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Week 1

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Week 1: Vocabulary

Originally Posted January 29th 2010 at 8:40 am to bolanobolano.com

abstruse difficult to comprehend

abyss

an immeasurably deep gulf or great space

anodyne

not likely to offend or arouse tensions

ardently

characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity

ascetic

practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline

ascribed

acquired or assigned arbitrarily

au pair

a usually young foreign person who cares for children and does domestic work for a family in return for room and board and the opportunity to learn the family’s language

brevity

shortness of duration; especially : shortness or conciseness of expression

bureaucratic

of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a bureaucracy: government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority

cajoles

to persuade with flattery or gentle urging especially in the face of reluctance

charcuterie

dressed meats and meat dishes

cirrhosis

widespread disruption of normal liver structure by fibrosis and the formation of regenerative nodules

colophon

an identifying mark, emblem, or device used by a printer or a publisher

conflagration

fire; especially : a large disastrous fire

coprophagy

feeding on dung
creole of or relating to Creoles or their language: a person of mixed French or Spanish and black descent speaking a dialect of French or Spanish

dialectic

logic

diatribe

a bitter and abusive speech or writing

Dionysian

characteristic of Dionysus or the cult of worship of Dionysus; especially : being of a frenzied or orgiastic character

effusive

marked by the expression of great or excessive emotion or enthusiasm

enigmas

an obscure speech or writing

epileptic

relating to, affected with, or having the characteristics of epilepsy: any of various disorders marked by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain and typically manifested by sudden brief episodes of altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary movements, or convulsions

Eurylochus

second-in-command of Odysseus’ ship

feigned

fictitious

flamenco

a vigorous rhythmic dance style of the Andalusian Gypsies; also : a dance in flamenco style

Fury

any of the avenging deities in Greek mythology who torment criminals and inflict plagues

gall

brazen boldness coupled with impudent assurance and insolence

galvanized

to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock

garde du corps

bodyguard
gastronomic the art or science of good eating

gaucho

a cowboy of the South American pampas

goulash

a stew made with meat (as beef), assorted vegetables, and paprika

heady

tending to intoxicate or make giddy or elated

Hecate

a Greek goddess associated especially with the underworld, night, and witchcraft

Huguenot

a member of the French Reformed communion especially of the 16th and 17th centuries

insularity

characteristic of an isolated people; especially : being, having, or reflecting a narrow provincial viewpoint

inviolable

secure from assault or trespass

labyrinths

something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement, or character

lacuna

a blank space or a missing part

licentious

lacking legal or moral restraints

macerated

to cause to become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid

maestro

a master usually in an art

marginal

located at the fringe of consciousness

Mnemosyne

the Greek goddess of memory and mother of the Muses by Zeus
monograph a learned treatise on a small area of learning

Nerval

was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie

oblique

neither perpendicular nor parallel : inclined

oeuvre

a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or a composer

omertà

conspiracy of silence

osmosis

a usually effortless often unconscious assimilation

paltry

inferior, trashy

paradoxically

not being the normal or usual kind

pastoral

portraying or expressive of the life of shepherds or country people especially in an idealized and conventionalized manner

penultimate

next to the last

peremptorily

characterized by often imperious or arrogant self-assurance

pergola

a structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters

petit comite

small group

peyote

a hallucinogenic drug containing mescaline that is derived from peyote buttons and used especially in the religious ceremonies of some American Indian peoples

phosphorescent

exhibiting phosphorescence : luminescence that is caused by the absorption of radiations

placid

serenely free of interruption or disturbance

Promethean

daringly original or creative

prosody

the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language

purloined

to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust

quadrangle

a 4-sided enclosure especially when surrounded by buildings

redoubtable

causing fear or alarm : formidable

relegating

to send into exile

sardonic

disdainfully or skeptically humorous

scatology

interest in or treatment of obscene matters especially in literature

simulacrum

image, representation

solipsism

a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing

soporific

causing or tending to cause sleep

spleen

feelings of anger or ill will often suppressed

structuralism

psychology concerned especially with resolution of the mind into structural elements

tenuously

having little substance or strength

thrall

a state of servitude or submission

transmuted

to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form
Ulysses Odysseus : a king of Ithaca and Greek leader in the Trojan War who after the war wanders 10 years before reaching home

volition

the power of choosing or determining

Zapatista

The Liberation Army of the South was an armed group formed and led by Emiliano Zapata which took part in the Mexican Revolution.

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