Wednesday, April 06, 2005



Robert Louis Stevenson, Memories and Portraits, XV (A Gossip on Romance):
In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images, incapable of sleep or of continuous thought. The words, if the book be eloquent, should run thenceforward in our ears like the noise of breakers, and the story, if it be a story, repeat itself in a thousand coloured pictures to the eye.
Webster's Dictionary (1913) defines gloat as:
To look steadfastly; to gaze earnestly; -- usually in a bad sense, to gaze with malignant satisfaction, passionate desire, lust, or avarice.
Stevenson of course uses it in a good sense (to look steadfastly, to gaze earnestly) in this passage.

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