It was impossible to say whether she was listening or not. She would take her slate pencil in her hand but no amount of coaxing would persuade her to exercise up-strokes or down-strokes and the formation of whole letters was altogether out of the question. If she used her slate at all it was to draw some monstrous beast with ten legs or a face with three eyes and two noses.
One of the best entire novel in a single day instances I've had in a very long while. The downside is the painful wrenching back into accordance with our gray times, given that the rest of the world does not accord with the linguistic tendencies of decadent pre-WWI horror fiction concerned with the unholy androgynous daughter born of the semen of a hanged man and a whore with no "instinctive remnant of the feeling of kinship to society," a daughter whose murderous influence extends only to the ruling classes. And that is a damn shame, 100 years on from the printed appearance of the book.
Hence, to mark its centennial, time for an immediate flooding of the written world order with utterly shameless prose about the "sweet toxin of sin borne aloft by the sirocco." (Not to mention a committed insistence on talking endlessly about body parts and how sexy they are, but doing so - i.e. describing breasts as white kittens "just born, lifting their little pink snouts into the air" - that leaves us quite unclear as to what the hell sex is supposed to be.)