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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 514
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    realised and some other words

    Dear Teachers,

    I read these from True Pleasures by Lucinda Holdforth:

    "In her desk was a fragment of a novella and it was pornography. Superbly written and realised, but clearly, pornography."

    What does "realised" mean in this context?

    "Yet despite the big hair and bright make-up, despite the correctly feminist issues and domineering maternal banter, I was always struck, in the end, by how similar these women politicians were to their male counterparts."

    What is "maternal banter"?

    "As I stroll past the Palais Bourbon, home to the French Parliament, and into the creamy heart of the Faubourg Saint Germain, every now and then I pass an exquisite shop."

    What does "creamy" mean in this context?

    "As the ball reaches its climax Talleyrand, with his famous limp, slowly leads in his guest of honour."

    What does "famous limp" mean? That Talleyrand was famous for being disabled?

    • Join Date: Aug 2008
    • Posts: 8
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    Re: realised and some other words

    Hmmm . . .

    'Realised' can mean 'made concrete, brought to reality' but that is what one might think 'written' means unless we take 'to write' moreso in the sense of the quality of the prose. So: 'written' in the 'micro'-sense, the excellence of the work on a sentence-by-sentence basis; and 'realised' in the 'macro'-sense, the soundness of the (portion of) the work's overall structure.

    My notion of maternal banter cajoling and homey rather than imperious is at odds with the word 'domineering,' unless, and this quite opposite interpretation also makes sense to me, mum controls through cajoling and banter, rather than just telling you to do stuff the imperious approach. Male politicians certainly do treat voters like children, but perhaps moreso by simply instructing them. When you ring them up for a good bit of banter, you get their secretary's voicemail.

    'Creamy heart'!! The richest chocolates are those that have cream centres (hearts). (Russian Paddington Chocolates, Missenden Road, Camperdown, Sydney, hand-makes dark chocolates with a cherry and liqueur centre real cherries, real liqueur. In my next life I'm gonna weigh four hundred kilos.)
    It strikes me that Holdforth is using 'creamy' as a metaphor for wealth (richness).

    A limp such as Talleyrand's, that is, an outright lameness, might well, in accordance with the sad way of the world, have disqualified him from the famously ornate court-life of the period, where his limping presence in, for example, the entry procession for the guest of honour, would have made him stand out like a sore thumb.

    Mark in Rocky Gully


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