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Thread: Courteous discourse

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Courteous discourse

    I enjoy all the courteous language in this book. Aristocrats really were so gracious towards each other. The dialogue appears to be very well translated in my copy. I enjoyed reading the aristocrats catching up with each other in the opera intervals. It seems a bit friendlier than the operas Anna Karenina attended. I suppose that is part of the effect. If you have the ability to express yourself that well then you have intelligence. If you have the willingness to go to that effort of charm, then it might be because of being well bred, well educated and having a friendly disposition. Or it might be that you are masking your true motives and put a lot of effort in thinking of what effect you are having on others. Only aristocrats and high officials spoke in that courtly way, which meant you had money and you have had it for some time. The question may be how did you get it?
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I wonder whether repartée is the word I was looking for. It is difficult to say. It's not exactly wit; it's not exactly politeness. It is suavity, but that does not exactly cover it neither. I have not read any of Alexandre Dumas's other books, but I wonder if this was not his USP. I read somewhere that he employed other people to think up the plot-lines, but it was Dumas who brought the characters to life,
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I thought this was a good example of Dumas's style and wit:

    Albert bowed to Madame Danglars, and advanced towards Madame de Villefort, whose lips opened as he approached. "I wager anything," said Albert, interrupting her, "that I know what you are about to say."
    "Well, what is it?"
    "If I guess rightly, will you confess it?"
    "Yes."
    "On your honor?"
    (American translation)
    "On my honor."
    "You were going to ask me if the Count of Monte Cristo were arrived, or expected."
    "Not at all. It was not of him that I am now thinking. I was going to ask you if you had received any news of M. Franz?"
    "Yes, yesterday."
    "What did he tell you?"
    "That he was leaving at the same time as his letter."
    "Well, now then, the count?"
    Last edited by kev67; 08-09-2019 at 03:58 AM.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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