It is active, steadily holding up a gas lamp and illuminating the scene.
But a look back at that heady period is illuminating, because it seems light-years from our current political universe.
The most illuminating critical remark on Lardner came from an absurdly unlikely source, Virginia Woolf.
c.1500, "to light up, shine on," a back-formation from illumination, or else from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Earlier was enlumyen (late 14c.) "decorate written material with gold, silver, bright colors," from Old French enluminer, from Late Latin inluminare; also illumine (late 14c.). Related: Illuminated; illuminating.