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    #1

    Question From Rex Stout

    UNDER THE ANDES
    by Rex Stout

    The scene was not exactly new to me. Moved by the spirit of adventure, or by an access of ennui which overtakes me at times, I had several times visited the gaudy establishment of Mercer, on the fashionable side of Fifth Avenue in the Fifties. In either case I had found disappointment; where the stake is a matter of indifference there can be no excitement; and besides, I had been always in luck.


    A couple of questions concerning the italicized fragments:

    1. "an access of ennui": does it simply mean "ennui", or does this "access" add something to the meaning?

    2. How should I understand the "in the Fifties" here?

    3. "where the stake is a matter of indifference":

    Many thanks,
    Nyggus

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: From Rex Stout

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    UNDER THE ANDES
    by Rex Stout

    The scene was not exactly new to me. Moved by the spirit of adventure, or by an access of ennui which overtakes me at times, I had several times visited the gaudy establishment of Mercer, on the fashionable side of Fifth Avenue in the Fifties. In either case I had found disappointment; where the stake is a matter of indifference there can be no excitement; and besides, I had been always in luck.


    A couple of questions concerning the italicized fragments:

    1. "an access of ennui": does it simply mean "ennui", or does this "access" add something to the meaning?

    2. How should I understand the "in the Fifties" here?

    3. "where the stake is a matter of indifference":

    Many thanks,
    Nyggus
    1 This is a fairly obscure use of "access", meaning 'a sudden onrush'
    2 the decade
    3 "when it doesn't matter whether you lose your stake, because it's so small". At roulette, for example, $1.00 staked on Red is less exciting than $100.00 staked on a single number.


    b

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    #3

    Re: From Rex Stout

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    1 This is a fairly obscure use of "access", meaning 'a sudden onrush'
    2 the decade
    3 "when it doesn't matter whether you lose your stake, because it's so small". At roulette, for example, $1.00 staked on Red is less exciting than $100.00 staked on a single number.


    b
    Thanks, Bob. Why "the Fifties" are started with the capital "F"? I should understand it that this particular side of Fifth Avenue was fashionable in the fifties, right?

    Nyggus

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: From Rex Stout

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Thanks, Bob. Why "the Fifties" are started with the capital "F"? I should understand it that this particular side of Fifth Avenue was fashionable in the fifties, right?

    Nyggus
    I haven't met a rule about this capital - except in case like 'the Swinging Sixties' or 'the Roaring Twenties' - where capitals are required.

    It's possible that "in the [Nineteen] Fifties" refers to his visits, rather than to the place's fashionability. You'd need some contextual clues to tell which (maybe outside the text - I mean, the socio-historical context. (There really should be a comma before the last three words to make this meaning clear, but I wouldn't bet against it.)

    b

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    #5

    Re: From Rex Stout

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    (There really should be a comma before the last three words to make this meaning clear, but I wouldn't bet against it.)
    Yes. With this comma I wouldn't have asked the question, I think.

    Nyggus

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