purple haze

mariana79

Senior Member
Turkish
In Booth Tarkington's The magnificent Ambersons there is this paragraph:

When Lucy came home the autumn was far enough advanced to smell of burning leaves, and for the annual editorials, in the papers, on the purple haze, the golden branches, the ruddy fruit, and the pleasure of long tramps in the brown forest.

Tarkington counts signs of Autumn, I can not understand some of them:

what is annual editorial, is it some editorial written describing autumn?

waht is purple haze, does mean like HAZE or is purple haze a plant or something?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The annual editorials are, as you say, simply the items journalists always write at this time of year — using flowery language to describe the autumnal colours etc. I don't think there's literally a purple haze (maybe it's used here as it's the title of a famous song!), but certainly a misty atmosphere is typical in autumn.

    The poet Keats famously described autumn as the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness".
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I'm guessing here (more like wondering) because I'm not at all sure. But generally newspapers only write and publish editorials about problems and controversies. Not about autumn colors.:)

    So I think the editorials might be about people burning leaves and creating an unhealthy purple haze that detracts from enjoying the beauty of the autumn season. In lots of places now it's illegal to burn leaves. That could be a result of those types of editorials.

    If that's correct, the punctuation could be better.

    Updated: I can't see a way to make the punctuation work, so that that meaning would make sense with the grammar, so I guess I'm wrong.
     
    Last edited:

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I'm guessing here (more like wondering) because I'm not at all sure. But generally newspapers only write and publish editorials about problems and controversies. Not about autumn colors.:)
    This is true of modern papers perhaps, but not local papers of the past. Editors would certainly write pieces about how beautiful the countryside is in [name a season], or about things that make us remember the past, which leads to the next point...

    So I think the editorials might be about people burning leaves and creating an unhealthy purple haze that detracts from enjoying the beauty of the autumn season. In lots of places now it's illegal to burn leaves. That could be a result of those types of editorials.
    Believe it or not, at one time the smell of burning autumn leaves was not looked upon as pollution, but as something that gave one an instant sense memory of time and place (autumn, and all the memories that go with it), and lots of people liked it. Think of it as being in the same category as the smell of pumpkin pie, or of a Christmas tree, or of lilacs in May. You may note the comments of Lewis Thomas in his 1980 essay in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled "On Smell"; certainly, Dr. Thomas was not alone in his fondness for the odor.
     
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