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Triviality   /trˌɪviˈæləti/   Listen
Triviality

noun
(pl. trivialities)
1.
The quality of being unimportant and petty or frivolous.  Synonyms: pettiness, puniness, slightness.
2.
A detail that is considered insignificant.  Synonyms: technicality, trifle.
3.
Something of small importance.  Synonyms: small beer, trifle, trivia.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Triviality" Quotes from Famous Books



... makes a neat pendant to the renaissance art of Aachen. People who begin to collect have lost the first fury of creation. The change that came over plastic art in France towards the end of the twelfth century is reflected in the accomplished triviality of Chretien de Troyes. The eleventh century had produced the Chanson de Roland, a poem as grand and simple as a Romanesque church. Chretien de Troyes melted down the massive conceptions of his betters and twisted them into fine-spun conceits. He ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... Thing has been the same. Upon our own atom of the universe it is given the generic name of Love and its existence is that which the boldest need not defy, the most profound need not attempt to explain with clarity, the most brilliantly sophistical to argue away. Its forms of beauty, triviality, magnificence, imbecility, loveliness, stupidity, holiness, purity and bestiality neither detract from nor add to its unalterable power. As the earth revolves upon its axis and reveals night and day, Spring, Summer and ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... the particular moment I cannot say, but I fancy to an early one who has lately become a widower. After more exact knowledge I do not care to enquire; for to confess ignorance on the subject, implying that one has treated as a triviality and has forgotten the most important detail of a matter that to her is of vital importance, is to hurt her feelings; while to angle for information is but to entangle oneself. To speak of Him as "Tom," when Tom has belonged for weeks to the dead and buried past, to hastily correct ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... escaping from the restraint of grave feelings. That this is a part-cause is true. Doubtless very often, as Mr. Bain says, "it is the coerced form of seriousness and solemnity without the reality that gives us that stiff position from which a contact with triviality or vulgarity relieves us, to our uproarious delight." And in so far as mirth is caused by the gush of agreeable feeling that follows the cessation of mental strain, it further illustrates the general principle above set forth. But no explanation ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... he reached it. But tie yourself up with a woman and, like a chained convict, you lose all freedom! And all you have of hope and strength merely weighs you down and torments you with regret. Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality—these are the enchanted circle I cannot escape from. I am now going to the war, the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for nothing. I am very amiable and have a caustic wit," continued Prince Andrew, "and at Anna Pavlovna's they ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... shared in the life not merely of this religion or of that, Pagan or Christian, but in the life of the winds and rains. Such churches as this, anything but swept and garnished, correspond in a way to Browning's poetry; there is the high solemnity brought home to you, not disturbed, by the very triviality of the details; mysteries and wonders overarching the real living life of ex-votos and pictures of runaway horses and houses on fire; the life worn like the porphyry discs of the pavement, precious bits trodden ...
— The Spirit of Rome • Vernon Lee

... say, the Rue Une Telle, or the Avenue Quelque-Chose. The idea appealed to the fancy of the great man, and matters were going along swimmingly, until it came to the point of settling upon a price to be paid the novelist for his labour. "And now, cher maitre, we must consider the painful triviality of emolument." Without hesitation Balzac mentioned a figure that was simply staggering. It was a minute or two before the astonished publisher could gather his wits together sufficiently to protest and bargain. But Balzac was not to be moved. He explained that the ...
— Fifth Avenue • Arthur Bartlett Maurice

... military father and the views of an ethical mother and a soul of his own which for sheer simplicity is something staggering. Vernede with an Oriental and inscrutable placidity varied every now and then with dazzling agility and Meredithian humour. Waldo d'Avigdor who masks with complete fashionable triviality a Hebraic immutability of passion tried in a more ironical and bitter service than his Father Jacob. Lawrence and Maurice Solomon, who show another side of the same people, the love of home, the ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... impression of the triviality of the occasion: they all seemed desperately searching for that something he had lost and which was overwhelmingly important to him; and all the while the music stuttered and mocked and confused a tragic need. Or it was like a momentary release from deadly ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... repressed on principle,—a man of high character and probity, greatly esteemed by his associates. He endeavored to bring up his children in sound religious principles, and to leave no room in their lives for triviality. One of the two weekly half-holidays was required for the catechism, and the only relaxation from the three church services on Sunday was the reading of "Pilgrim's Progress." This cold and severe discipline at home would have ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... sectarianism, the human-hearted piety of Bunyan touches and ennobles, convinces, accuses the reader. Through no art beside the art of words can the kindness of a man's affections be expressed. In the cuts you shall find faithfully parodied the quaintness and the power, the triviality and the surprising freshness of the author's fancy; there you shall find him out-stripped in ready symbolism and the art of bringing things essentially invisible before the eyes: but to feel the contact of essential goodness, to be made in love with piety, the book ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the fear haunts me. With such terrible real things pressing upon me, my imagination can shape nothing substantial. When I have laboured out a story, I suddenly see it in a light of such contemptible triviality that to work at it ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... liked to dance with Missy because she was such a good dancer, and Jim kept wanting to cut in to get an extra dance with her himself. Somehow even the sting of the visiting girl's laugh and of Raymond's defection seemed to have subsided into triviality. And when Raymond came up to ask for a dance she experienced a new and pleasurable thrill in telling him she was already engaged. That thrill disturbed her a little. Was it possible that she was vindictive, wicked? But when she saw Jim approaching while Raymond was receiving his conge, ...
— Missy • Dana Gatlin

... hours when the home was particularly united in some glow of visitors or birthday celebration, she would be persuaded to recall some of those old songs and simple apologues, with such charm that even her husband, to whom verse was naturally an incomprehensible triviality, was visibly softened, and perhaps, deep in the sadness of his silent nature, moved to a passing realisation of a certain something kind and musical in life ...
— Young Lives • Richard Le Gallienne

... and especially in literary circles, that they are maintained for a long time. As far back as in the time of Rome, it was remarked that often books have their own very strange fates: consisting in failure notwithstanding their high merits, and in enormous undeserved success notwithstanding their triviality. The saying arose: "pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli"—i.e., that the fate of books depends on the understanding of those who read them. There was harmony between Shakespeare's writings and the view of life of those amongst ...
— Tolstoy on Shakespeare - A Critical Essay on Shakespeare • Leo Tolstoy

... the sun's impartial photography on the film of a rambler's eye; yet in these few pages are condensed some thousands, probably, of Hawthorne's days. The life they depict has been called barren, and the literary product has been described as thin. "What triviality, what monotony, what emptiness!" the critics exclaim. It is, indeed, provincial; rusticity is its element. Hawthorne, however, did not choose it, as a topic, for that reason, with a conscious intention ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... happen? Follow it—use the eyes God has given you—can you not see that a great deal of land would be reclaimed upon this side?" It was to me like school in holidays; but to him, until I had worn him out with my invincible triviality, a delight. Thus he pored over the engineer's voluminous handy-book of nature; thus must, too, have ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... when one goes to him, he shows to little advantage in large companies, and that is why he did not please everybody at St. Petersburg. You will easily see the reason why this incomparable man in such companies, where people talk of fashion, of clothes, of frippery, and all other sorts of triviality, neither gives pleasure to others nor finds pleasure himself." And the friendly Swede rises to the height of generalisation in the quaint maxim, Where an empty head shines, there a thoroughly cultivated ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... But however good the evidence, we shall fail to make out a case unless dream experiences are conceded to be as real as any other. The reluctance we may have to make this concession comes first from the purely subjective character of dreams, and secondly from their triviality and irrationality—it is as though the muddy sediment of daytime thought and feeling and that alone were there cast forth. In answer to the first objection, advanced psychology affirms that the subconscious mind, from which dreams arise, approaches more nearly to the omniscience of true being than ...
— Four-Dimensional Vistas • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... against taste and morals, which are bad enough in a private citizen, are infinitely worse if made into instruments for debauching the community through a newspaper. Mendacity, slander, sensationalism, inanity, vapid triviality, all are potent factors for the debauchery of the public mind and conscience. The excuse advanced for vicious writing, that the public demands it and that the demand must be supplied, can no more be admitted ...
— African and European Addresses • Theodore Roosevelt

... serious handicap to both happiness and efficiency. Nor is self-discussion the only exhibit of restlessness the American woman gives. To an unaccustomed observer she seems always to be running about on the face of things with no other purpose than to put in her time. He points to the triviality of the things in which she can immerse herself—her fantastic and ever-changing raiment, the welter of lectures and other culture schemes which she supports, the eagerness with which she transports herself to the ends of the earth—as marks of a spirit not at home with itself, ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... looked for in such a primeval daughter of Eve. Her imagination and her reading had saved the girl's sweet modesty. A certain detachment made it possible for her to ignore the squalor of the actual and see it only as a surface triviality, to let her mind dwell in inner concepts of goodness and beauty while bestiality ...
— Man Size • William MacLeod Raine

... effect of a good dinner, that dwindling away of pleasant emotions; perhaps it was the very triviality of the offense for which he was thus suddenly arraigned; at any rate, he lost his temper, and he was rather ...
— The Place of Honeymoons • Harold MacGrath

... as yet unblurred by the expediencies, compromise and experimental contacts of life, Neville was stabbed by a sharp pang of fear and hope for them. Fear lest on some fleeting impulse they might founder into the sentimental triviality of short-lived contacts, or into the tedium of bonds which must out-live desire; hope that, by some fortunate chance, they might each achieve, as she had achieved, some relation which should be both durable and to be endured. As to the third path—no love at all—she did not believe ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... by the real vigour of Roman thews!—As for me, I honour, in these loud-babbling days, all the Silent rather. A grand Silence that of Romans;—nay the grandest of all, is it not that of the gods! Even Triviality, Imbecility, that can sit silent, how respectable is it in comparison! The 'talent of silence' is our fundamental one. Great honour to him whose Epic is a melodious hexameter Iliad; not a jingling Sham-Iliad, nothing true in it but the hexameters and forms merely. But still greater honour, ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... is fatal to high art, in writing as in painting; nor can very clever dialogue, ingenious situations, variety of style and subject, or even a high average morality, preserve such literature from triviality and gradual degradation. ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... it's jist naething, jist a—a triviality, like; but Ah see there's a great crood frae the Oa, the day, an' jist as many Murphys an' Connors; an' Ah heerd a lot o' wild talk aboot Fenians, an' the like. They would be sayin' Pat Murphy was a Fenian; an' that Tam Caldwell would be for sendin' him oot o' the Glen. Ah'm ...
— The Silver Maple • Marian Keith

... followed in his adversity by the kindness of his friends. Of all the virtues this is perhaps the one which in our hurried age tends most to disappear. It is left for the occupation of idle hours, and the smallest piece of triviality which can be tortured into the name of business, is allowed to crowd away those constantly repeated attentions which might add a true grace and refinement to the lives of those who gave and of those who received ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... of Burghley's house. Fairfield, at the man's look of astonishment, remembered that he was unshaven, and that his clothes had been thrown on haphazard. It was a queer thought to intrude at such a time. But he was usually a scrupulously dressed man, and the triviality worried him. ...
— The Grell Mystery • Frank Froest

... be assumed that at no previous period has the public been more buzzed round by triviality and common-place; but we hold firm, at the same time, that at none other has there been a greater or a grander body of genius, or so honorable a display of well cultivated taste and talent. Certainly ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... sought in vain upon all those faces youth's gentle and poetical gayety, the exuberance of gifted natures, the amiable cordiality of travelling-companions pressing on together in different paths. The most salient characteristics of this bizarre assembly were sickly smiles, an incredible mixture of triviality and affectation, motions of wild beasts trying their teeth and claws, starving attitudes, words tortured to make them look like ideas, a brutal familiarity, and the evident desire to devour all their superiors that they might next crush all their ...
— Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... insipid Brunswick specimen, backed by Seckendorf and Vienna, proves on consideration the desirable to Friedrich Wilhelm in this matter. But his Son's notions, who as yet knows her only by rumor, do not go that way. Insipidity, triviality; the fear of "CAGOTAGE" and frightful fellows in black supremely unconscious what blockheads they are, haunts him a good deal. And as for any money coming,—her sublime Aunt the Kaiserinn never had much ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... from his sister's tutelage, and in Europe, where he remained for two years, he had met the lady who was to become his wife. Mrs. Renfield was the widow of one of the diplomatists who languish in perpetual first secretary-ship at our various embassies. Her life had given her ease without triviality, and a sense of the importance of politics seldom found in ladies of her nationality. She regarded a public life as the noblest and most engrossing of careers, and combined with great social versatility ...
— The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... our ever making ourselves like Jesus Christ. For it is these trifles that make life, and to concentrate ourselves on the pursuit of the Christian aim is, in other words, to carry that Christian aim into every triviality ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Cecily! I am surprised at you. Mr. Worthing has many troubles in his life. Idle merriment and triviality would be out of place in his conversation. You must remember his constant anxiety about that ...
— The Importance of Being Earnest - A Trivial Comedy for Serious People • Oscar Wilde

... to Jesus at the supper. Some of the Twelve had fallen into muttering dispute among themselves over the matter of individual precedence,[1191] possibly as to the order in which they should take their places at table, over which triviality scribes and Pharisees as well as the Gentiles often quarreled;[1192] and again the Lord had to remind the apostles that the greatest of them all was he who most willingly served his fellows. They had ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... and less for truth and good, for God and eternity. Absorbed in the materialistic game, or frittered and jaded in frivolous diversions, all eternal aims go by default. In what precious age was maddening rivalry so universal, giggling laughter so pestilent an epidemic, triviality at such a premium and sublimity at such a discount? But the things to which men really devote themselves dilate to fill the whole field of their vision. They soon come to disbelieve that for which they ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... the folly and triviality of all messages coming, or purporting to come, from the Unseen. I think here, as elsewhere, like clings to like, and we get very much what we deserve; or rather, to put it in a more philosophical and Emersonian way, we receive what belongs ...
— Seen and Unseen • E. Katharine Bates

... is," said D'Artagnan, "if men are punished for imprudence and triviality, this poor king deserves punishment. But it seems to me that that which he is just now ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... and imparted strength in the transit. I mastered the rising hysteria, lifted up my head, and took a firm stand on the stool. Helen Burns asked some slight question about her work of Miss Smith, was chidden for the triviality of the inquiry, returned to her place, and smiled at me as she again went by. What a smile! I remember it now, and I know that it was the effluence of fine intellect, of true courage; it lit up her marked lineaments, her thin face, her sunken grey eye, ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... a fall, and the plea of a shock from a fall, required to account for the triviality of the mind, were humiliating to him who had never hitherto missed a step, or owned to the shortest of collapses. This confession of deficiency in explosive repartee—using a friend's term for the ready gift—was an old and a rueful one with ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... Durkin was growing impatient of this curtly condescending tone. It was the ponderosity of officialdom, he felt, grown playful, in the face of a passing triviality. ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... scenes he found himself, so he wrote to Goethe, before a different tribunal. Much that had seemed very good in prose would not do at all; for verse tended to invest everything with an imaginative nimbus which rendered triviality and ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... as before, and you have two pieces of inlaid work—what is the ground in one forming the pattern in the other, and vice versa. By this ingenious means there is absolutely no waste of stuff. You get, moreover, almost invariably a broad and dignified effect: the process does not lend itself to triviality. It was used by the Italians, and more especially by the Spaniards of the Renaissance, who borrowed the idea, ...
— Art in Needlework - A Book about Embroidery • Lewis F. Day

... by the jingling of his harlequin's cap, as he himself styles it,[211] he does not succeed,—with the few exceptions just referred to,—in convincing us very deeply of the reality of his feelings. They are either trivially or extravagantly stated. Sometimes this sense of triviality is caused by the poet's excessive fondness for all sorts of diminutive expressions, giving an artificial effect, an effect of "Taendelei" to his ...
— Types of Weltschmerz in German Poetry • Wilhelm Alfred Braun

... Cromwell: ask not of him; he is like to drive me mad. There he lies, shining clear enough to me, nay glowing, or painfully burning; but far down; sunk under two hundred years of Cant, Oblivion, Unbelief, and Triviality of every kind: through all which, and to the top of all which, what mortal industry or energy will avail to raise him! A thousand times I have rued that my poor activity ever took that direction. The likelihood ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... me with but one advice,—be patient; say little; do as little as possible; and endeavor to appear insensible to their insults. I would say to you, if you will excuse the triviality of the comparison, imitate those feeble insects who simulate death when they are touched. They are defenceless; and that is their only ...
— The Clique of Gold • Emile Gaboriau

... a revelation of the beauty of the English language, and it profoundly influenced Ruskin and other prose writers of the Victorian Age. It has two chief faults,—diffuseness, which continually leads De Quincey away from his object, and triviality, which often makes him halt in the midst of a marvelous paragraph to make some light jest or witticism that has some humor but no mirth in it. Notwithstanding these faults, De Quincey's prose is still among the few supreme examples of style in ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... the dark, he cursed himself for a fool for letting her go—a boy's trick. But then the whole affair did not desperately engage him. He sat in the comfortable chair, and lit a cigarette, shielding it with his hand so that she would not see it, recognize in its triviality his detachment. A wave of weariness swept over him; the night was like a blanket on the land. Minutes passed without her return; soon he would go in search of her; he would find her ... in the dark house.... He shut his eyes for a moment, and opened them with an effort. The whippoorwills ...
— Mountain Blood - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... to a royal inheritance, but in the meantime they have, as it were, to keep a little huckster's shop in a back alley. But if we adequately realised the promise of our inheritance, the meanness of our surroundings and the triviality of our occupations would not make us mean or trivial, but our souls would be 'like stars' and 'dwell apart' while we travelled 'on life's common way in cheerful godliness,' and did small duties in such a manner as ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Mount. Normans were everywhere in 1066, and everywhere in the lead of their age. We were a serious race. If you want other proof of it, besides our record in war and in politics, you have only to look at our art. Religious art is the measure of human depth and sincerity; any triviality, any weakness, cries aloud. If this church on the Mount is not proof enough of Norman character, we will stop at Coutances for a wider view. Then we will go to Caen and Bayeux. From there, it would almost be worth our while to leap at once to Palermo. It was in the ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... eyes on the ground, she felt his constant sidewise glances, and, desperately seeking relief from the conscious silence that enveloped them like a vapor of intoxicating fumes, she forced herself to utter the merest triviality she could summon to her lips: "See that house." The husky tones betrayed more ...
— A Summer Evening's Dream - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... oath having been administered, I made the following statement, which impressed the judge with so strong a sense of the comparative triviality of the offense for which I was on trial that he made no further search for mitigating circumstances, but simply instructed the jury to acquit, and I left the court, without a stain upon ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 8 - Epigrams, On With the Dance, Negligible Tales • Ambrose Bierce

... normal attitude of normal people. Such would still fain believe that the grave is not the end, but many of them are in a state of bewilderment and insecurity. On the one hand men have never grown reconciled to the heart-breaking triviality of death, never accepted this dispensation without a question, a hope, or, failing hope, a sense of rebellion; on the other, we have to recognise that we live in an age when multitudes have ceased to accept religious beliefs simply upon the authority of the ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... be deemed a compliment. It is perhaps a triviality on my part, but I feel prompted to say that I have at no time discussed your position or prospects with Mrs. Frothingham, and that I have neither offered advice on the subject nor have been requested ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... appropriate word as one seeks for a sword. His mouth froths, and the froth is the word. In face of this mean and mighty victory, in face of this victory which counts none victorious, this desperate soldier stands erect. He grants its overwhelming immensity, but he establishes its triviality; and he does more than spit upon it. Borne down by numbers, by superior force, by brute matter, he finds in his soul an expression: "Excrement!" We repeat it,—to use that word, to do thus, to invent such an expression, is ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... compare the first manifestation, the beginning of the English and French Labour movement, with the German movement which has just begun. He neglects to do this. His reasoning therefore runs upon a triviality, such as that industry in Germany is not yet so developed as in England, or that a movement in its beginnings looks different from a ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... maxims have always a basis in fact; and it is undoubtedly true that women of exceptional cleverness prefer the wit, wisdom, and earnestness of the more cultivated members of the other sex to the too frequent ignorance and triviality of their own. Undoubtedly, in most societies, women of unusual genius and accomplishments can more easily find congenial companionship with men than with women. But to infer from this any natural incompatibility for friendships between ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... that of his antagonist but more vigorous and powerful. He wrote, too, more carefully. In his youth he had been private secretary to Sir William Temple, a writer now as good as forgotten because of the triviality of his matter, but in his day esteemed because of the easy urbanity and polish of his prose. From him Swift learned the labour of the file, and he declared in later life that it was "generally believed ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... the name of rubbish, pray let us know what it is. But Boston crowds to hear disquisitions which from men in a different social position would be voted a bore, and sits reverently and patiently to catch his feeble and to many, scarce audible utterances. Is not this the worship of triviality and trash! How different would have been the action of John Hancock, of Samuel Adams, of Fisher Ames, or of Wendell Phillips. The atmosphere of European courts is debilitating to American Republicanism, ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, June 1887 - Volume 1, Number 5 • Various

... decoration which people rave over in Spain, but has a strength in its refinement which comes from its expression in the exquisitely carven marble. When this is grayed with age it is indeed of the effect of old silver work; but the plateresque in Valladolid does not suggest fragility or triviality; its grace is perhaps rather feminine than masculine; but at the worst it is only the ultimation of the decorative genius of the Gothic. It is, at any rate, the finest surprise which the local architecture has to offer and it leaves one wishing for ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... objects—or no-objects—I came for," he said, with dreary triviality, "and I must hurry away to other fields of activity." He kept his eyes on her face, which he saw full of a passionate intensity, working ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... was in from walking, and the danger for an old fellow of taking cold in a drive through the cool air; and then, as old fellows do, we bantered each other about our ages, each claiming to be older than the other, and the kind, sweet young girl sat listening with that tolerance of youth for the triviality of age which is so charming. When he could do no more, he said he was sorry, and wished me luck, and drove on; and I being by this time tired with my three miles' tramp, took advantage of a wayside farmhouse, the first in all the distance, and went in and asked for ...
— Seven English Cities • W. D. Howells

... so convinced of the triviality of this amusement that to find at last that he had taken it in the most ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... and thus possess one's self of the actual mind of the individual man"—such was Macready's definition of the player's art; and to this we may add the testimony of Talma. He describes tragic acting as "the union of grandeur without pomp and nature without triviality." It demands, he says, the endowment of ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... of our little island home has its history. The land is small, but the changes among the inhabitants, and the achievements of its heroes, have redeemed it from triviality, and made it among nations great and important. The deeds Englishmen have done, the afflictions they have suffered, the victories they have won, and the results that they have brought about, conspire to make every county famous for something. In one, the ashes of martyrs have ...
— Grace Darling - Heroine of the Farne Islands • Eva Hope

... sphere of prose fiction, as Byron had introduced it in the sphere of verse thirty years earlier. It was an inestimable gift; it had to come to us, from Charlotte Bronte or another, to save our literature from a decline into triviality and pretension. But she suffered, as Byron had suffered, in the direct ratio of her originality. If a writer employs passion in an age which has ceased to recognise it as one of the necessities of literary ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... closely restricted by the accidents of circumstance and individual character; (2) as I have hinted, the Beach of Falesa has faults of construction, one of which is serious, if not vital, while The Isle of Voices, though beautifully composed, is tied down by the triviality of its subject. But The Bottle Imp is perfectly constructed: the last page ends the tale, and the tale is told with a light grace, sportive within restraint, that takes nothing from the seriousness of the subject. Some may think this extravagant praise for a ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... us a Child is born," with its recurring climaxes of ever-increasing intensity. He frankly imitated none of these things, but they must, consciously or unconsciously, have heightened the nobility of the great choral fugues that relieve the triviality of so much of ...
— Haydn • John F. Runciman

... arouse the most violent scenes. Hitherto they had been restrained by the presence of others, but now it was the same whether they were alone or not. Very soon, as far as brutality of expression or the triviality of the question was concerned, he was as bad or worse ...
— Absalom's Hair • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... whether it was taller or shorter than one being vaunted for sale in a bookseller's catalogue just to hand. His face, one of much refinement, was a study, exhibiting alike a fixed determination to discover the exact truth about the copy and a humorous realization of the inherent triviality of the whole business. Locker was a philosopher as ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... in health and vigour. I have had to learn by experience that attention to very small details is the road to success in keeping pets as well as in other things, and the desire to pass on that experience must be my excuse to more scientific readers for seeming triviality. ...
— Wild Nature Won By Kindness • Elizabeth Brightwen

... thing was unspeakably painful. He was willing enough to meet McVay in a grim interchange over his strange combination of facility and crime, of doom and triviality. But when it became any question of playing upon Cecilia's unconsciousness of the situation, he writhed. Yet, a little discernment would have shown him how natural, how encouraging from his own point ...
— The Burglar and the Blizzard • Alice Duer Miller

... there is more in this tinge of off-hand refinement, the atmosphere, the enthusiasm shown and in the little personal touches, than in formidable arguments and logical reasons. What is triviality to a man is frequently the clinching statement with a woman. And so a fixed set of rules can not be formulated for writing letters to women. Instead of a hard and fast rule, the correspondent must have in mind the ideas and the features that naturally appeal to the feminine mind ...
— Business Correspondence • Anonymous

... senseless day, after its happy but meaningless triviality, the throng and mixed perfumery and silly courteous gestures, his blessed solitude! Oh solitude, that noble peace of the mind! He loved the throng and multitude of the day: he loved people: but sometimes he suspected that he loved them ...
— Where the Blue Begins • Christopher Morley

... founded by a spiritist, partly with a view to investigate mediums; and one of the five colleagues who declined my invitation is widely quoted as an effective critic of our evidence. So runs the world away! I should not indulge in the personality and triviality of such anecdotes, were it not that they paint the temper of our time, a temper which, thanks to Frederic Myers more than to any one, will certainly be impossible after this generation. Myers was, I think, decidedly exclusive ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... look over the lists of the Faculties and teachers of our Universities to see the subdivision of labor carried out as never before. The movement is irresistible; it brings with it exactness, exhaustive knowledge, a narrow but complete self-satisfaction, with such accompanying faults as pedantry, triviality, and the kind of partial blindness which belong to intellectual myopia. The specialist is idealized almost into sublimity in Browning's "Burial of the Grammarian." We never need fear that he will undervalue himself. To be the supreme authority on anything ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... find it no longer possible to continue celebrating that great moment in the social life of a vast empire without accusing myself of triviality and hypocrisy. I have become aware that I really care nothing about it, and know almost as little. I fancy that with most English people who have passed the heyday of their youth, perhaps without having drunk deeply, or at all, of the delirious fountain of fashion, it is much the same. The purpose ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... poems of sentiment and reflection, and his own ambition was that of being worthy to be honored as a philosophical poet. His theory that the poet's function is limited to an exact representation of the real and the natural, a heresy which his own best poems triumphantly refute, often led him to triviality and meanness in the choice both of subjects and diction, and marred the beauty of many otherwise fine poems. A fascinating airiness and delicacy of conception prevail in these poems, and the tender sweetness of expression is often ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... There is not left any vestige of despair, or misanthropy, or cunning, or exclusiveness, or the ignominy of a nativity or color, or delusion of hell or the necessity of hell—and no man thenceforward shall be degraded for ignorance or weakness or sin. The greatest poet hardly knows pettiness or triviality. If he breathes into anything that was before thought small, it dilates with the grandeur and life of the universe. He is a seer—he is individual—he is complete in himself—the others are as good as he, only he sees it, and they do not. He is not one of the chorus—he does not ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... does not mention, indeed there were then very few of them; plays he rather strangely ignores: newspapers, as we now know them and suffer by them, he of course could not so much as conceive. The Rambler had no sixpenny magazines of triviality, no sensational halfpenny papers, to compete with it, and it pursued an even course of modest success for its two years of life. The greatest pleasure it brought Johnson was the praise of his wife, who said to him, "I thought very well ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... that in the shifting architectural life of New York the actual original scenes of the incidents had been demolished and built upon by new apartment-houses, or new railroad stations, or new factories seventy-five stories high, was an unobstructing triviality. Accounts of his manner of conducting himself in European courts to which he had supposedly been bidden, of his immense popularity in glittering circles, of his finely democratic bearing when confronted by emperors surrounded by their guilty splendors, ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... French and Spanish city, with its motley population, were carefully jotted down in her note-book. These first descriptions she afterwards rewrote, discarding weakening detail, elaborating the occasional triviality which seemed to reflect the true local tint—a nice distinction, involving conscientious hard work. How she longed for criticism ...
— Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... eight years. The very year of Her Majesty's accession was signalised by two noteworthy endeavours to put away wrong. We will turn first to that which seems the least immediately philanthropic, although the injustice which it remedied was trivial in appearance only, since in its everyday triviality it weighed most heavily on the most numerous class—that of the humble ...
— Great Britain and Her Queen • Anne E. Keeling

... say that here no levity of matter is allowed, that is to say, every violation, however slight, of either of these two commandments, is a sin. You cannot even touch this pitch of moral defilement without being yourself defiled. It is useless therefore to argue the matter and enter a plea of triviality and inconsequence; nothing is trivial that is of a nature to offend God and damn ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... of art is a lottery. The town that had welcomed her so wildly now went Elssler-mad. The gossamer floatings of this French danseuse possessed everyone. People courted trash and trumpery. Greatness gave way to triviality. This pitiful condition preyed upon her. The flame of genius never for a moment became less dim, but her eyes grew larger, brighter, more melancholy. Sometimes she would fall into a painful reverie and I knew too well the subject of her thoughts. With tender solicitude she would ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... earnestness at the core of his being. Not but that she felt herself able to cope with a congenital defect of that sort, and make his love for her save him from himself. Now perhaps the miracle was already wrought in him. In the presence of the tremendous fact that he announced, all triviality seemed to have gone out of him; she began to feel that. He sank down on the top step, and wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, while she poured out upon him her question of the origin and authenticity of ...
— Between The Dark And The Daylight • William Dean Howells

... us only when we have stripped him of his last rag of pretension and touched through to the quick of his vanity with the realization of his apprehended foolishness. Literature will have failed humanity if it is so blinded by the monstrous agony in Flanders as to miss the essential triviality at the head of the present war. Not the slaughter of ten million men can make the quality of the German Kaiser other than theatrical ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... repay the closest study by the student of portraiture. They are full of that wise selection by a great mind that lifts such work above the triviality of the commonplace to the level ...
— The Practice and Science Of Drawing • Harold Speed

... scarcely a single proof had been discovered of treasonable practice, and that the loyalty of the mass of the people was itself a sufficient guarantee against the impulses of the evil-minded. [299] Such was the impression of triviality and imposture produced at the Diet by this report, that the representatives of several States proposed that the Commission should forthwith be dissolved as useless and unnecessary. This, however, could not be tolerated by Metternich ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... however, had shaped itself gigmanically only. Fond of quizzing, yet not very maliciously. Has a broad, black brow, indicating force and penetration, but the lower half of the face diminishing into the character at best of distinctness, almost of triviality." ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... The triviality of the dinner had been in those two minutes dwarfed and drowned in my mind. I did not want to go and see a political widow, and a captain who collected apes; I wanted to hear what had brought this dear, doddering old vicar into relation with ...
— The Club of Queer Trades • G. K. Chesterton

... club, or, at any rate, that a certain number of them may find their highest happiness in knowledge and wisdom rather than in amateur theatricals and fancy-dress balls. The human mind, after all, cannot find rest in triviality, and after so long a period of the most sordid and vulgar self-indulgence it is reasonable to hope that our aristocracy may ...
— The Mirrors of Downing Street - Some Political Reflections by a Gentleman with a Duster • Harold Begbie

... just now? Oh, Adalbert the novelist, and what a proud and substantial fellow he is. 'Spring is the most horrible season,' he said, and went to the cafe. For a man must know what he wants, mustn't he? You see, the spring makes me nervous too, I too am upset by the charming triviality of the recollections and sensations which it awakens; only that I cannot bring myself to the point of chiding and scorning the spring for it; for the fact is that I am ashamed before it, ashamed before its pure naturalness and ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... forth in their own sacred Books—is pre-eminently the history of a race singled out by an overruling Power for the education of conscience. To this bear witness the laws of the Two Tables, and most of those other laws, purely ceremonial, whose apparent triviality in some particulars is at any rate a mode of symbolizing what was the main object of the Lawgiver—keeping the heart and conscience pure. To this bear witness the indignant denunciations of their prophets, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... The triviality of what they were saying to each other struck Greif all at once, as compared with the horror of what they had left behind them at Greifenstein. It was but the third day since that fearful catastrophe had darkened his life, and he was exchanging remarks about ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... to Mrs. de Tracy, it must be made plain that with all her faults, small spite was not a part of her character. Yet to-day, her anger had been stirred by an incident so small that its very triviality annoyed her pride. It was Mark Lavendar's custom, when his visits to Stoke Revel included a Sunday, cheerfully to evade church-going. His Sundays in the country were few, he said, and he preferred to enjoy them in the temple of ...
— Robinetta • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... of our constitution were laid; or far away over boundless seas and deserts, to dusky nations living under strange stars, worshipping strange gods, and writing strange characters from right to left. The odd triviality of the last detail, its unworthiness of the sentiment of the passage, leaves the reader checked, what sets out as a fine stroke of imagination dwindles down to a sort of literary conceit. And this puerile twist, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... life faded out. The Jelly-bean strolling up Jackson Street humming a lazy song, known at every shop and street stand, cropful of easy greeting and local wit, sad sometimes for only the sake of sadness and the flight of time—that Jelly-bean was suddenly vanished. The very name was a reproach, a triviality. With a flood of insight he knew that Merritt must despise him, that even Nancy's kiss in the dawn would have awakened not jealousy but only a contempt for Nancy's so lowering herself. And on his part the Jelly-bean had ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... to the florist, my lord. She has had a loss in her family lately, which perhaps accounts for the lack of triviality your lordship complains of in ...
— An Ideal Husband - A Play • Oscar Wilde

... charms of a perfect face, a low and modulated voice and a mind that never mistook flippancy and triviality for wit, he met her everywhere on common ground, and she wondered why she had not seen the attractions of this grave, quiet young man long before! Surely such a conquest—and she was not certain yet that it was achieved—was worth a ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... more uneasy than usual. In the beginning of dinner, the party being small and the room still, these motes from the mass of a magistrate's mind fell too noticeably. She wondered how a man like Mr. Casaubon would support such triviality. His manners, she thought, were very dignified; the set of his iron-gray hair and his deep eye-sockets made him resemble the portrait of Locke. He had the spare form and the pale complexion which became a student; as different as possible from the blooming Englishman ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... criticism of one another the personal appearance is the first and most, important subject discussed. A personal beauty ideal has little value to the character; in fact, it tends to exaggerate vanity and triviality and selfishness; it leads away from the higher aspects of reality. If you ask the majority of women which would they rather be, very beautiful or very intelligent, most will say without question (in their frank moments) that they would rather be very beautiful. Those ...
— The Foundations of Personality • Abraham Myerson

... its disgusting manifestations, for the triviality of Lindsay, for the fleshy Porter with his finger in the stock market, for the ambitious Carson who would better have rested in his father's dugout in Iowa. They were a part of the travailing world, without which it could not fulfil its appointed destiny. It was childish to dislike them; with ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... reason. That distinction issued in a new theory of knowledge. It laid a new foundation for an idealistic construing of the universe. In one way it was the answer of a profoundly religious nature to the triviality and effrontery into which the great rationalistic movement had run out. By it the philosopher gave standing forever to much that prophets and mystics in every age had felt to be true, yet had never been able to prove by any method which the ordered reasoning of man had provided. Religion as ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... Everybody agreed that it was second only to Rome. The African writers squandered the most hyperbolical praises upon it. For them it is "The splendid, the august, the sublime Carthage." Although there may well be a certain amount of triviality or of patriotic exaggeration in these praises, it is certain that the Roman capital of the Province of Africa was no less considerable than the old metropolis of the Hanno and Barcine factions. With a population almost as large ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... most frequently to the consideration of these problems; and it is especially in the tempestuous period of youth that every personal event shines with a double gleam, both as the exemplification of a triviality and, at the same time, of an eternally surprising problem, deserving of explanation. At this age, which, as it were, sees his experiences encircled with metaphysical rainbows, man is, in the highest degree, in need of a guiding hand, because he has suddenly and almost ...
— On the Future of our Educational Institutions • Friedrich Nietzsche

... be formed in the mind". There is perhaps no word in the whole compass of English, so seldom used with any tolerable correctness; in none is the distance so immense between the frequent sublimity of the word in its proper use, and the triviality of it in its slovenly and ...
— English Past and Present • Richard Chenevix Trench

... undeserved pre-eminence the cigar, and still more the cigarette ... why should it be considered a mark of vulgarity, of plebeianism, to inhale tobacco-smoke through the stem of a briar, and the hall-mark of good breeding to finger a cigar or dally with that triviality and travesty of the adoration of My Lady Nicotine—a cigarette?" To these questions there can be but one answer: and the future, there can be little doubt, will emphasize that answer, and abolish the ...
— The Social History of Smoking • G. L. Apperson

... United States, and given special privileges in the West Indies, had more than doubled their imports from the mother country; the amount rising from L379,411 to L829,088. These sums are not to be regarded in their own triviality, but as harbingers of a development, which it was hoped would fill the void in the British imperial system caused by the loss of the former colonies. The West Indies showed a more gradual increase, ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 1 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... I, "while you were away in London, he ran young Richards through the lungs over some triviality, and ...
— The Honourable Mr. Tawnish • Jeffery Farnol

... smile was somewhat wistful. "Nothing but silly imaginings." She laughed and when she spoke again her voice was as light as if her world held only triviality and laughter. "Yet there be important things to decide. What shall I ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... sympathetic. Its wisdom consists in a certain contrite openness of mind; it flounders, but at least in floundering it has gained a sense of possible depths in all directions. Under these circumstances, some triviality and great confusion in its positive achievements are not unpromising things, nor even unamiable. These are the Wanderjahre of faith; it looks smilingly at every new face, which might perhaps be that of a predestined friend; it chases after any engaging stranger; it even turns up again from ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... grasp with a clear and uninvolved vision, permeates not only the triviality of a sit-round game but even the ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... had had a considerable surprise that afternoon. He had told Robert Black to find William Roper and bring him to him. He wished to hear the story he had told Lord Loudwater the evening before, for it might be of a triviality to make the hypothesis that Lord Loudwater had committed suicide yet less worthy of serious consideration. Black was a long while finding William Roper, for he was at work in the woods. Indeed, he had not yet heard that Lord Loudwater had been murdered, for he had ...
— The Loudwater Mystery • Edgar Jepson

... royale, a pu reussir a m'ennuyer', shows how little he had realised the fatiguing effect of theatrical splendour too persistently displayed. St. Evremond finds juster cause for his bored state of mind in the triviality of the subject-matter of operas, and his words are worth quoting at some length: 'La langueur ordinaire ou je tombe aux operas, vient de ce que je n'en ai jamais vu qui ne m'ait paru meprisable dans la ...
— The Opera - A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions - of all Works in the Modern Repertory • R.A. Streatfeild

... The scanty, slashed, ridiculous garments of the nobles and the wealthy betray an absurd poverty of taste and weakness of intellect.[49] One of the most striking characteristics of these small minds is their triviality; they are incapable of attention; they retain nothing. No one who reads the writings of the period can fail to be struck by this almost ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... of those who witnessed it have been heard to say that its violence was so great that burning rafters mixed with flaming books were hurled high above the summits of the hills. The loss of the house was a matter of triviality compared with that of the library. The house was soon rebuilt, and probably, phoenix-like, looked all the better for having been burnt, but the library could never be restored. On the extinction of the family, the last hope ...
— Wild Wales - Its People, Language and Scenery • George Borrow

... important," blustered my good uncle. "Some triviality such as you can answer in a moment. A little room? Yes, I know one, there, under the stairs. Come, I will find the door for you. Why did we ever come ...
— The Woman in the Alcove • Anna Katharine Green

... think of the Abbey Theatre when we speak of these things, and as the Abbey work has certainly suffered from overpraise we may correct it by comparison with Shakespeare. Before the Abbey we were so used to triviality that when clever and artistic work appeared we at once hailed it great. We did get one or two great things, a fact to note with hearty pleasure and pride. But the rest was merely clever; and now that we are getting ...
— Principles of Freedom • Terence J. MacSwiney

... that Puritanism, which means in our day a moral and almost temperamental attitude, meant in that day a singularly arrogant logical attitude, we shall comprehend a little more the grain of good that lay in the vulgarity and triviality of the Restoration. The Restoration, of which Charles II. was a pre-eminent type, was in part a revolt of all the chaotic and unclassed parts of human nature, the parts that are left over, and will always be left over, by every rationalistic system of life. This does not ...
— Varied Types • G. K. Chesterton

... conceptions, as is shown by the noble figure of her Zenobia. This figure I saw in clay in her studio during our second season in Rome. Miss Hosmer's talk was quick, witty, and pointed; her big eyes redeemed her round, small-featured face from triviality; her warm heart glowed through all she said and did. Her studio was a contrast to the classicality of Gibson's, whose influence, though she had studied under him during her six years' residence in Rome, had affected her technique only, ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... he surpasses anything of which Dryden was capable. The flaws in his style are mainly due to carelessness in the rimes and some questionable coining of words. He also occasionally lapses into the vulgarity and triviality which marred certain of ...
— Keats: Poems Published in 1820 • John Keats

... but never triviality. If we want lightness of touch and wittiness, have we not Die Meistersinger, the greatest comedy in the world, or a merry piece like Mozart's Nozze di Figaro? Here is all the wit that one wants, yet the level is kept high throughout. ...
— War Letters of a Public-School Boy • Henry Paul Mainwaring Jones

... nobly well to arm herself with the twin defences of cheerfulness and humour; and if the cheerfulness comes at times near to being that of a martyr on the rack, while the fun is perilously apt to swing from themes that are nice for a lady's wit to others that are not so nice, and back to sheer triviality, what, in the name of a population of sand-flies and negroes, can you expect? It is much that so lifelike a picture of a region so desolate should be presented on the whole with sweetness and charm, when no better material is available than the myriad misdeeds of her coloured ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 5, 1916 • Various

... turn to popular philosophy or cheap theology for the solace of their public. To men and women excited by the details of the last murder they discourse of the existence of God in short, crisp sentences,—and I know not which is worse, the triviality of the discourse or its inappositeness. They preface one of their most impassioned exhortations with the words: "If you read this, you will probably think you have wasted time." Though this might with propriety ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley

... and cleverness in small things are quite as noticeable as the singular inconsistencies in his character, and the childish triviality of his ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... rise against "the idle rich," but he summoned the idle rich, the well-to-do, the gentry of independent means, the comfortable annuitants, the sportsmen, the writers and dramatists of pleasure, the artists of triviality, the pretty rhymers, and the people who are too busy for thought, to rise against themselves. It was a much harder summons to obey, and generally they answered with a shrug and a mutter of "madness," "mere ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... we have seen, finds its parallel in musical art, since music can be written in prose themes or in versified tunes; only here nobody dreams of disputing the greater difficulty of the prose forms, and the comparative triviality of versification. Yet in dramatic music, as in dramatic literature, the tradition of versification clings with the same pernicious results; and the opera, like the tragedy, is conventionally made like a wall paper. The theatre seems doomed to be in ...
— The Perfect Wagnerite - A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring • George Bernard Shaw

... It is a pale, and rather labored story, in which a young girl, of the Rosamond Vincy type, is held up to scorn, and the atrocity of flirtation is demonstrated by the most tragic consequences. There is likewise an air of triviality about "Adam Schrader" (1879); and Lie became seriously alarmed about himself when he had to register a third failure. Like its predecessor, this book is full of keen observations, and the sketches of the social futilities and the typical characters at a summer watering-place are ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... profoundly moving representations of the subject due to the Florentines and the Sienese—both sculptors and painters—south of the Alps, and to the Netherlanders north of them, during the whole of the fifteenth century, the essential triviality of the conception in the Treviso picture makes such a work as Lorenzo Lotto's pathetic Annunciation at Recanati, for all its excess of agitation, appear dignified by comparison. Titian's own Annunciation, bequeathed ...
— The Earlier Work of Titian • Claude Phillips

... flashlight on him and found his face averted; so rising and crossing to the other side of the cot, I again flashed the light to see if he seemed in any pain. What I saw unnerved me most surprisingly, considering its relative triviality. It must have been merely the association of any odd circumstance with the sinister nature of our location and mission, for surely the circumstance was not in itself frightful or unnatural. It was ...
— The Shunned House • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... the universe and accident accepted as a sufficient cause for all the majesty and glory of physical nature, then there is no crime or violence, however abominable in its circumstances and however cruel in its execution, which cannot be justified by success, and no triviality, no absurdity of Fashion which deserves a censure: more—there is no act of disinterested love and tenderness, no deed of self-sacrifice and mercy, no aspiration after beauty and excellence, for which a single reason can be ...
— In His Image • William Jennings Bryan

... become in their turn depressing causes, which frequently ended in a deep and painful sigh, and a renewal of his laborious and inspiring thoughts as an antidote. The severest of his critics have not pretended to have found in his compositions triviality, or traces of a mind that shrank from ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... kindled animation in the most cheerless or torpid of invalids. I cannot imagine that any memorabilia occurred during the visit; but I will use the time that would else be lost upon the settling of that point, in putting down any triviality that occurs to my recollection. Both Lamb and myself had a furious love for nonsense, headlong nonsense. Excepting Professor Wilson, I have known nobody who had the same passion to the same extent. And things of that nature better illustrate ...
— Biographical Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... Tower on Campden Hill. I don't know whether Londoners generally realise how high it looks when one comes out, in this way, almost immediately under it. For the second it seemed to me that at the foot of it even human war was a triviality. For the second I felt as if I had been drunk with some trivial orgie, and that I had been sobered by the shock of that shadow. A moment afterwards, I realised that under it was going on something more enduring than stone, and something ...
— The Napoleon of Notting Hill • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... read at this point if we tell our reader that this twenty-fifth chapter contains little of vital import—is, in fact, only a passing reference to one or two by-incidents that came about in the half-year that followed. He cannot complain that they are superfluous if we give him fair warning of their triviality, and enable him to skip them without remorse. But they register, to our thinking, what little progress events made in six very nice months—a period Time may be said to have skipped. And whoso will may follow his example, and ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... consciousness. How often do dreams have a marked influence upon the dreamer while still asleep; how often do they assume proportions of magnitude and become pregnant with meaning to the dreamer, only to dissolve into ridiculous triviality and nonsense as soon as the person awakes! It would indeed appear that a complete hiatus exists between the visionary and the waking states of consciousness, so that even the laws of thought undergo a change when ...
— How to Read the Crystal - or, Crystal and Seer • Sepharial

... I lay back in my chair and asked myself what had happened to me?—that Maurice and all that lot seemed such miles and miles away from me—as miles and miles as they would have seemed in their triviality, when we used to discuss important questions in "Pop" ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... "would seem to be the exhibition of fanciful power by the artist; not beauty or truth in the literal sense at all, but inventive affluence of unreal yet absurdly comic forms, with just a flavour of the terrible added, to give a grim dignity, and save from the triviality of caricature."[38] With the exception of The Heretic's Tragedy, Caliban upon Setebos is probably the finest piece of grotesque art in the language. Browning's Caliban, unlike Shakespeare's, has no active part to play: if he has ever seen Stephano and Trinculo, he has forgotten ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... several times already, though not so resolutely as now, tried to bring her to consider their position, and every time he had been confronted by the same superficiality and triviality with which she met his appeal now. It was as though there were something in this which she could not or would not face, as though directly she began to speak of this, she, the real Anna, retreated somehow into herself, and ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... evidence we have of divine guidance in the production of this literature is to be found among the earliest productions. There we see earnestness of purpose combined with heavenly aspiration and deep searching after truth. Subsequent to this we see the light vanishing and earnestness giving place to triviality of thought, to the ravings of superstition, to the inanities of ceremonialism and to the laws of social and religious bondage. All this progress downward is in direct ratio to our distance from ...
— India's Problem Krishna or Christ • John P. Jones

... property that it can all be apprehended at once in one's head. This generally means the thing created from the design can be used with greater facility and fewer errors than an equivalent tool that is not compact. Compactness does not imply triviality or lack of power; for example, C is compact and FORTRAN is not, but C is more powerful than FORTRAN. Designs become non-compact through accreting {feature}s and {cruft} that don't merge cleanly into the overall design scheme (thus, some fans of {Classic C} maintain ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0



Words linked to "Triviality" :   item, bagatelle, point, frippery, pettiness, fluff, trivial, detail, unimportance, joke, object, physical object, frivolity, small beer



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