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  1. #1

    that had exasperated ...

    Well, I'm back again

    This time I'm wondering about what exasperates what in the paragraph below:

    He felt an irrational tenderness towards his old adversary and appreciated emotionally the murderous absurdity their encounter had introduced into his life. It was like an additional pinch of spice in a hot dish. He remembered the flavour with sudden melancholy. He would never taste it again. It was all over. "I fancy it was being left lying in the garden that had exasperated him so against me from the first," he thought, indulgently.

    What is it that exasperates "him" so? Is it the fact that "the flavour" was being left lying in the garden, or the garden itself. The problem I have with this is that they had their first duel in the garden in question, some twenty years before, not their last. If that would have been the case, the exasperation would be more understandable because the garden could then be said to symbolize their long struggle. Well, I don't know. I really need some input ...

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: that had exasperated ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    "I fancy it was being left lying in the garden that had exasperated him so against me from the first," he thought, indulgently.
    My guess is, the speaker is saying that his old adversary had known from the very beginning that he could never win a duel, and that knowledge increased the intensity of his feelings towards the speaker.

    Please note that,
    exasperate
    Archaic. to increase the intensity or violence of (disease, pain, feelings, etc.)


    All the best.

  3. #3

    Re: that had exasperated ...

    Thank you for your input Casiopea

    However, it is quite the opposite. "The old adversary" was an experienced duellist and the one starting the long quarrel by challenging the speaker. When he is finally defeated, after many duels during the years, he is extremely surprised ... hm ... I just realized something. The first duel ended with "the old adversary" lying wounded in the garden - the speaker left him there while he went to get him a doctor. With that in mind, could the sentence mean that "the old adversary" (him) later was more "exasperated" towards the speaker because he was left lying in the garden by him? Would that make sense?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: that had exasperated ...

    I think you have got it!

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: that had exasperated ...

    I'll second that.

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