how he went on

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Gabriel Aparta

Senior Member
Español - Venezuela
Hi, please, from Frankenstein:

Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on?

Go on
means what here? Is it an old way of saying how was he? About the context, this professor Krempe didn't respect Cornelius, who Frankenstein liked.

Thanks!
 
  • Dominic_123

    Member
    British English
    Professor Krempe is mocking Frankenstein and is most likely comparing him to Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (a practitioner of magic and occult).
    Went on means what Agrippa became, as in profession.
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    It's so many years since I read Frankenstein. Is Cornelius Agrippa a character in the book, or a character in a book in the book? If it's a character, then it seems like it would mean "how did Agrippa continue?", i.e. what were Agrippa's next words. Do you have the preceding sentence?
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    If Dominic_123 is correct about Agrippa then that makes sense, but "went on" sounds so strange to me with that meaning. Then again, it's a long time ago now. :)
     

    Dominic_123

    Member
    British English
    This is the extract, chapter 4

    As I applied so closely, it may be easily conceived that my progress was rapid. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students, and my proficiency that of the masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on, whilst M. Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in my progress
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    With that extra context it suddenly doesn't sound so unusual to me. Then I'd say you're bang-on about the meaning.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on?

    Go on
    means what here?
    I disagree with the comments above. Krempe is asking Frankenstein how his study of the writings of Cornelius Agrippa is proceeding. In the previous chapter, Krempe is described as saying that the works of medieval scientists such as Cornelius Agrippa or Albertus Magnus, whom Frankenstein had said he like to read, are rubbish
     

    Gabriel Aparta

    Senior Member
    Español - Venezuela
    Mmm, that makes sense, thank you! By the way, you wrote had said he like to read, shouldn't that be liked or am I mistaken?

    Thanks
     
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