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She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table. Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table.

Henry James (1843-1916)
MechPebbles
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:24:03 AM

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Sounds like something he would write. His novel, The Portrait of a Lady bored me to tears.
JUSTIN Excellence
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:54:37 AM

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The truth of the matter is, hardly, anyone learns properly about music nowadays. Giving music-lessons, if one really does it properly, correcting every mistake and continually guiding the disciple's hands is a troublesome, exhausting business.






walirlan
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 3:01:21 AM

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What is it? What woman did he mean?
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 3:47:17 AM
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At the present time, beautiful woman can afford herself much more than elbows on the table...
moniquester
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 3:51:27 AM

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Today, every woman has her elbows on the table between courses. Table etiquette hardly exists any more. It is sad to see these niceties disappearing before our eyes.
moniquester
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 3:51:34 AM

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Andreea Zen
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 7:21:40 AM

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This quote is it about pretty me? Yeah... I know it is rude to keep my elbows on the table but i'm so graceful that my simple presence abolishes the violation of this etiquette.
Siamak
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 8:11:37 AM

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I prefer the main course between courses instead of her elbows on the tabel.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 9:42:40 AM

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walirlan wrote:
What is it? What woman did he mean?


An old etiquette rule forbade eating with elbows on the table. I don't know why. My sister & I had a conversation once, I told her it was rude to have her elbows on the table (I was being sarcastic). She didn't know what I was talking about, she said she'd never heard that rule. She asked why & I was stumped. Maybe it has something to do with keeping the tablecloth clean, although few people use tablecloths these days, just a placemat.
I'm inferring from the quote above that it was rude to have elbows on the table between courses, not just while eating. This quote might once have bee a telling portrait of the character's physical presence. Time has taken the once obvious meaning away.
I imagine the contemporary equivalent would be "She was a woman who, between beers, could be graceful with her feet on the coffee table.
Corner of Josh
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 11:01:51 AM
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NeuroticHellFem wrote:
walirlan wrote:
What is it? What woman did he mean?


An old etiquette rule forbade eating with elbows on the table. I don't know why. My sister & I had a conversation once, I told her it was rude to have her elbows on the table (I was being sarcastic). She didn't know what I was talking about, she said she'd never heard that rule. She asked why & I was stumped. Maybe it has something to do with keeping the tablecloth clean, although few people use tablecloths these days, just a placemat.
I'm inferring from the quote above that it was rude to have elbows on the table between courses, not just while eating. This quote might once have bee a telling portrait of the character's physical presence. Time has taken the once obvious meaning away.
I imagine the contemporary equivalent would be "She was a woman who, between beers, could be graceful with her feet on the coffee table.


I still don't get it, how are you graceful WITH your elbows on the table?
MelissaMe
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 11:23:39 AM

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I still don't understand why it is so wrong to place elbows on a table while dining. It isn't harming anyone!
MelissaMe
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 11:30:57 AM

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Cut & Paste:

Table Manners Tip #4 - Elbows

As for not putting your elbows on the table, this drummed-into-us taboo applies only when you are actually eating. It's a different story when no utensils are being used; in fact, putting your elbows on the table while leaning forward a bit during a mealtime conversation shows that you're listening intently.



Aha! Makes more sense, now. =*___*=
monamagda
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:06:34 PM

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The quote in context : From " The Ambassadors" (1903), book V, ch. II


"Ah because that's the way you strike me." She spoke ever so gently
and as if with all fear of wounding him while she sat partaking of
his bounty. "Aren't you in trouble?"

He felt himself colour at the question, and then hated that--hated
to pass for anything so idiotic as woundable. Woundable by Chad's
lady, in respect to whom he had come out with such a fund of
indifference--was he already at that point? Perversely, none the
less, his pause gave a strange air of truth to her supposition; and
what was he in fact but disconcerted at having struck her just in
the way he had most dreamed of not doing? "I'm not in trouble yet,"
he at last smiled. "I'm not in trouble now."

"Well, I'm always so. But that you sufficiently know." She was a
woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows
on the table.
It was a posture unknown to Mrs. Newsome, but it was
easy for a femme du monde. "Yes,I am 'now'!"

"There was a question you put to me," he presently returned, "the
night of Chad's dinner. I didn't answer it then, and it has been
very handsome of you not to have sought an occasion for pressing me
about it since."

http://www.online-literature.com/henry_james/ambassadors/7/

Strether makes this observation about an enchanting femme du monde, the Countess Marie de Vionnet. Placing one’s elbows on the table during dinner is considered a serious breach of etiquette, but, Strether feels, it is the truly classy lady who can do it and get away with it.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 1:02:45 PM
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Mel you said: I still don't understand why it is so wrong to place elbows on a table while dining. It isn't harming anyone!

For the same reason that it would be offensive to eat with ones mouth open or poke one's tongue out at other diners...it is called acceptable table manners. I will get up and leave the table if I have to watch a diner eat his food with his mouth open... they look like a cement mixer.
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 2:59:44 PM
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Daemon wrote:
She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table.

Henry James (1843-1916)


That's because "with her elbows on the table" she kept her finger nails out of her mouth by necessity. James himself perhaps, not just his character,
must have believed that "the lesser of the two evils" was the preferable course-- in between courses, of course.
Picking one's teeth could wait until after desert, just before coffee. Eh?
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 4:14:29 PM

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Growing up in the 1940's-early 1950's, those at the evening dinner table were, "fair-game", to have their elbows slammed against the table top, from behind by a sneaky sibling, if we were to have our elbows upon the table-top. Tw's the parents way of breaking us of "bad manners"...
OMF1969
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 6:03:49 PM
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;-o
nkelsey
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 8:33:47 PM
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Applause
BasiaB
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:24:02 PM
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Out of context quotations may sound out of place.
TB Turtle
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:49:29 PM

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Back in the day, only a loose party girl would have elbows on the table. No utensil in use, hands in your lap or you would have your mothers elbow poking you.
karlalou
Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014 2:48:48 AM
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I initially thought it needs the context to appreciate the meaning but after given the context I still don't have much idea what to appreciate about it.. I see that it's still giving us a chance to think and discuss things and it's interesting to me though.

Henry James' writings is a bit difficult for me and I'm not really able to understand that but I think the little earlier part, "his pause gave a strange air of truth to her supposition" would work better as a standalone quote.
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