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    #1

    like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears

    Hello eveyone,
    Here I come again with my literary conundrums.
    I have been rereading Doctorow's Ragtime, and have found myself stuck with the aame expression again.

    "The corpses lay on tables of galvanised iron. From the bottom of each table a drainpipe extended to the floor. Around the rim of the table was a culvert. And into thecl culvert ran the water sprayed constantly over each body from an overhead faucet. The faces of the dead were upturned into the streams of water that poured over them like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears."

    Could someone help me with the part highlighted in orange? What does in death of their own tears mean here?

    MANY THANKS! :)

    Last edited by Rover_KE; 17-Jul-2016 at 12:42. Reason: Changing the faint orange text to red for clarity.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears

    "like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears."

    This means that the constant stream of water gave the impression that they were crying after death.

    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears

    Many thanks. I thought basically the same, however the expression did not sound right to me. I guess I am confused by this "in death of"..

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: like the irrepressible mechanism in death of their own tears

    Read it like this: "like the irrepressible mechanism, in death, of their own tears".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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