chant away

mia0815

Senior Member
Taiwanese
The past is magnetic. It draws us in. We cannot help ourselves and, as with other things that we cannot help in ourselves, we make up elaborate explanations, reasonable rational explanations, to chant away the powerful things that don't belong to us.

The PowerBook by Jeanette Winterson

What does 'chant away' mean? Does it mean to 'celebrate in song' or 'chase away'?

Please help. Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This is figurative language, mia0815. Winterson is telling us that we repeat elaborate explanations for things to ourselves in an effort to make ourselves forget about those powerful things that don't belong to us.

    That long sentence of mine is basically telling you that "chant away" means something like "chase away" or "scare away".
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I didn't get the 'forgetting' part from reading the passage.
    Thank you! Now I got it.
    You're welcome.

    If those elaborate explanations don't succeed in making us forget the powerful things, at least they make us feel a little less disturbed by those things. That chanting Winterson refers to helps people cope with a past that they have no way of changing.
     
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