Author Topic: one shivering consciousness  (Read 10847 times)

royljc

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one shivering consciousness
« on: December 04, 2010, 08:20:47 AM »
Hi Joe,

I'm having trouble understanding "one shivering consciousness", much less "one shivering consciousness looks over ...". Please help. Thanks in advance.

The whole sentence: "I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness -- that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss."

source: http://www.zimbio.com/Philosophy/articles/78/Bertrand+Russell+Lived

Joe Carillo

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Re: one shivering consciousness
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 11:20:45 AM »
The literary passage you quoted uses highly figurative language, not plain and simple English. The phrase “one shivering consciousness looks over” can be interpreted in plainer terms as “one fearfully looks over.” That whole sentence can then be paraphrased as follows: “I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness that comes when one fearfully looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss.” We must be mindful, of course, that the passage loses some of its emotional intensity when paraphrased this way. I have therefore supplied it only in aid of understanding, not as an intended revision or improvement of the original passage.