a time of supremely purblind foolishness.

When she ceased, the auricular impressions from their previous endearments seemed to hustle away into the corner of their brains, repeating themselves as echoes from a time of supremely purblind foolishness. ---Tess of the d'Urbervilles

What is a time of supremely purblind foolishness?

Many thanks in advance.
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The key word here is of course foolishness, which hopefully is self-explanatory. "Supremely purblind" really just intensifies "foolishness" since "purblind" means, metaphorically speaking, "lacking in judgment or understanding" which is an element of foolishness in any case. "Supremely purblind" is virtually redundant as "purblind" means completely blind.

    (Note: "purblind" later took on a secondary meaning of "partly blind", but it makes little sense to say "supremely partially blind".)
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