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  1. #1

    talk down the recollection

    I'm trying to understand fully the meaning of talk down the recollection in the excerpt from Edith Wharton's novel Summer below:

    He wound up confidentially: "I was a damn fool ever to leave Nettleton. It
    was Mrs. Royall that made me do it."


    Charity immediately perceived that something bitter had happened to him,
    and that he was trying to talk down the recollection.



    Well it's not condescending, is it? Comments, please!


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    #2

    Re: talk down the recollection

    I think it means he was trying to put the memory of an unpleasant event behind him.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: talk down the recollection

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I think it means he was trying to put the memory of an unpleasant event behind him.


    'Talk down' is used, typically, when someone is about to commit suicide.

    He was on a ledge at the top of the building, but the police talked him down.


    The analogy is not close in this case, but you can make it: the recollection = the threat of self-harm. He knew that the recollection was a bad thing, and he wanted to talk about it calmly until it was in a place that was harmless (that is, out in the open and not lurking in the back of his mind).

    b

    PS
    There's another meaning of 'talk down', but I don't think EW had the movie Airline in mind.

  3. #4

    Re: talk down the recollection

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    '... the recollection = the threat of self-harm. He knew that the recollection was a bad thing, and he wanted to talk about it calmly until it was in a place that was harmless ...

    PS
    There's another meaning of 'talk down', but I don't think EW had the movie Airline in mind.

    Yes, I can see the analogy, and I think it's very fitting. Thanks ...

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