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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

bathetic
bathos



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
notable
5 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
unknown
5 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
notable
5 years, 1 month 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
notable
3 years, 6 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
notable
3 years, 6 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
notable
2 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
notable
2 years, 10 months ago


Even the spy’s sexiness is bathetic

—p.182 On spy fiction (175) missing author
notable
2 years, 10 months 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
notable
3 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
notable
2 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
notable
5 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
notable
5 years, 4 months ago