Rabelais has a "prediliction for excrement," says Powys in Visions and Revisions. "This also, though few would admit it, is a symbolic secret. This also is a path of initiation. In this peculiarity Rabelais is completely alone among the writers of the earth. Others have, for various reasons, dabbled in this sort of thing -- but none have ever piled it up -- manure-heap upon manure-heap, until the animal refuse of the whole earth seems to reek to the stars! There is not the slightest reason to regret this thing or to expurgate it. Rabelais is not Rabelais, just as life is not life, without it.
'It is indeed the way of "salvation" for certain neurotic natures. Has that been properly understood?"
In 1915 he published those words, suffering regularly from constipation throughout his adult life, this vegetarian who didn't enjoy vegetables; and so he ate bread and milk and other items that tied knots in his bowels until in one memorable section of his autobiography he vomits an interior sewerage. The character of Porius in Porius thirty-six years later (published truncated in 1951 because it was so long, published unabridged in 1994, though note that I read the 1994 version and am only assuming that this appears in the 1951 version as well) will see a heap of excrement standing on the ground during a long scene:
The man who had eased himself there -- and he must have had bowels that badly required easing -- had partially concealed the red-brown heap, of which hosts of coloured flies were already aware, by throwing down a piece of rag upon it; but instead of concealing what he had done to these immemorial cross-ways, sacred to older deities than either Jesus or Mithras, this unhappy Manichean rag emphasized the sacrilege, neither discouraging the flies nor obliterating the disgust.
Shame, but shame exposed and revealed vulnerably, this is very Powysian and there are variations on that idea throughout his books, along with the invocation of mythical figures or notions, these things forced into intimacy with ordinary and often dirty objects, the "older deities than either Jesus or Mithras" being exposed and vulnerabilised here too, I suppose, by implication, majesty not brought low but transformed, or perhaps reformatted.
That note of noticing too, the introduction of excrement into a work of literature being maybe a signal of your willingness to notice, and I would even go so far as to say that it is a sign of your helpless enthusiastic capitulation to the act of noticing, because you are going to point out an object that most other writers will not point out; they will pass over the dung but you will point it out for the world as if to say that noticing must be done, even if it is strange like this, and even if we are noticing the thing that is supposed to silence us with shame until we are "throwing down a piece of rag upon it." We will embarrass ourselves by staring at a flower, says Ruskin, a little fragile temporary flower; we will embarrass ourselves by staring at our crap, says Powys, accepting that lesson from Rabelais. Our dear majestic glittering crap pile.