Wondrous Words Wednesday is a lovely meme hosted by Bermuda Onion each week to highlight new (to us) words that we come across in our daily reading.
This week I’ve been rereading The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald for the Classics Club.
Although I’ve read this book several times, the last time was about 15 years ago which might explain why I cannot remember any of these words!
1. Echolalia “There was a boom of a bass drum, and the voice of the orchestra leader rang out suddenly above the echolalia of the garden.”
Echolalia is the often involuntary & senseless repetition of heard words.
2. Nonolfactory “Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of nonolfactory money.”
I knew this had something to do with smell, or to be more precise, lack of smell but I pondered over it’s use in this particular sentence. Naturally google had the answer – this exact question had been asked and answered on yahoo…with the best answer being…
“So you could functionally interpret “non-olfactory” here to mean without the stink of corruption and greed or other tainted realities.
Poetically, in a city “built with a wish,” non-olfactory money would be a gleaming investment from a pure heart.”
Now you know!
3. Trimalchio “It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night – and, as obscurely as it had begun, his career as Trimalchio was over.”
Trimalchio is a character created by Petronius in the 1st century AD. Trimalchio was a freedman who attained great wealth and power through hard work and persistance. He was famous for throwing extravagant, exotic dinner parties.
‘Trimalchio in West Egg’ was Fitzgerald working title for the Great Gatsby.
4. Pasquinade “When Michaelis’s testimony at the inquest brought to light Wilson’s suspicions of his wife I thought the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinade – but Catherine, who might have said anything, didn’t say a word.”
An anonymous lampoon or satire in verse or prose. Usually presented in a public place to ridicule a specific person.