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    #1

    provincial & other questions

    Dear Teachers,

    I read these from True Pleasures by Lucinda Holdforth:

    1.
    "Louis XIV's first prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, commissioned the building as a finishing school for provincial French aristocrats."

    The Free Dictionary says "provincial" has 3 meanings:
    1. Of or relating to a province.
    2. Of or characteristic of people from the provinces; not fashionable or sophisticated.
    3. Limited in perspective; narrow and self-centered

    Does the third one apply to the context quoted above?

    2.
    "Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau... vehemently denounced the rococo... These throngs of ephemeral works, he thundered, which come to light every day, made only to amuse women and having neither strength nor depth, fly from the dressing table to the counter."

    What does he mean by "fly from the dressing table to the counter"? By counter, does he mean the counter where you pay for what you want to buy?

    3.
    "I ... take a right off rue Saint-Honore and slip into the flattering shadows of teashop Laduree at 16 rue Royale."

    What are the "flattering shadows"?

    4.
    "Her mirroring was so assiduous that old friends giggled when Pamela answered her phone with a phoney Italian accent."

    What does "mirroring" mean?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: provincial & other questions

    1. No - it's '2. Of or characteristic of people from the provinces; not fashionable or sophisticated. It implies they live in the country versus a city, and are mainly interested in local goings on as opposed to the sophisticated life and cultural pursuits of city dwellers.

    3. We all look better in subdued lighting than full lighting, which shows up every blemish, freckle and spot on the face! Hence, 'shadows' = soft light is flattering to our appearance.

    4. From what I can gather with little else in the way of context, Pamela is imitating (=mirroring, reflecting like a mirror) some other person who presumably is Italian, (or adopts on an Italian accent, or uses a lot of Italian words to give the impression they are sophisticated.)

  1. beascarpetta's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: provincial & other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway View Post
    2.
    "Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau... vehemently denounced the rococo... These throngs of ephemeral works, he thundered, which come to light every day, made only to amuse women and having neither strength nor depth, fly from the dressing table to the counter."

    What does he mean by "fly from the dressing table to the counter"?
    he probably alludes to the fact that women at that time were rumoured to spend their days either putting on make-up(hence the dressing table usually eqipped with a mirror) or going shopping (and paying for whatever they got at the counter)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway View Post
    3. teashop Laduree at 16 rue Royale.
    I found this tidbit of information quite amusing

    This long-established, outstanding tearoom became popular a century ago, when women were looking for a place to socialize (cafés not being suitable).

    bea
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 14-Jun-2008 at 18:19.


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    #4

    Re: provincial & other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway View Post

    2.
    "Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau... vehemently denounced the rococo... These throngs of ephemeral works, he thundered, which come to light every day, made only to amuse women and having neither strength nor depth, fly from the dressing table to the counter."

    What does he mean by "fly from the dressing table to the counter"? By counter, does he mean the counter where you pay for what you want to buy?

    That the objects are so slight and light in their design and construction that they could be created on a dressing table and from there "fly" to the counter where they are sold.

    .

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