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25 October 2008

Cool Word: Ennui

It's from French, pronounced an-wi. An, like Announcement.

From my Big Unabridged Dictionary That Andy Bought Me:

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom.

Used in context:

The monk he instantly knew to be the Prior of Jorvaulx Abbey, well known for many miles around as a lover of the chase, of the banquet, and of other worldly pleasures still more inconsistent with his monastic vows. Yet so loose were the ideas of the times respecting the conduct of the clergy, whether secular or regular, that the Prior Aymer maintained a fair character in the neighbourhood of his abbey. His free and jovial temper, and the readiness with which he granted absolution from all ordinary delinquencies, rendered him a favourite among the nobility and principal gentry, to several of whom he was allied by birth, being of a distinguished Norman family. The ladies, in particular, were not disposed to scan too nicely the morals of a man who was a professed admirer of their sex, and who possessed many means of dispelling the ennui which was too apt to intrude upon the halls and bowers of an ancient feudal castle.

From Ivanhoe, page 15


Keeley said...

1. Ennui is an awesome word. Say it with your nose and you'll sound delightfully french.

2. Wow! I had no idea Ivanhoe had such incredibly interesting passages. I LOVED reading that paragraph. I guess it's time for me to actually pick up the book.

Ritsumei said...

1. I had noticed that. It's terribly entertaining. But not terribly useful in conversation. Except to have conversations about this very cool word, which, because I'm that big of a dork, I've done several times this week.

2. I got Ivanohe at the thrift shop a while back. It appears to be an unabridged edition. After all, they use "ennui" rather than "bored." It is a great paragraph. It was a bit to get used to, there's quite a bit of stuff like that, and I haven't read so much old literature that I'm used to it. It really changes the pace of the novel! But once I got into it, which only took a few pages, I've been really enjoying the book.

I joined Selfari's "Book Tag" group, and they're reading books that you'd tag "England" this month. Not sure that I'm going to get the book done in time to do a review before the end of the month, but it's OK. It actually induced me to get the book off my shelf and read it! And I'm enjoying it. I'll bet I have more time to finish it after the wedding. Or even after my dress is finished. I'm reaching the point where I can't afford to procrastinate my dress any more; not even for a good book! But when I do finish Ivanhoe I'll bet it's on our list. So then I'll get to mark one more "read." I've been amazed at how many of the books on there I've not only never read, I've never heard of. Jean Fritz, for example. Her stuff is good. I like the way she writes. But I'd never heard of her before!

Keeley said...

Jean Fritz? I've never heard of her either.

There's actually a few books we've read that I've really enjoyed. Can I add them to the list?

I'm finding our library stocks almost none of the books on the list that I've searched for thus far. It's frustrating.


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