in a fake diva swoon ?


Senior Member
Hello Everyone,

The following sentences is taken from Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. I would like to know what is the meaning of the phrase of "in a fake diva swoon"?

..."Well, just remember, young man," Harry would say, pressing the back of his hand against his forehead in a fake diva swoon ,
"when you come to work for me, you'll discover that books don't bleed. And they certainly don't defecate."...

Thanks and Regards


  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hello, Sky. Here are some definitions from WR's dictionary that should help you figure out what this means:

    Diva a famous female singer of operatic or popular music.

    Swoon 1 literary faint, especially from extreme emotion.

    You already know what "fake" means, don't you? So what do you think a "fake diva swoon" means?


    Senior Member
    Thanks a lot for your prompt and kind replies. At my first thougt, swoon means extremly excited, but didn't know the meaning of diva. Now I have got it.


    American English
    It's an odd string of words, so it's understandable that it's hard to understand. The gesture is somewhat queeny, and I can write that because I'm gay. :)

    Divas, who in gay culture are typically seen as iconic figures, sort of cultish (sp.?), having almost unattainable talent/allure ... think Whitney, Aretha, Madonna, Diana, Mariah, Lady Gaga ... sometimes feign (fake) emotion for the camera. I surmise this was more common in the past, but when you put your hand across your forehead like you are going to faint because you are overcome with emotion ... it's a fake diva swoon.

    And you've got to sell it girl, to make it believable and fierce. :)

    I hope that helps further.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Harry acted as though he was going to pretend to faint as an overly-dramatic actress would in a performance.
    I found a text and accompanying picture from that illustrates this rather well.

    Swooning: “Wow Bwog, thanks for these events!” .
    (scroll down page to find the picture)


    In case the above link becomes defunct, a useful search term for similar pictures is swoon faint
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    For it to be really fake, note that it's the back of the hand or wrist that goes against the forehead, and the fingers are slightly bent. This is one of the classic mime-artist's gestures.
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