inquiring of Coca Cola signs

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kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear all
Please tell me what other word(s) would you choose instead of "inquiring" in the following context, taken from "The Camera Eye 46 " in "The Big Money" by Dos Passos:
walk the streets and walk the streets inquiring of Coca Cola signs Lucky Strike ads pricetags in storewindows scraps of overheard conversations stray tatters of newsprint yesterday's headlines sticking out of ashcans
for a set of figures a formula of action an address you don't quite know you've forgotten the number the street may be in Brooklyn....
Could it be "looking in wonder"?
 
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    No, it sounds to me like a description of walking around in a state of not knowing what to do next or how to solve a problem and hoping against hope to find the answer in the everyday sights of the city. In other words, I understand inquiring literally, "asking".
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    These are the things that one sees as one goes about a city. I think the idea is that the writer is looking at everything around him and is trying to find meaning in it. He is thus, in a sense, asking for (or inquiring) that meaning from the city's sights and sounds.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    These are the things that one sees as one goes about a city. I think the idea is that the writer is looking at everything around him and is trying to find meaning in it. He is thus, in a sense, asking for (or inquiring) that meaning from the city's sights and sounds.
    This is quite convincing dear GWB
    I'm sure you know "Camera Eyes" in U.S.A. are autobiographical evocations of Dos Passos's own experiences; I think Camera Eye 46 reflects DP's desperate feelings about post-war (WW1) situation and the writer has successfully shown his desperate state of mind there.
    Thank you so much.
    K
     

    heyme

    New Member
    English
    I think the writer was searching for an adress, and so "inquire" was used literally in that sense. Yet, he chose to express in the city's features rather than the people's, to keep it more figurative and expressionistic.
     
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