Howard Jacobson: ‘Happy giants exist only in Disney’

Some things are so outlandish, they outrage not only morality, but also the very principles of harmony that underpin the universe

Some things are just too big. I don’t mean too big for their function, I mean for themselves: aesthetically, ideationally, abstractly, too big.

This thought occurred to me as I was waiting in traffic in Wardour Street, Soho, behind a truck that couldn’t squeeze between two other trucks parked on either side of the road. The driver leapt out – for he was a long way up – in order to fold back the wing mirrors of the other vehicles, and for some reason to check his tailgate. As he trudged back and clambered up, I could see from the weariness in his shoulders that he was thinking the same: too big. I don’t know what he was delivering. It doesn’t matter. Whatever his cargo – iceberg lettuces or grand pianos – ...