Saturday, October 31, 2015

superfluous & brevity

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Until we know how the novelist orders his world, the ornaments of that world, which the critics press upon us, the adventures of the writer, to which biographers draw attention, are superfluous possessions of which we can make no use. All alone we must climb upon the novelist's shoulders and gaze through his eyes until we, too, understand in what order he ranges the large common objects upon which novelists are fated to gaze: man and men behind them Nature; and above them that power which for convenience and brevity we may call God.

Definitions:

superfluous:
more than you need or want.

brevity:
the quality of using few words when speaking or writing.



loiter & dally

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

For the book itself remains. However we may wind and wriggle, loiter and dally in our approach to books, a lonely battle waits us at the end.

Definitions:

loiter:
to stand or wait somewhere especially with no obvious reason;

dally:
to take too much time making a decision; to do sth too slowly.

Friday, October 30, 2015

statuesque & hosier

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Will it fix its gaze upon Greece and princes and princesses, and seek as it might so nobly, the statuesque, the impersonal?

He is said to have been a hosier,; but what, after all, was a hosier in the seventeenth century?

Definitions:

statuesque:
tall and beautiful in an impressive way; like a statue;

hosier:
somebody who makes or sells hosiery;

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

amble & doff

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

So slack indeed becomes Sidney's grasp upon these ambling phantoms that in the middle he has forgotten what his relation to them is - is it "I" the author who is speaking or is it "I" the character? No reader can be kept in bondage, whatever the grace and the charm, when the ties between him and the writer are so irresponsibly doffed and assumed.

Definitions:

amble:
to walk at a slow relaxed speed.

doff:
1. to take off a coat or another piece of clothing;
2. to take off or lift and tilt a hat as a greeting or a mark of respect

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

enmesh & recourse

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

We who wished to escape have been caught and enmeshed.

To supply change and movement he must have recourse to mystification.

Definitions:

enmesh:
to involve sb/sth in a bad situation that it is not easy to escape from.

recourse:
1. the act of seeking assistance from somebody or something else in a time of difficulty;
2. ...

snowflake & obliterate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And as the story winds on its way, or rather as the succession of stories fall on each other like soft snowflakes, one obliterating the other, we are much tempted to follow their example. 

Definitions:

snowflake:
a small soft piece of frozen water that falls from the sky as snow.

obliterate:
to remove all signs of sth, either by destroying or covering it completely;

Monday, October 26, 2015

water-spaniel & snuffle

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Sometimes for a moment in looking at Nature one may fit the word to the sight; note the heron "wagling" as it rises from the marsh, or observe the water-spaniel hunting the duck "with a snuffling grace".

Definitions:

water-spaniel:
a dog with a thick curly water-resistant coat, belonging to a breed developed for retrieving game from water.

spaniel:
a dog with large soft ears that hang down. There are several types of spaniel

snuffle:
1. if an animal snuffles, it breathes noisily through its nose, especially while it is smelling sth;
2. to breathe noisily because you have a cold or you are crying;

Saturday, October 24, 2015

featureless & grandeur

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

their featureless faces work with passion; Gynecia, realizing that she loves her daughter's lover, foams into grandeur, "crying vehemently Zelmane help me, O Zelmane have pity on me"; and the old King, in whom the beautiful strange Amazon has awakened a senile amorosity, shows himself old and foolish, looking "very curiously upon himself, sometimes fetching a little skip, as if he had said his strength had not yet forsaken him".

Definitions:

featureless:
without any qualities or noticeable characteristics;

grandeur:
1. the quality of being great and impressive in appearance;
2. the importance or social status sb has or thinks they have;

bastard & foundling

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

we like bastards are laid abroad, even as foundlings, to be trained up by grief and sorrow.

Definitions:

bastard: 
1. a person whose parents were not married to each other when he or she was born;
2. used to insult sb, especially a man, who has been rude, unpleasant or cruel;
...

foundling:
a baby who has been left by its parents and who is found and taken care of by sb else. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

incongruous & taper

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Where his own emotions come suddenly to the surface and light up the vague pastoral landscape with an incongruous glare. For a moment we get a surprising combination; crude daylight overpowers the silver lights of the tapers; shepherds and princesses suddenly stop their warbling and speak a few rapid words in their eager human voices.

Definitions:

incongruous:
strange and not suitable in a particular situation;

taper:
1. a slim candle that is narrower at the top than at the bottom;
2. a strip of wood or waxed paper used for taking a flame to light something else;
...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

satin & reel off

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

even the Princes Musidorus and Pyrocles have passions; Pamela and Philoclea, for all their sea-coloured satins and nets strung with pearls, are women and can love. Thus we stumble upon scenes that cannot be reeled off with a flowing pen;

Definitions:

satin:
a type of cloth with a smooth shiny surface;

reel off:
to list things in rapid succession and with no apparent effort;

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

stateliness & symmetrical

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Beauty of scene; stateliness of movement; sweetness of sound -- these are the graces that seem to reward the mind that seeks enjoyment purely for its own sake.

witness the little tremor that stirs and agitates a sentence that a more formal age would have made coldly symmetrical:

Definitions:

stateliness:
1. an elaborate manner of doing something;
2. impressiveness in scale or proportion;

symmetrical:
having two halves, parts or sides that are the same in size and shape;

Monday, October 19, 2015

pictorial & crystallise

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

There in a little space we have some of the elements that are woven together to compose this vast tapestry. We have beauty of scene; a pictorial stillness; and something floating towards us, not violently but slowly and gently in time to the sweet warbling of the shepherds' voices. Now and again this crystallises into a phrase that lingers and haunts the ear - "and a waste of fire in the midst of the waters'

Definitions:

pictorial:
connected with pictures;

crystallise:
to make thoughts, beliefs, etc. clear and fixed;

coffer & apparel

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is the body of a man, and he grasps to his breast a small square coffer; and he is young and beautiful - "though he were naked, his nakedness was to him an apparel".

Definitions:

coffer:
a large strong box, used in the past for storing money or valuable objects;

apparel:
1. clothes, particularly those worn on a formal occasion;
2. clothing, when it is being sold in shops/stores

Saturday, October 17, 2015

fickle & fitful

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

he has followed profane loves; he has been scornful and fickle and passionate and servile and ambitious.

His devotions themselves were feverish and fitful.

Definitions:

fickle:
changing often and suddenly;

fitful:
happening only for short periods; not continuous or regular;

impediment & close-knit

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Now his imagination, as if freed from impediment, goes rocketing up in flights of extravagant exaggeration. 

But to break off fragments from poems whose virtue lies in their close-knit sinews and their long-breathed strength is to diminish them.

Definitions:

impediment:
1. something that delays or stops the progress;
2...

close-knit:
1. tightly united or connected;
2. having strong relationships with each other and taking a close, friendly interest in each other's activities and problems;

Friday, October 16, 2015

erudition & facet

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:
Indeed, the extreme subtlety and erudition of Donne's poems to his patrons seems to show that one effect of writing for such an audience is to exaggerate the poet's ingenuity.

But a change of inspiration that has killed many poets - witness Tennyson and the Idylls of the King - only stimulated another side of Donne's many-sided nature and many-faceted brain.

Definitions:

erudition:
great academic knowledge;

facet:
1. a particular part or aspect of sth;
2. to cut facets in something, especially a gemstone;

Thursday, October 15, 2015

well-versed & intoxicating

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Lady Bedford must have been a very clever woman, well versed in the finer shades of theology, to derive an instant or an intoxicating pleasure from the praises of her servant.

Definitions:

well-versed (in):
very educated about a particular subject.

intoxicating:
making you feel excited so that you cannot think clearly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

bluestocking & well-bred

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

and it is proof of the respect in which reading was held that a girl of fashion should be able to read an old corrupt poet like Chaucer without feeling that she was making herself a target for ridicule as a bluestocking. The habit was part of a normal and well-bred life.

Definitions:

bluestocking:
a well-educated woman who is more interested in ideas and studying than in traditionally feminine things.

well-bred:
someone who is well bred has been taught good manners and given a good education and is often from a high social class.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

lose sight of & outspoken

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And as we lose sight of the outspoken young man who hated society, and of the passionate lover, seeking some mysterious unity with his love and finding it miraculously, now here, now there, it is natural to abuse the system of patrons and patronage that thus seduced the most incorruptible of men.

Definitions:

lose sight of:
to be unable to see someone or something any more;

outspoken:
saying exactly what you think, even if this shock or offend people;

Sunday, October 11, 2015

flout & assert itself

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is as if the spirit of the age, which he had scorned and flouted, suddenly asserted itself and made this rebel its slave.

Definitions:

flout:
to show that you have no respect for a law, etc. by openly not obeying it.

assert itself:
to start to have an effect.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

affinity & intricacy

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Easy as it is to exaggerate affinities, still we may claim to be akin to Donne in our readiness to admit contrasts, in our desire for openness, in that psychological intricacy which the novelists have taught us with their slow, subtle, and analytic prose.

Definitions:

affinity:
1. a natural liking for or identification with somebody or something;
2. a similarity or connection between people or things;
3. a natural understanding and sympathy between people;
...

intricacy:
1. the complicated parts or details of sth;
2. the character of something that has many aspects or parts arranged together in a particularly complex or artful way;

Friday, October 9, 2015

servile & obsequious

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Thus, after Donne the harsh satirist, and Donne the imperious lover, comes the servile and obsequious figure of Donne the devout servant of the great, the extravagant eulogist of little girls .


Definitions:

servile:
wanting too much to please sb and obey them.

obsequious:
too eager to please someone, in a way that does not seem sincere.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

jerry-built & placate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

They cried, and their cries, cutting through the thin walls of the jerry-built house, disturbed him at his work.

Great ideas - Lady Bedford, Lady Huntingdon, Mrs. Herbert - with well-spread tables and fair gardens, must be conciliated; rich men with the gift of rooms in their possession must be placated.


Definitions:

jerry-built:
built quickly and cheaply without caring about quality or safety;

placate:
to make sb feel less angry about sth

huddle & out-think

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is not simply that the huddle and pressure of youth which out-thinks its words had urged him on too fast for grace or clarity. 

Definitions:

huddle:
1. a small group of people, objects or buildings that are close together, especially when they are not in any particular order;
...

out-think:
outdo in thinking

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

torpid & humdrum

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And Stand still we must. With the first words a shock passes through us; perceptions, previously numb and torpid, quiver into being; the nerves of sight and hearing are quickened; the "bracelet of bright hair" burns in our eyes. 

The world, a moment before, cheerful, humdrum, bursting with character and variety, is consumed. 

Definitions:

torpid:
not active; with no energy or enthusiasm.

humdrum:
boring and always the same.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

despondency & folio

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf
We detect another Harvey lurking behind the superficial Harvey, shading him with doubt and effort and despondency. For, luckily, the commonplace book was small; the margins even of an Elizabethan folio narrow; Harvey was forced to be brief, and because he wrote only for his own eye at the command of some sharp memory or experience he seems to write as if he were talking to himself. 

Definitions:

despondency:
despondent:
sad, without much hope;

folio:
a standard-sized sheet of printing paper folded once to give two leaves or four pages

Friday, October 2, 2015

disinterested & leaning

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf
His passion for poetry was disinterested. His leaning was profound.

Definitions:

disinterested:
not influenced by personal feelings, or by the chance of getting some advantage for yourself.

leaning:
a tendency to prefer sth or to believe in particular ideas, opinions, etc.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

event & as far as I'm concerned

Quotations:

Q&A_2015_ep29
Sam Dastyari: [event; as far as I'm concerned] Look, that's a really matter for them. I can not answer questions on what decisions they do or don't want to take, but, look, the fact is this:the royal commissioner accepted an invitation to attend a Liberal Party event while he was conducting a royal commission into that political party's political opponents. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned that disqualifies him and he should resign.

Definitions:

event:
1. a planned public or social occasion;
2. something that happens, especially something that involves several people;

as far as I'm concerned:
used when you are giving your opinion about something, especially when this may be different from other people's opinions;