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  1. #1
    beeja is offline Member
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    benumb to the world

    Hi again,

    Seems I have everyday challenges for you guys but pls help explain the red text for me.

    1) Sometimes I feel I am not the stuff that professors are made of. Better in some ways, worse in others. Too sensitive and not conceited enough - physically conceited, I should call it. I know it is all wearing me out. And why shouldn’t sitting in the professor’s chair all these years benumb me to the world?

    2) Fame did not mean much to Lowell, who liked to think that his friends found some good in what he wrote and that Marbel Lowell would be proud of being his daughter after he was gone. Otherwise he thought himself teres atque rotundus: a microcosm in himself, his own author, public, critic, and posterity.

    3) The preacher's shrill promises of Heaven, with his chief-mourner expression, did not sit well with Holmes. As a matter of principle, few ornaments of religious ceremony ever had set well with Dr. Holmes, sone of one of those stalwart ministers whose Calvinism had remained hard and fast in the face of the Unitarian upheaval.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
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    Re: benumb to the world

    beeja, I understand this isn't an assignment, but you do need to do some of the work here. What do your dictionaries have to say about the words and phrases in red?

  3. #3
    beeja is offline Member
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    Re: benumb to the world

    Hi,

    Sorry that I didn't explain much during my first post, I tried to check with the dictionaries as well as internet, but the definition I found did not help me much. I mean I still question if my understanding is correct. Okay, I'll explain how I intrepret them and pls help correct if I'm wrong.

    1) Sometimes I feel I am not the stuff that professors are made of. Better in some ways, worse in others. Too sensitive and not conceited enough - physically conceited, I should call it. I know it is all wearing me out. And why shouldn’t sitting in the professor’s chair all these years benumb me to the world?

    => conceited = arrogant, so not conceited enough = too humble, so "physically conceited" here = too humble or too shy, right?

    => Oh, a question just came to my mind = "Better....I should call it", did the guy talked about the qualifications of the general professor or of himself?

    => benumb to the world = no feeling/emotion to what happends in the world so did he say "why being a professor (though he thouht he is not much qualified) does not make him feel nothing about this (crazy) world?

    2) Fame did not mean much to Lowell, who liked to think that his friends found some good in what he wrote and that Marbel Lowell would be proud of being his daughter after he was gone. Otherwise he thought himself teres atque rotundus: a microcosm in himself, his own author, public, critic, and posterity.

    => microcosm = small world, microcosm in himself = what he think is all about himself, his writing, his society, critic for or against him and his posterity (his daugther), correct?

    3) The preacher's shrill promises of Heaven, with his chief-mourner expression, did not sit well with Holmes. As a matter of principle, few ornaments of religious ceremony ever had set well with Dr. Holmes, son of one of those stalwart ministers whose Calvinism had remained hard and fast in the face of the Unitarian upheaval.

    => This seems to me that the preacher is a Unitarian but Holmes is Calvinism (due to his father). It sounds to me that the Calvin funeral is easy and simple while Unitarian is a bit more.

    But the last sentence, "whose Calvinism had remained hard and fast in the face of the Unitarian upheaval", from dictionary, hard-and-fast = strictly, I don't get its meaning.

    Does it mean the Calvin people remained strict when the Unitarian is not? upheaval = disruption, disorder, revolution, so what is the Unitarian upheaval here? Or can I say the Calvin people remained strict during the rising of Unitarian (more and more people become Unitarian)?

    Tks, beeja

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: benumb to the world

    Quote Originally Posted by beeja View Post
    Hi,

    Sorry that I didn't explain much during my first post, I tried to check with the dictionaries as well as internet, but the definition I found did not help me much. I mean I still question if my understanding is correct. Okay, I'll explain how I intrepret them and pls help correct if I'm wrong.

    1) Sometimes I feel I am not the stuff that professors are made of. Better in some ways, worse in others. Too sensitive and not conceited enough - physically conceited, I should call it. I know it is all wearing me out. And why shouldn’t sitting in the professor’s chair all these years benumb me to the world?

    => conceited = arrogant, so not conceited enough = too humble, so "physically conceited" here = too humble or too shy, right? I think he is saying that he does not have much opinion of the way he looks.

    => Oh, a question just came to my mind = "Better....I should call it", did the guy talked about the qualifications of the general professor or of himself?

    => benumb to the world = no feeling/emotion to what happends in the world so did he say "why being a professor (though he thouht he is not much qualified) does not make him feel nothing about this (crazy) world?
    It's both a joke and a comment on being a professor. Sitting from a long time in one place leaves a portion of your anatomy feeling numb. He is also suggesting that the position of professor will eventually emotionally and intellectually numb its holder to matters in the world at large.

    2) Fame did not mean much to Lowell, who liked to think that his friends found some good in what he wrote and that Marbel Lowell would be proud of being his daughter after he was gone. Otherwise he thought himself teres atque rotundus: a microcosm in himself, his own author, public, critic, and posterity.

    => microcosm = small world, microcosm in himself = what he think is all about himself, his writing, his society, critic for or against him and his posterity (his daugther), correct? He does not need other people's opinions.

    3) The preacher's shrill promises of Heaven, with his chief-mourner expression, did not sit well with Holmes. As a matter of principle, few ornaments of religious ceremony ever had set well with Dr. Holmes, son of one of those stalwart ministers whose Calvinism had remained hard and fast in the face of the Unitarian upheaval.

    => This seems to me that the preacher is a Unitarian but Holmes is Calvinism (due to his father). It sounds to me that the Calvin funeral is easy and simple while Unitarian is a bit more. Not enough context - it seems more likely that the preacher is not Calvinist, and that the service is Anglo-Catholic of some kind.

    But the last sentence, "whose Calvinism had remained hard and fast in the face of the Unitarian upheaval", from dictionary, hard-and-fast = strictly, I don't get its meaning.

    Does it mean the Calvin people remained strict when the Unitarian is not? upheaval = disruption, disorder, revolution, so what is the Unitarian upheaval here? Or can I say the Calvin people remained strict during the rising of Unitarian (more and more people become Unitarian)?

    Holmes was the son of a Calvinist minister. The Calvinists have strict moral rules and simple services. The Unitarians were a sect who crystallised in the 19th century. They hold that there is a single Deity (whereas most Christians believe in a God who is Three Persons in One). When the Unitarians first developed, they cause a great amount of debate and disturbance in the theological world.

    Look up Calvinism and Unitarianism in Wikipedia if you want to know more.


    Tks, beeja
    ..

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