Friday, January 20, 2012

New (to me) word of the day

Decoct = to extract the essence of something by boiling; boil down; concentrate.

Ran across it in James Wood's piece in the Jan. 23 New Yorker on the novelist Michel Houellebecq:
The power of Houellebecq's critique has less to do with its persuasiveness as social theory than with the spectacle it offers of the author's bared wounds. His relentless prosecution of his parental abandonment and his wild historicizing of what is only a personal fate give him license to decoct an uneasy mixture of Rousseau and Schopenhauer.

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