Author Topic: ---- back eddies  (Read 241 times)

Offline t k

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---- back eddies
« on: May 15, 2019, 05:29:13 am »
He had fallen, as I have shown, among a gang of spiritual thieves or coiners, who passed the basest metal upon him without his finding it out, so childish and inexperienced was he in the ways of anything but those back eddies of the world, schools and universities.  (from THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, by Samuel Butler; a larger context is here; use ctrl-f to locate the sentence)

Please explain "back eddies".  Thanks.  --- tk

Offline admin

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Re: ---- back eddies
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 02:16:08 pm »
Back eddies appear in rivers or moving water of any sort. The main current goes down stream but, near the banks where the are obstructions, a small amount of water may eddy (flow) back against the main flow of the stream. So here, it refers not to the main stream of education but those contra-flows that may not be so desirable.
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk

Offline Darryl

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Re: ---- back eddies
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 10:36:50 pm »
A very comprehensive answer there, Duncan. The words of an experienced sailor.  :)
So the writer is saying that schools and universities are relegated to the 'back eddies' and not mainstream educational institutions? Seems a bit harsh. Is he saying the person has little worldly experience beyond academia?

Offline t k

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Re: ---- back eddies
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 07:09:06 am »
Thanks, Duncan, for the answer.

Darryl ---  I figure from the larger context that "He" (Ernest) is so childish and inexperienced in the ways of anything mainstream and that his experience is perhaps limited only to those "back eddies" of the world, schools and universities.  --- tk

Offline Darryl

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Re: ---- back eddies
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 09:12:53 am »
I see. In short, Ernest was a bit na´ve.