if everything leads to God and when nature if dissected reveals the face of God, then should I assume that evil is illusionary Is malevolence the creation of couple menacing minds If God means endurance then why is such mutinous extermination carried in God s name after all A man s brain is a bomb, he cried out, loosening suddenly his strange passion and striking his own skull with violence My brain feels like a bomb, night and day It must expand It must expand A man s brain must expand, if it breaks up the universe Gabriel Syme attends a dinner party of his friend, the poet Lucian Gregory He is there under a pretense of friendship, but his true intention is to find out if his friend can be his entry into joining a group of anarchists You see, Gabriel A man s brain is a bomb, he cried out, loosening suddenly his strange passion and striking his own skull with violence My brain feels like a bomb, night and day It must expand It must expand A man s brain must expand, if it breaks up the universe Gabriel Syme attends a dinner party of his friend, the poet Lucian Gregory He is there under a pretense of friendship, but his true intention is to find out if his friend can be his entry into joining a group of anarchists You see, Gabriel Symewas not merely a detective who pretended to be a poet he was really a poet who had become a detectiveThere might be some assumptions that the best way to infiltrate an anarchy group is by hanging out in dive bars, brothels, and dens of inequity my favorite where the disgruntled, unwashed masses would gather, but Syme is muchsuited to mingling with the intellectual set These men of high ideals might see anarchy in a romantic light and prove to be as dangerous in their naivete as the man, scarred by life, looking to get even with a government for ill treatment or with a society who chose to ignore himThe ordinary detective goes to pot houses to arrest thieves we go to artistic tea parties to detect pessimists.The ordinary detective discovers from a ledger or a diary that a crime has been committed We discover from a book of sonnets that a crime will be committed We have to trace the origin of those dreadful thoughts that drive men on at last to intellectual fanaticism and intellectual crime Syme, purposely, pushes his friend Traps him really, into feeling a need to prove to Syme that he is a true anarchist and not just a man of radical thought incapable of deed Syme tries to reassure Gregory s pretty sister that all will be fine She feels her brother may have said too muchNow, sometimes a man like your brother really finds a thing he does mean It may be only a half truth, quarter truth, tenth truth but then he saysthan he means from sheer force of meaning it I d like to know how many times I ve said something that sounds clever, but logically is full of holes Someone pops off with some dismissive comment, and the next thing I know, I m scrambling to defend a thought that was barely a concept to begin with I m bailing water out of the boat and trying to patch the bottom at the same time, but I m too stubborn to just let it go because I know the seed of the idea was something worth defending So we do wonder if Gregory has any real idea of what true anarchy is or is he just a bored poet who finds the whole idea of belonging to a bomb throwing organization exciting In other words, is he a true believer or an annoying, bombastic, romantic moron For the purposes of our hero Syme, it may not matter The young man turns out to have a legitimate connection to a group of anarchists who each go by a name of the week Gregory is intent on becoming Thursday, but Syme convinces the group to add him to their network instead of his friend He deftly gets what he wants and at the same time puts his friend out of harm s way Syme is a rebel against rebellion which is really, if truth be known, what I am as well I don t want the general social order to be disrupted Usually the people who die when a bomb is exploded are just normal, hardworking people who are picking up food for dinner, or dancing with some friends, or going to work Their deaths are meaningless, except for the fact that their death provides a number that will have terrorists giving each other high fives and politicians wringing their hands So I m against anarchy because all it does is destabilize society in an attempt to replace a government with a new government that would quickly resemble the old government Besides bombs, gunfire, rape, murder, and all that screaming tends to disrupt my reading time.G K Chesterton was a serious man passionately interested in the occult, theology, and philosophy Usually when I see those three branches of study all attached to the same individual, I think to myself that this was a person questing to understand the mysteries of life The interesting thing about this book is you can read it on a multitude of levels and still enjoy the book You can see it as a metaphysical thriller or as sarcastic political intrigue or as commentary on a society searching for god in all the wrong places The power in the anarchist group rests with the man Sunday, who intimidates the rest of the members He is a large man or does he just seem to expand when he needs to make a point His eyes are blue, blue as the sky His hair is snow white, like the peaks of the highest mountains As the plot turns fantastical, he takes on a supernatural aspect that leaves this reader wondering if he was the god, or a god, or just a man touched by god Of course, it all becomes comical as one after the other, the members of this anarchist society, turn out to be someone other than what they pretended to be I mentioned philosophy how about this for something to ponder Listen to me, cried Syme with extraordinary emphasis Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world It is that we have only known the back of the world We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal That is not a tree, but the back of a tree That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face If we could only get round in front There is also intrigue Syme is finally relaxing in the belief that he has lost a man who has been tailing him all over the cityWhen he had been seated for about half a minute, he heard behind him a sort of heavy asthmatic breathing Turning sharply, he saw rising gradually higher and higher up the omnibus steps a top hat soiled and dripping with snow, and under the shadow of its brim the short sighted face and shaking shoulders of Professor de WormsChesterton was a large man standing 6 4 and weighing 286 pounds.There is no doubt in my mind that G K Chesterton was brilliant, quite possibly a renaissance man in his desire to understand everything His prose is at times exquisitely glistening with honey dipped poetry The book can be confusing with twists and turns madedifficult with an overlay of nightmarish fantasy I wish I d been able to read it in one sitting so I could keep the reins of the many divergent thoughts firmly held in my hands like a team of prancing Lipizzan horses This is a fascinating book that deserves to be readthan once, and without a doubt I d be closer to understanding exactly what Chesterton was intending thetimes I read it My copy of the book will be slid back on the shelf very gently in case there are any bold ideas or a stray piece of dynamite that could roll out on the floor at my feet Both are equally dangerous, and I m simply not as fast on my feet as I used to be If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Mr Syme Yes sir You wished to make your report in person Yes sir Not in writing This is most irregular Yes sir I had expected that I would be talking to The person to whom you are referring no longer works for our organisation Yes sir May I ask No, you may not Yes sir Well Ah, yes sir Ah, I understand very well that my account may seem a little, ah, unusual, but you must take into account that the Czar is still with us and has not been The Czar Yes sir He has Mr Syme Yes sir You wished to make your report in person Yes sir Not in writing This is most irregular Yes sir I had expected that I would be talking to The person to whom you are referring no longer works for our organisation Yes sir May I ask No, you may not Yes sir Well Ah, yes sir Ah, I understand very well that my account may seem a little, ah, unusual, but you must take into account that the Czar is still with us and has not been The Czar Yes sir He hasn t been exploded At least to the best of my knowledge And why, pray, would the Czar have been exploded Ah, I m sorry sir I had expected that your, ah, your predecessor would have I have received no communication whatsoever from the person in question The whole matter is irregular in the extreme, and I am very far from happy with it Very far indeed, do you understand Yes sir Well, what s this about the Czar There was a plot on his life sir A gang of anarchists A desperate gang I was tasked with infiltrating them And did you succeed Yes sir, I did Well, that s something And who, may I ask, were these desperate men Foreigners Not exactly sir Radicals Ah, not that either sir With one exception, they all turned out to be members of the metropolitan police force You infiltrated an organisation composed entirely of your own colleagues With one exception Yes sir And who was the dangerous exception, that you and your colleagues so diligently neutralised Ah, I m not sure, but I think it was God sir God But He escaped on an elephant An elephant We almost caught Him sir But then He hijacked a balloon A balloon Yes sir I know it sounds a little far fetched sir But as you can see, the Czar is alive and well Mr Syme, have you been drinking No sir Well, perhaps a bottle or two of Burgundy And some Saumur Have you done anything else that may have put you in this, shall we say, unusual state I stayed up rather late last night reading poetry sir The Divine Comedy By Signor Dante It s jolly good stuff Sir Mr Syme, we are both detectives We examine the forensic evidence We use logic and we make deductions Yes sir Do you consider it possible I repeat, possible that you dreamed all this Ah, in fact sir Yes or no Ah, yes sir I can t rule out the possibility that the whole thing was a nightmare induced by reading Dante after a few bottles of good wine But Thank you Mr Syme, that will be all for now But sir I said that will be all Dismissed Gilbert Keith Chesterton s own life stories were every bit as madcap and zany as this book is I ll tell you a bit , if you likeOne day, during his days of his minence grise litt raire the days late in his unbuttoned life of entre deux guerres we find him on his own madcap mystery tour on the de rigeur readings and signings circuit The total stress and if this is Friday it must be Paris kaleidoscopic feeling of it all, must have overwhelmed this poor, usually windbaggish bonhomme Gilbert Keith Chesterton s own life stories were every bit as madcap and zany as this book is I ll tell you a bit , if you likeOne day, during his days of his minence grise litt raire the days late in his unbuttoned life of entre deux guerres we find him on his own madcap mystery tour on the de rigeur readings and signings circuit The total stress and if this is Friday it must be Paris kaleidoscopic feeling of it all, must have overwhelmed this poor, usually windbaggish bonhommeFor, totally lost and panic stricken, he cabled his worry wart wife tersely Am in Golders Green Where SHOULD I be Came the prompt longsuffering reply from his wife HOME And, oh, Yes fittingly, THESE are the madcap adventures of a mild mannered Scotland Yard investigator who has stumbled onto an Anarchist plot in Edwardian London, but can t reveal it to anyone Art mirrors life.Substitute terrorist for anarchist , substitute post Brexit for Edwardian London, and you have the makings of a rollicking good yarn.And Chesterton delivers Being Catholic, he has an acutely suspicious eye for pure evil which sobriquet precisely fits this odd and ornery assortment of bad guys And he expertly holds our attention to the end, a d nouement which is truly apocalyptic in the best religious sense of the word It has to be that way, you know Because, you know, theour awareness grows, theevil becomes amorphous Part of the scenery But it s there.But that doesn t mean we won t resist it all theBut our resistance sustains and feeds evil.C.S Lewis has noted wisely that evil is by nature parasitic It grows stronger thewe try to be good Why do you think good kids arelikely to be bullied That s the raison d tre for Apocalypse It s like someone calling in the Cosmic Cops.Whether it s an earthly one or a fictional type as here, apocalypse is the only possible eschatological answer to evil that has grown out of all proportion.So here Chesterton is faced with that same type of crime one calling for a Deus ex Machina Modern times, which were really only beginning when he wrote this, had already blurred the lines between good and evil So what does he do He confuses us evenPure poetic license.That was one of his own favourite stock in trades blurring the lines between extremes and absolutes You no longer know which side is Up.He creates such weird and wonderful, baroquely crowded, phantasmagorical stories, all a delightful PARODY of our crazy times.And that s why the stunning apocalyptic conclusion of this novel WORKS It is as fantastic as every changing mood, every twist, every bizarre character in this wonderful story.And what is he telling us That the only result of mass, widespread confusion and anarchy can be Apocalypse But that can be a peaceful, reassuring mini Apocalypse As it is here For in the end, ALL S WELL THAT ENDS WELL Suddenly, everything dulce et decorum est The world returns to its EdenIt is no wonder that Chesterton called this yarn a nightmare but it s a nightmare that s loads of fun, and you know why It s all, every last bit of it, JUST a DREAM A buddy reads with my friends Carmen, Jeff, and Ginger if she ever decides to join.The true rating is 2.5 stars.The plot is impossible to describe All readers agree that this is a psychological thriller This is the only point commonly agreed on In any case the books starts with two poets arguing whether poetry should serve the law or anarchy in other words, a typical first world problem Very quickly we move onto international conspiracy and after this all the way into bizarre and way bey A buddy reads with my friends Carmen, Jeff, and Ginger if she ever decides to join.The true rating is 2.5 stars.The plot is impossible to describe All readers agree that this is a psychological thriller This is the only point commonly agreed on In any case the books starts with two poets arguing whether poetry should serve the law or anarchy in other words, a typical first world problem Very quickly we move onto international conspiracy and after this all the way into bizarre and way beyond Think Alice in Wonderland written while high on heavy drugs I always use this book as a proof that at the time it was published the drugs the mind altering kind were freely available from any pharmacy In my humble opinion Agatha Christie was one of the best mystery writers and was simply unrivaled when it came to complicated fair mysteries It is also my opinion that when it came to international conspiracy spy mysteries The Dame of Mystery always wrote mediocre stuff at best like somebody was ghostwriting for her It turns out G.K Chesterton had exactly the same dubious honor His Father Brown mysteries were interesting with unusual paradoxes His anthology The Man Who Knew Too Much had a fresh approach to a private detective idea His international conspiracy The Man Who Was Thursday was a failure Please do not get me wrong The first two thirds of the book were interesting and amusing enough with some slight religious undertones The last third promptly ended up in bizarre zone with readers head being beaten with a sledgehammer by the religious allusions for those that did not get it earlier I guess.So the book is better than 2 stars, but there is no way it is worth 3 I will take the easy way out and declare it to be 2.5 stars by no means I regret reading this


About the Author: G.K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1874 1936 was born in London, educated at St Paul s, and went to art school at University College London In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 , hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, five plays, five novels, and some two hundred short stories, including a popular series featuring the priest detective, Father Brown In spite of his literary accomplishments, he considered himself primarily a journalist He wrote over 4000 newspaper essays, including 30 years worth of weekly columns for the Illustrated London News, and 13 years of weekly columns for the Daily News He also edited his own newspaper, G.K s Weekly.Chesterton was equally at ease with literary and social criticism, history, politics, economics, philosophy, and theology.


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