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Joined: Thursday, November 29, 2018
Last Visit: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:57:13 AM
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Topic: The Food of the Gods
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:32:24 AM
https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/wells/hg/food/chapter5.html
Topic: The Food of the Gods
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:31:39 AM
From "The Food of the Gods", by H. G. Wells:

"he had no more idea of how to behave under such circumstances than he had of the etiquette of the Day of Judgment. He was still dashing about the flat asking his furniture what he should do."

What is meant by "the etiquette of the Day of Judgment" in that context?
Topic: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019 9:16:48 AM
Romany wrote:

I don't want to dissuade you from reading English books and articles.

But I would advise you that, for now, you stick to modern English.

Books written in the 19thC use a different form of English that is no longer spoken, and often the words and phrases used are no longer even part of the language. Most native speakers - unless they are familiar with the different kinds of English spoken long before they were born - have so much difficutly understanding them that they simply don't even bother!

Even if one painstakingly looks up the meaning of every single unfamiliar word or usage, that doesn't necessarily help because the way they used English was different too; and things that meant something to them have no meaning or relevence to contemporary English.

I'm sure you'll get help with this particular passage by someone who has more time than I do at present. But even then...the whole book is written in this kind of language so you'd have to stop on just about every page to get it "translated" into modern English. It would be a long, slow process and possibly even then, wouldn't help you to understand the book as a whole. While your English learning will be boosted if you read things written in the language we all speak in 2019.


Thanks for the advice :)
Topic: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019 6:52:44 AM
Help is needed :)
Topic: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019 6:48:38 AM
I read the following in "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I":

"A portrait from Mr. Carlyle's portfolio not regretted by any who loved the original, surely confers sufficient distinction to warrant a few words of notice, when the character it depicts is withdrawn from mortal gaze."

Many words are confusing (to me, at least); "confer", "distinction", "warrant" and "mortal gaze".

Does "confer" here mean "grant" or "bestow"?
Does "distinction" mean "Excellence or eminence"?
What does "warrant" and "mortal gaze" mean?

Does the speaker mean that Carlyle praised Erasmus Darwin? or the opposite?


https://charles-darwin.classic-literature.co.uk/the-life-and-letters-of-charles-darwin-volume-i/ebook-page-12.asp
Topic: came to practice
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:19:40 AM
In the earliest mention of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"; John Manningham's Diary:

"A good practice in it [was] to make the Steward believe his Lady . . . in love with him, by counterfeiting a letter as from his Lady in general terms, telling him what she liked best in him, and prescribing his gesture in smiling, his apparel, &c., and then when he came to practice making him belive they took him to be mad."

What is meant by "came to practice" here?
Topic: his Ixion embrace
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 7:04:37 AM
thar wrote:
Well Ixion is a figure in Greek mythology, which readers of the time would know about.

I think the image of an embrace which destroys what it touches fits in with what he did before he got involved with the gods ( Zeus took pity on him and took him in - but then he slept with Zeus' wife. Well, not actually his wife because Zeus made a cloud to look like her, and he got the cloud pregnant. But still, a bad move, seducing Zeus' wife - that was never going to end well!)
He was bound to a fiery wheel and doomed to roll around endlessly on it. But that doesn't seem to have any connection with damaging what you touch, so I think it is the original act that is his 'embrace'.


Quote:
Ixion married Dia, a daughter of Deioneus and promised his father-in-law a valuable present. However, he did not pay the bride price, so Deioneus stole some of Ixion's horses in retaliation. Ixion concealed his resentment and invited his father-in-law to a feast at Larissa. When Deioneus arrived, Ixion pushed him into a bed of burning coals and wood. These circumstances are secondary to the fact of Ixion's primordial act of murder; it could be accounted for quite differently: in the Greek Anthology (iii.12), among a collection of inscriptions from a temple in Cyzicus is an epigrammatic description of Ixion slaying Phorbas and Polymelos, who had slain his mother, Megara, the "great one".[6]

Ixion went mad, defiled by his act; the neighboring princes were so offended by this act of treachery and violation of xenia that they refused to perform the rituals that would cleanse Ixion of his guilt. Thereafter, Ixion lived as an outlaw and was shunned. By killing his father-in-law, Ixion was reckoned the first man guilty of kin-slaying in Greek mythology. That alone would warrant him a terrible punishment.


That is my guess.


Maybe it means this image?!
http://www.jules-elie-delaunay.fr/en/5-history-paintings/8-ixion-precipite-dans-les-enfers
Topic: his Ixion embrace
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 5:01:07 AM
In the British science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, "The food of the Gods", I read:

"No doubt he was among the first to discover them. They were scattered at
intervals up and down the path between the near down and the village
end--a path he frequented daily in his constitutional round. Altogether,
of these abnormal fungi there were, from first to last, quite thirty.
The Vicar seems to have stared at each severally, and to have prodded
most of them with his stick once or twice. One he attempted to measure
with his arms, but it burst at his Ixion embrace
."

What is meant by "his Ixion embrace"?


Topic: Leonard Digges' Dedicatory verse about Shakespeare
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 7:30:18 AM
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your reply.
Topic: Leonard Digges' Dedicatory verse about Shakespeare
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 4:26:50 AM
I need help with simplifying the meaning of this verse to modern English, PLEASE:

Reader his Workes (for to contrive a Play:
To him twas none) the patterne of all wit,
Art without Art unparalelld as yet.
Next Nature only helpt him, for look through
This whole Booke, thou shalt find he doth not borrow,
One phrase from Greekes, nor Latines imitate,
Nor once from vulgar Languages Translate,
Nor Plagiari-like from others gleane,
Nor begges he from each witty friend a Scene
To piece his Acts with; all that he doth write,
Is pure his owne, plot, language exquisite.

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