“Was it that he was a satariosist, or had he never gotten over his love for his wife?”

This is a rhetorical question asked by a student in a brief biography of an author he included in his Anthology project.

How could such a word assemble itself?

Did he mean satyrist, someone suffering from satyriasis? If so, he was writing by ear, and his ear is stannic (not a typo for Satanic!). Why didn’t he resort to a dictionary, or possibly to the textbook for the course where he evidently heard it, and spell it right?

If that was what he was aiming at, he wasn’t concerned with meaning, so much as he was trying to use a “big word” to make his biographic paragraph sound more scholarly. And, as is the case with so many of such efforts, the result was comic.

He brought in that term as a possible explanation for a man’s having a number of affairs after the death of his wife. How quickly one moves from “normal” to “pathological” in a universe consisting only of absolutes.

Of course he doesn’t go on to explain how a series of affairs is an expression of undying love for a dead spouse. Is it a form of necrophilia-by-proxy? In my book that would be pathological too, so the sentence would be offering two alternative pathologies.

Ah well. The world is a strange place, and love can evidently make it stranger.

About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

4 responses to ““Was it that he was a satariosist, or had he never gotten over his love for his wife?”

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