Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday July 4, 2007
1. A shifting series or succession of things seen or imagined, as in a dream.
2. Any constantly changing scene.
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
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."