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(noun) a literary term coined by Alexander Pope to describe to describe amusingly failed attempts at sublimity (an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous); adj is "bathetic"

Highlighted phrases


Also vague and kind of bathetic is the novel's depiction of actual mathematical work

—p.223 Rhetoric and the Math Melodrama (209) by David Foster Wallace
6 years, 4 months ago

his gift is for the crafting of exquisite narratives, shows shaped like Alice Munro stories, bathetic and beautiful

—p.250 Dead Man Laughing (237) by Zadie Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

The clunky bathos of this novel seems to have infected even the line-by-line prose, Updike’s great strength for almost forty years.

—p.57 Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think (51) by David Foster Wallace
6 years, 1 month ago

Madame Grandet had no completed the woollen sleeves she was knitting, and that for want of them she caught a chill. He is never afraid of bathos.

—p.8 Introduction (5) by Marion Ayton Crawford
2 years, 2 months ago

And after a bathetic sojourn on Ellis Island, Timofey and Liza parted

—p.50 by Vladimir Nabokov
3 weeks, 4 days ago

out of the endless bathos

—p.21 by John Ashbery
11 months, 2 weeks ago

The right’s full-on moral panic over Ocasio-Cortez’s allegedly spurious working-class identity reached a bathetic crescendo in January

—p.82 A Different Class (78) missing author
4 years, 2 months ago

whose death on 9/11 seems to cinch the narrator’s redemption in the novel’s bathetic conclusion

—p.92 I’m Not Feeling Good at All (86) by The Baffler
3 years, 4 months ago

What is amusing about Deep Thought’s ‘42’ is not just the bathos of it

—p.42 The problem of meaning (33) by Terry Eagleton
6 years, 2 months ago

his frames of reference zigzag wildly from bathos to profundity

on DFW

—p.43 "It's Just the Texture of the World I Live in": Wallace and the World (41) by Clare Hayes-Brady
6 years, 3 months ago

Dishwasher safety is the perfect bathetic note for Hohn to strike about these rubber duckies

—p.4 The Information Essay (2) by n+1
4 years, 5 months ago

Somehow the result of this trick is not bathos but profundity; we see that the story means something more than we thought it might.

—p.157 On Alice Munro (151) missing author
4 years, 5 months ago

The horror has passed, and what remains is the slow, lingering bathos as people shuffle into the future.

Bathos flutters over this later novel like a pennant: tragedy has been abolished.

—p.177 On Gary Indiana (171) by n+1
3 years, 6 months ago

Yes, a majority of Democratic senators voted to invade Iraq, later indulging in bathetic recantations as they transferred their animus to Russia

ugh i love it

—p.3 Party Foul (3) by n+1
3 years, 10 months ago

Even the spy’s sexiness is bathetic

—p.182 On spy fiction (175) missing author
3 years, 10 months ago