Explanation of the text Explanation of the text 1.Ah, I have read all that the wise men have written…my life made wretched. Notice the sarcastic tone of the author when he had the student refer to the wise men We know that Oscar Wilde believed in art for arts sake. To him, the only purpose of the artist is art, not religion, or science, or interest. He who paints or writes only for financial return, or to propagandize political and economic interests can only arouse feelings of disgust. Therefore the author keeps poking fun at the student, the professor, the dusty heavy books, logic, philosophy, intellect, and metaphysics. Many people, however, reject this view.
They do not believe it possible to have such a thing as art for arts sake. Art for arts sake, said Somerset Maugham, makes no more sense than gin for gins sake. The artists works, being part of his human activities, must be guided by his sense of moral responsibility, by what he conceives to be true, good and beautiful. 2. for want of: for the lack of a) For want of a better word, lets call it little rose (As I cant think of a better word, lets call it little rose) b) For want of sth. better to do, she decided to go shopping. (As she could not find anything interesting to do,…)
3. give a ball give here means organize, other examples to give a reception/ a banquet/a cocktail party/ a press conference/ a dance 4. so I shall sit lonely and my heart will break= so I shall sit and I shall be lonely Lonely is an adjective, used as a subject complement. More examples a) The sun rose red. (=The sun rose and it was red) b) The moon shone pale. c) She used to sit silent for hours.
5. dance to the sound of the harp: dance according to the sound of the harp. a) The snake would then dance to the music. b) The soldiers marched through the square to the drumbeat. 6. ridiculous: causing other to laugh unkindly a) What a ridiculous idea! 7. fluttering about: flying by a quick, light flapping of the wings
8. sth of a cynic: a cynic without fully deserving the name. a) He is something of an economist among us because his grandfather used to own a little store. b) She is something of a doctor in our village although the method she uses is quite crude. c) something of a musician 9. cynic: a cynical person; a person who believes that everybody is motivated by selfishness. 10. laughed outright: laughed out loud; burst out laughing
11. sweet song sweet could refer to taste, smell, or sound. Translate the following phrases sweet air/ song/ music/ wine/ flowers/ cake/ smile / temper/ lady / water 12. bloom and blossom bloom: usually refers to the flower of plants admired mainly for their flowers. Blossom: usually refers to the flower of fruit trees.
13. redder than the great fans of coral: a) notice the metaphor fan, which refers to anything resembling a fan. Also the mouth of a river, the foot of a mountain the limbs of a tree, etc b) Fan can also be used as a verb: The troops fanned out.
14. nip it in the bud: to prevent sth. from becoming a problem by stopping it as soon as it starts a) Their policy was to threw the first person who dared to protest openly into prison so as to nip it in the bud. b) You must take immediate action and nip it in the bud. Otherwise this economic slowdown could easily snowball into a serious recession. 15. to build it out of music out of music: with music, from music; using music as the material. More examples: a) One cannot make anything out of nothing. b) This chair is made out of hard wood.
16. stain: 1) to become discolored, as by having spots a) The blood stained his shirt. b) The white rug will stain too easily. 2) To color or dye a) I stained the old rocking chair and made it look like new. 3) To bring disgrace or dishonor upon a) Although the charges were never proven, his reputation was stained forever.
17. What is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man? A rhetorical questiona question in form, but a statement in meaning. This sentence means: the heart of a bird id nothing compared to the heart of a man. In other words, for the Nightingale, the Students love is much more important than her life.
18. sweep over the garden: moved quickly over the garden 1) sweep: note the meaning of the word in the following sentences a) A new broom always sweeps the room clean. b) A terrible storm swept across the whole city. c) The generals eyes swept over the soldiers and gave the order to attack. d) You cant say they are all corrupt. Thats too sweeping. There might be a few exceptions.
19. The student looked up from…saying to him Why couldnt the student understand what the Nightingale was saying to him? Obviously, it was not because he could not understand bird language, but rather because he could not understand true love. 20. She is all style without any sincerity apart from style, there is nothing else 1) all: completely a) He is all muscle. It is all nonsense.
21. the love that is…in the tomb: the love that grows and grows until they die, and of the love that will live in eternity. 22. lingered on in the sky: tried to delay the departure; stayed in the sky, reluctant to leave or move on 23. ebb: flow away the phrases: ebb and flow ebb tide 24. Passion: powerful emotion, strong love a) passion for music b) Sometimes his passion got the better of him.
25.. …It will not go with my dress 1) to go with my dress: to match my dress; to harmonize with More examples: a) The decorations do not go with the walls. b) Her earrings do not go with the bracelet. 26. ungrateful: showing no gratitude or thanks a) He doesnt like those ungrateful bunch of relatives.
27. metaphysics In Western context, it means the branch of philosophy that systematically investigates the nature of first principles and problems of ultimate reality. Among Marxists, it is often loosely used to represent the opposite of dialectics.