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  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #1

    The caretakers report that no ghosts walk.

    For the benefit of old-fashioned readers who wish to follow the destinies of the “real” people beyond the “true” story, a few details may be given as received from Mr. “Windmuller,” or “Ramsdale,” who desires his identity suppressed so that “the long shadow of this sorry and sordid business” should not reach the community to which he is proud to belong. His daughter, “Louise,” is by now a college sophomore, “Mona Dahl” is a student in Paris. “Rita” has recently married the proprietor of a hotel in Florida. Mrs. “Richard F. Schiller” died in childbed, giving birth to a stillborn girl, on Christmas Day 1952, in Gray Star, a settlemen in the remotest Northwest. “Vivian Darkbloom” has written a biography, “My Cue,” to be publshed shortly, and critics who have perused the manuscript call it her best book. The caretakers of the various cemeteries involved report that no ghosts walk.
    I'm reading The Annotated Lolita, which contains some very interesting and useful annotations. However, there are some passages/sentences that I don't really understand. Take the boldfaced sentence which comes from the preface. For me, it comes out of nowhere. What is he trying to say? Is he saying that the aforementioned people, who have died, have not risen from the dead? If so, I find it an odd remark.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The caretakers report that no ghosts walk.

    The 'walk' in 'ghosts walk' doesn't refer particularly to perambulation as such. If a ghost is [felt to be] active, it 'walks'.

    That said, I agree that the last sentence in that extract 'comes out of left field'. Perhaps the dead people referred to are Mrs Schiller and her stillborn child. Alternatively it would be quite difficult to write a biography without people dying in it. But I am really flummoxed...

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 18-Aug-2012 at 20:14. Reason: Fix typo

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The caretakers report that no ghosts walk.

    I have not read the book. Perhaps it simply means that the people who die in the book are at peace.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The caretakers report that no ghosts walk.

    That's probably it.

    Cultural note: It is a convention - partly literary, partly cultural - of Western society that the spirits of people who are not at peace appear to the living world as ghosts. A lot of books/plays/films/...etc are about ghostly events that are 'stilled' when the hero/heroine puts right something in the real world that was preventing the spirit of a dead person from from being at peace.

    b
    Last edited by 5jj; 18-Aug-2012 at 20:40.

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