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  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
    suprunp is offline Senior Member
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    Default spectacular, but it captured you

    Ashenden, leaving them to their emotions, strolled through the garden and sat down on a bench that had been prepared for the comfort of the tourist. The view was of course spectacular, but it captured you; it was like a piece of music that was obvious and meretricious, but for the moment shattered your self–control.
    (W.S. Maugham; The Traitor)

    I fail to understand why it reads as if it were quite unusual that a spectacular view could capture you. I rather think that a drab view wouldn't usually capture one and, therefore, 'the view was drab, but it captured you' would be something I might expect here, where 'drabbiness' of the view is contrasted with its ability to capture one.
    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: spectacular, but it captured you

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Ashenden, leaving them to their emotions, strolled through the garden and sat down on a bench that had been prepared for the comfort of the tourist. The view was of course spectacular, but it captured you; it was like a piece of music that was obvious and meretricious, but for the moment shattered your self–control.
    (W.S. Maugham; The Traitor)

    I fail to understand why it reads as if it were quite unusual that a spectacular view could capture you. I rather think that a drab view wouldn't usually capture one and, therefore, 'the view was drab, but it captured you' would be something I might expect here, where 'drabbiness' of the view is contrasted with its ability to capture one.
    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.
    Hmm, that's really interesting. I think the key lies in the "of course" - he's saying the view was of course spectacular, he expected it to be, but more than that it was captivating in an unexpected manner. It was not just impressive but emotive?

    It's not the best-phrased line I agree.

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