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    #1

    puzzling sentence

    F. Scott Fitzgerald, born on September 24, 1896, an American novelist, was once a student of St. Paul Academy, the Newman School and attended Princeton. University for a short while. In 1917 he joined the army and was posted in Alabama, where he met his future wife Zelda Sayre. Then he had to make some money to impress her.
    His life with her was full of great happiness, as he wrote in his diary: My own happiness in the past often approached such joy that I could not share it it even with the person dearest to me but had to walk it away in quiet streets and take down parts of it in my diary.


    What does the underlined sentence mean?

    Is "the person dearest to me" referring to his wife?

    Since his life with her was full of great happiness, how won't he share it with her?

    Do you think it strange, too?

    Thanks !

    Jason

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    #2

    Re: puzzling sentence

    First of all, yes, it refers to his wife.
    As for the first part of the sentence, he intended to express the magnitude of his joy (My own happiness in the past often approached such joy that). The remaining part of it simply lays emphasis on his statement, as well as implies that his joy was the reason why he put his feelings down in words. (So as to unleash these feelings)

    In my view, it is not strange. Maybe it is only strange for you because you have not come across such sentences.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: puzzling sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by bodogeri View Post
    In my view, it is not strange. Maybe it is only strange for you because you have not come across such sentences.
    Not many people have. This is language used by a skilled writer, not the language most of us use.

    @ Jasonlulu.

    My own happiness in the past often approached such joy that I could not share it it even with the person dearest to me but had to walk it away in quiet streets and take down parts of it in my diary.

    A crude paraphrase might be: My happiness was so immense that it was impossible to share it even with the person I loved most*. I had, instead to walk off my passion (get rid of my passion by walking) in quiet streets and noting some of my feelings in my diary.

    *It may initially be hard to comprehend the idea of a joy so great that one cannot talk about it even to one's beloved, but I am sure that there are quite a few men (and women too) who are unable to express the depth and immensity of their feelings for their partners to those partners.
    Last edited by 5jj; 28-Apr-2013 at 08:42.

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