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/lit/ - Literature


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13800753 No.13800753 [Reply] [Original]

In this chapter I'm about to quote from a Tale of Two Cities, a mail-coach is making its way up a hill in the dark of night.

"What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled, and bumped upon its tedious way, with its three fellow inscrutables inside. To whom, likewise, the shadows of the night revealed themselves, in the forms their dozing eyes and wandering thoughts suggested"

Do you understand this passage immediately? Because after really analyzing it, I understand that it's describing the mail-coach going up the hill, and then saying that the passengers are seeing things in the dark that aren't there. The problem is that it's pretty much every paragraph that I'm struggling with. I understand what's going on generally, but find little meaning in most of the text and it's not an issue of vocabulary.

I can't say I've read much literature and I wonder if it's just that I'm not used to older styles of expression? Generally I would just keep reading since I understand vaguely what's going on, but it's hard to enjoy a book like that and I was really hoping to enjoy this one. Any thoughts?

>> No.13800762

>>13800753
brainlet

>> No.13800881

>>13800753
Good job anon! I love that your trying to understand it. Dickens is definitely a greater writer than people give credit. It’s very entertaining but yes he does flare the prose a lot, which makes for careful consideration. Proud of you, keep going

>> No.13801446

I remember having to do a double take a few times while reading it. His other books are a lot easier or maybe I just got used to him since that was the first book of his that I read. He's one of the masters of English rhetoric so it's worth taking your time.

>> No.13801572

>>13800753
It just takes practice to get used to Victorian diction.
I'm not sure where you get a hill, but let's break it down:

>"What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled, and bumped upon its tedious way,
with its three fellow inscrutables inside.

For an indeterminate length of time ("tedious") the mail-coach bounced along with three passengers inside who could not be seen by anyone outside looking into the passing coach ("inscrutables"=shadowy figures, here).

>To whom, likewise, the shadows of the night revealed themselves, in the forms their dozing eyes and wandering thoughts suggested"

Similarly, the three figures looking out could see nothing clearly outside the coach, aside from shapes in the darkness suggested by their sleepy eyes and wandering thoughts.

Any better?

>> No.13801596

>>13800753
Just keep going man, it will get easier.

>> No.13801598

He was paid by the word, so get used to long, rambling sentences. Authors from that era seem to have enjoyed long sentences with lots of subclasses.

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