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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    calling it priming tobacco

    An artist's perspective on the federal arts project - by Robert Gwathmey
    It was 1936. I spent a summer on this tobacco farm in North Carolina. I picked tobacco because I wanted to know the whole story. An instant observer could do all this surface quality. To be involved, it has to have a deeper meaning, right? We're all total fellows, aren't we? I insist on being a total fellow.
    I couldn't sit there and make a sort of representational and calling it priming tobacco (i.e., pulling the leaves off the tobacco plant), if I hadn't done it myself. I had to.

    1. What did the writer mean by "We're all total fellows, aren't we?" Does he mean we are all equal? Why does he mean that?
    2. What does "representational" mean? Moreover, it's an adjective, which doesn't seem to fit in there.
    3. This whole sentence doesn't seem to make sense grammatically and content-wise. What does it mean?

    calling it priming tobacco (i.e., pulling the leaves off the tobacco plant), if I hadn't done it myself. I had to.
    Last edited by keannu; 25-Jul-2015 at 06:36.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    He wanted to understand the entire process of growing tobacco, as well as understand the entire experience had by those who farmed tobacco. Somebody who merely watched, would only understand what they could see. If you're a part of the process, you get to see the deeper meaning.

    He couldn't say he truly understood such processes as priming tobacco (pulling off the leaves prior to drying) if he hadn't actually done it, even though the process looks obvious to the casual observer.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    1. What did the writer mean by "We're all total fellows, aren't we?" Does he mean we are all equal? Why does he mean that?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    In this context "total" seems to mean someone who tries to understand the entire (total) process.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    2. What does "representational" mean? Moreover, it's an adjective, which doesn't seem to fit in there.

  6. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    I believe it's a reference to representational art, a style or art where the subject matter is easily recognized for what it's supposed to represent.

    I think he's colloquially nominalizing what is otherwise an adjective.

  7. keannu's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    calling it priming tobacco*(i.e., pulling the leaves off the tobacco plant), if I hadn't done it myself. I had to.

    This whole sentence doesn't seem to make sense grammatically and content-wise. What does it mean?

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    #8

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    I believe it's a reference to representational art, a style or art where the subject matter is easily recognized for what it's supposed to represent.

    Do you mean "a style of art"?
    I am not a teacher.

  8. keannu's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    This whole sentence is weird. How can you say "couldn't sit ...calling it, if I hadn't"? How is "calling it ..." connected to "sit" and "if I hadn't"? Grammar-wise it doesn't make sense. And what does it mean altogether?

    I couldn't sit there and make a sort of representational and calling it priming tobacco (i.e., pulling the leaves off the tobacco plant), if I hadn't done it myself. I had to.

  9. Skrej's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: calling it priming tobacco

    Quit looking at it as a properly constructed grammatical sentence, and realize it's a transcription of spoken English.

    Refer back to my post #2 to understand the gist, but it's pointless to try and analyze it as a model of correct English, because it isn't.
    Last edited by Skrej; 26-Jul-2015 at 08:08.

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