Word of the Day

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

phantasmagoria

\fan-taz-muh-GOR-ee-uh\ , noun;
1.
A shifting series or succession of things seen or imagined, as in a dream.
2.
Any constantly changing scene.
Quotes:
The significant items in the ensuing phantasmagoria soon appear, however -- a dry well, a house abandoned because of a series of tragedies, a so-called alley blocked at both ends, the statue of a bird looking sadly unable to fly, and the unidentified wind-up bird that creaks invisibly in a nearby tree.
-- Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, The Atlantic, November 1997
The new writings more and more take the form of apocalypses -- that is, of supernatural visions which reveal past, present and future under the guise of a phantasmagoria of symbolic persons and animals, divine and diabolical beings, celestial and infernal phenomena.
-- Edmund Wilson, The Dead Sea Scrolls: 1947-1969
David Nixon created this version of the fairy tale -- a phantasmagoria of grim goblins, dancing cushions, flying fish and magical mirrors -- for his former company, BalletMet Columbus, in 1997.
-- Stephanie Ferguson, "Beauty and the Beast", The Guardian, January 6, 2003
Origin:
Phantasmagoria is from French phantasmagorie, from phantasme, "phantasm" (from Greek, from phantazein, "to make visible," from phantos, "visible," from phainein, "to show") + -agorie, perhaps from Greek agora, "assembly."
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