Thus began the somewhat unhealthy process of a star-struck

Yekta

Senior Member
Persian
Hi. I have read this sentence in "Steve Jobs" book and I don't have specail problem with the meaning of the words but I just can't get what the sentence wants to say. I guess my problem is with its structure.
"Thus began the somewhat unhealthy process of a star-struck Sculley perceiving in Jobs qualities that he fancied in himself"
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Take out the modifiers, and try to figure it out from there. Can you understand:

    "the process of Sculley perceiving [qualities] in Jobs, [those] qualities that [Jobs] fancied in [he, Jobs,] himself"?
     

    Jeffy Jay

    Senior Member
    English-American
    Yeah, that's a bit rough sounding.

    It sounds like he's saying, "Sculley became obsessed with finding the Steve Jobs in himself," or "became obsessed with copying or being Steve Jobs."
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Whoops, think you haven't quite got it, JJ.

    Sculley - who is "star-struck," who is obsessed with the brilliance he perceives in Jobs - keeps discovering new qualities in Jobs, and telling Jobs about them. The problem is that these qualities, which Sculley's adoration for Jobs causes Sculley to perceive, are precisely those qualities that Jobs would like to think that he, Jobs, possesses. So basically, Sculley is telling Jobs what Jobs most wants to hear about himself (and Jobs is probably encouraging Sculley's adoration and adulation). This vicious cycle of quasi-co-dependent egotism is what the author calls "somewhat unhealthy" - because it reinforces Jobs's ego and Sculley's obsession with Jobs.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hmm... I read that quite differently. Too many pronouns? I also don't see anything to justify the ideas behind "keeps discovering" and "telling Jobs". Are you reading more context from the book without telling us?
    Sculley - who is "star-struck," who is obsessed with the brilliance he perceives in Jobs - keeps discovering new sees qualities in Jobs ...
    ... that Sculley wishes(would like to think) were his own (Sculley's) qualities.
    Sculley thinks (or would like to think) that Sculley has the qualities that Sculley admires in Jobs.
     

    Yekta

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Yes, Myridon. When I read the sentence more carefully, I guess the same as you.
    Thanks a lot for your explanations.
     

    eyePod

    Senior Member
    English - California
    Hi Yeky,
    I too have a problem with this sentence - definitely too many pronouns. It's rather boorish to decompose the whole thing, but I read the sentence as Sculley perceiving in Jobs the qualities Sculley would like to think that he (Sculley) has. There is a coloring in the words that adds to the vague feeling of the sentence. "Perceive" and "fancy" have to do with cognition and beliefs so there is some wiggle room there as well.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Yeah, I still think of it as "qualities that Jobs wanted to see in himself, Steve Jobs."

    But it is impossible to tell from this sentence. Maybe a bigger understanding of the overall narrative here would help?
     

    Yekta

    Senior Member
    Persian
    But I think its "the qualities that Scully wanted to see in himself", because next in the story, it is said that Scully changed his car and choose a car that he thought Jobs like. So, I think he tried to behave like Jobs.
     
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