Occasionally, I post new-to-me words discovered during my reading rambles. I do this for my edification. If you happened to stumble across this post and you're a word nerd, you might enjoy these as well. Following each word is a short definition (sometimes with a thought interjected parenthetically), trailed by the context in which the word was found.
marmoreal: of or relating to a characteristic of marble | (I stumbled across this word after rereading one of my favorite short stories "How Wang-Fo Was Saved" by Marguerite Yourcenar. The short story led me to the New Yorker essay, "Becoming the Emperor" which contained this statement: "Add, moreover, that though she was a novelist, she was not primarily a realist, that she never mastered dialogue, that her books were ruminative, philosophical. Add, finally, that her greatest novel, “Memoirs of Hadrian” (1951)—which Farrar, Straus & Giroux will reissue this spring as part of its new FSG Classics series—was a fictionalized autobiography of a Roman emperor, and it comes as no surprise that nearly every essay on Yourcenar speaks of her work as “marmoreal” or “lapidary.”
erotolepsy: (From Wikipedia): Erotolepsy is a term first used by English author Thomas Hardy in his 1895 novel Jude the Obscure to describe a passionate sensual desire and longing which is more violent and urgently felt than erotomania. It has been variously described as "love-seizure" and "sexual recklessness". The term is derived from eroto- and -lepsy, and has since become more widely used, including by American poet Susan Mitchell in her 2001 poetry collection Erotikon. | "To prolong the throbbing, said Plato. To draw out the shudder, to rev it's wings and engines to erotolepsy." - from the poem “Bird: A Memoir,” Erotikon, Susan Mitchell
pyxis: a small box used by ancient Greeks to hold medicines | "Though, said Apuleius, it is a mistake to think of the two boxes as similar. Pandora's was more of a jar, a little house made of clay, with lips - or was that Pandora? My word for the Box of Beauty was pyxis, a small box or casket used for drugs-"
violaceous: of a violet color| "When below clouded, there was under / with its violaceous twilights, there was down with its thunders and echoes." - from the poem "The Grove at Nemi" by Susan Mitchell, Erotikon
aubergine: egg-shaped vegetable having a shiny skin typically dark purple but occasionally white or yellow | "When jazzmen get to really jamming they call it egg planting - did you know that? ... What is love like for you? is a question that concerns also language. I am listening with my eyes closed so I can hear the wall. Every lost tribe protests certain words. This is the research that tales me late into the night, transcribing what I have learned while there is time - the forms, the harrow, the stranger in it. Something shattered inside the words we use. Love? If two lie together they have heat. Lover? Good lover. Better lover. Love being your lover. One of the best lovers I ever. Better than aubergine." Plainwater, Anne Carson