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Unreality   /ˌənriˈæləti/   Listen
Unreality

noun
1.
The quality possessed by something that is unreal.
2.
The state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact.  Synonym: irreality.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Unreality" Quotes from Famous Books



... coming forth at the sound of Abel's voice. We were alone in the kitchen, and when the coffee was over the flame, we stood at the window looking out on the black kitchen gardens. There lay the yellow reflection of the room, with that unreality of all window-mirrored rooms, so that if one might walk within them one would almost certainly wear one's ...
— Friendship Village • Zona Gale

... great distance, the mother heard a confused rush in the hall, and then, piercing through the dreamlike unreality of the moment, came the sweet, high note of a girl's voice, laughing, but with the liquid uncertainty of tears quivering through the mirth. "Oh, Marietta! Where's Mother? Aren't you all slow-pokes—not a soul to meet us at the train—where's Mother? ...
— The Squirrel-Cage • Dorothy Canfield

... "how are we to know what is real and what is not? I would much rather live my life and get more or less unreality than have this everlasting analyzing." There need be no abnormal analyzing; that is as morbid as the other state. Indulge to your heart's content in whatever seems to you real, in what you believe to be wholesome sentiment. But be ready to recognize it as sham at the first hint you get ...
— As a Matter of Course • Annie Payson Call

... gave to the world an ambitious novel, Ranthorpe. It seems to have been well read in its day, was translated into German and reprinted on the continent by Tauchnitz. The plot is well conceived, but the story is rapidly told, full of incident and tragedy, and there is a subtle air of unreality about it. The experiences of a poet are unfolded in a romantic form, and the attempt is made to show what is the true purpose and spirit in which literature can be successfully pursued. To this end there is a discussion running through the book on the various phases of the ...
— George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy • George Willis Cooke

... superiority and the faint rebellious reaction which had come upon him with regard to his personal religion. Certainly he had had Mass said for Amy this morning; but it had been by almost a superstitious rather than a religious instinct. He was, in fact, in that state of religious unreality which occasionally comes upon converts within a year or two of the change of their faith. The impetus of old association is absent, and the force ...
— The Necromancers • Robert Hugh Benson

... your conclusion; it only shows that Hazlet was a hypocrite, or at the best a weak, vain, ignorant fellow. The very obtrusiveness and uncharitableness of his religion proved its unreality. Now I could name dozens of men who would see you dead on the floor rather than do as you have taught Hazlet to do—men, in fact, with whom you simply ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... stage; and we were dismayed to behold the injured husband and his abandoned foe playfully scuffling behind the scenes. All the shabbiness of the theatre was perfectly apparent to us; we saw the grossness of the painting and the unreality of the properties. And yet I cannot say that the play lost one whit of its charm for me, or that the working of the machinery and its inevitable clumsiness disturbed my enjoyment in the least. There was so much truth and beauty in the playing, ...
— Venetian Life • W. D. Howells

... the court who was unmoved by what was taking place. On every hand was strained attention to every word that was spoken. The most insignificant question seemed to be carefully noted, not only by the jury but by the spectators. But to Paul there was a sense of unreality in everything. All these same questions he had heard before. All these witnesses had appeared at the Coroner's inquest and before the Brunford magistrates. It seemed to him, too, that the way the counsel for the prosecution dwelt on insignificant details, details which could have nothing ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... her devoted father. And it is to this father's devotion that some of Mrs. Browning's poetical sins are due; for by him she was so pampered and shielded from every outside touch, that all the woes common to humanity grew for her into awful tragedies. Her life was abnormal and unreal,—an unreality that passed more or less into everything she did. Indeed, her resuscitation after meeting Robert Browning would mount into a miracle, unless it were realized that nothing in her former life had been quite as ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... endure for long upon the earth! The fierce wind scatters the thick mists, the sun's rays encircle Mount Sumeru, the fierce fire licks up the place of moisture, so things are ever born once more to be destroyed! The body is a thing of unreality, kept through the suffering of the long night pampered by wealth, living idly and in carelessness, death suddenly comes and it is carried away as rotten wood in the stream! The wise man, expecting these changes, with diligence strives against ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... fallen there came to Sheila's ears sounds that in another time she would not have noticed. Somewhere a door slammed; there came to her ears the barking of a dog, the neigh of a horse—sharply the sounds smote the quiet atmosphere, they seemed odd to the point of unreality. ...
— The Trail to Yesterday • Charles Alden Seltzer

... wishes to bring about a sudden and otherwise inexplicable transition from one mental attitude to another, and entirely opposite. But for the earnestness of the actors, this reductio ad Fairydum would have imparted an air of unreality to the characters and incidents which does not belong to them. The plot is a model of neat construction; and, to everyone at all in doubt as to where to pass an agreeable evening, I say, "Go to the Garrick Theatre." By the way, a Correspondent suggests that A Pair of Spectacles is an illustration ...
— Punch, or, the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 8, 1890. • Various

... instance (merely to illustrate my thesis of unreality) from the paper that I know best. Here is a simple story, a little episode in the life of a journalist, which may be amusing and instructive: the tale of how I made a great mistake in quotation. There are really two stories: the story as seen from the outside, by a man reading the paper; ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... the significant details of an incident, and a delicate sensitiveness to beauty and to suffering which gives distinction to this charming book. Less happy perhaps and much less in the picture are the episodes learnt only at second hand and suggesting the technique and unreality ...
— Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 152, February 21st, 1917 • Various

... the physical and the hyper-physical or metaphysical. And here it may not be amiss to offer a suggestion that one should mistrust that parrot cry so often heard from men who speak most confidently about that which they know least, that metaphysic is synonymous with unreality, or in plainer words, moonshine. A very little reflection will be sufficient to satisfy us that without the aid of conceptions higher than those of sense-experience—and that is all the word metaphysic ...
— Morality as a Religion - An exposition of some first principles • W. R. Washington Sullivan

... from sheer-one could have walked down with a little care-but something in the shape of the hollow and the remote gleam of white water gave it an extraordinary depth and space. There was a shimmer left from the day's heat, which invested bracken and rock and scree with a curious airy unreality. One could almost have believed that the eye had tricked the mind, that all was mirage, that five yards from the path the solid earth fell away into nothingness. I have a bad head, and instinctively I drew farther back into the heather. ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... cases where we regard truth as in our own power," he says, "there are considerations of expediency which are by no means to be disregarded. There is first the psychological fact that inexactness of statement, exaggeration, unreality in speech, are sure to react upon the mental habit of the person himself, and upon the estimate in which his statements are held by others. In dealing with children, also, however convenient a romancing statement might momentarily ...
— A Lie Never Justifiable • H. Clay Trumbull

... sacrificing to them and propitiating them. Like a Christian ascetic, Plato seems to suppose that life should be passed wholly in the enjoyment of divine things. And after meditating in amazement on the sadness and unreality of the world, he adds, in a sort of parenthesis, 'Be ...
— Laws • Plato

... Sixty-seventh Street. On her right the elevated and the docks were not far away, on the left she could catch, through an occasional side street the distant gleam of Broadway. Being afraid of both she kept to the deep canyon of unreality and solitude, though she was afraid of that. At least she was alone; and yet to be alone chilled her marrow ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... unconquered and unconquerable spirits. The victorious men, flushed with pride, have remorse and mockery dealt out to them by those they fought for, and go forth to unpitied death. Never surely can a great tragedy seem more real to us, or purge our souls more truly of the unreality of our thoughts and feelings concerning vital issues, than can The Trojan Women at this moment of the ...
— The Trojan women of Euripides • Euripides

... due to the fact of the gold persisting as the substrate of the ornament, and hence such recognition of the causal substance does not disprove the reality of the effect.—And the attempts to prove the unreality of the world by means of scriptural texts we have already disposed of in a previous part ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... the cold, superficial religious philosophy taught, were all as far removed from the divine Son of Mary as the tinsel scenery of a stage differs from a natural landscape. Mildred's deep and sorrowful experience made its unreality painfully apparent and unsatisfactory. She resolved, however, to try to give the sacred words that would be uttered their true meaning; and, in fact, her sincere devotion was like a simple flower blooming by the edge of a glacier. She felt that the human love she brought there and ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... at the elderly man kneeling beside my bed, and my brain whirled with the unreality of it all. The "man of mystery," the "Quester" of Broadway, the elderly soldier of fortune, about whose reputed wealth and constant searching of faces wherever he was the idle gossip of the city's Bohemia had whirled—to think that this man was the ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... vivid and unorganized experiences, simply because they lie along the shore of the infinite and have no single clue, no governing philosophy of life, are overswept by the dense and chilling fogs of unreality that roll in from the great deep. Life is swallowed up in awful mystery. External facts are less real than dreams. One stamps the very ground beneath his feet to know if it exists. The ego which must gauge itself by external bearings is temporarily adrift and lost. Suicidal thoughts are ...
— The Minister and the Boy • Allan Hoben

... views and aims, to consider what his motives really were, how far he could choose, how much he could prevail, to what extent he could really do as he hoped and desired. He was often haunted by a sense of living in a mechanical unreality, of moving simply on lines of easy habit. That was a tame, a flat business, perhaps; but it ...
— Watersprings • Arthur Christopher Benson

... was over. It was a great relief to sit down once more in the easy-chair which had helped to nurse so many crude fancies and humours in days gone by, and think over the past and present. There was an atmosphere of unreality about everything at Glanyravon, that she hoped to clear off on the morrow, so she resolved to try not to feel depressed under its influence; but having once known what it was to enjoy living with real, working men and women, with aims beyond the formalities of society, it seemed ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... shadow; and the lofty light of the soul casts upon the clouds of the mid-world the shadow of the spiritual man and of his powers; the bastard vesture and the bastard powers of psychism are easily attained; yet, even when attained, they are a delusion, the very essence of unreality. ...
— The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • Charles Johnston

... years we learn to make of touch, of the third dimension, the test of reality. The child is still dimly aware of the intimate connection between touch and the third dimension. He cannot persuade himself of the unreality of Looking-Glass Land until he has touched the back of the mirror. Later, we entirely forget the connection, although it remains true, that every time our eyes recognise reality, we are, as a matter of fact, giving tactile values ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... The essential element in the confidence Johnson inspired was not his seriousness: it was his sovereign sanity, the unfailing common sense, to which allusion has already been made. He was pre-eminently a bookish man, but he was conspicuously free from the unreality that is so often felt {30} in the characters of such men. He knew from the first how to strike a note which showed that he was well aware of the difference between literature and ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... too tired to think. I merely felt the town as a unique unreality. What was it? I knew—the moon's picture of a town. These streets with their houses did not exist, they were but a ludicrous projection of the moon's sumptuous personality. This was a city of Pretend, created by the hypnotism of moonlight.—Yet when ...
— The Enormous Room • Edward Estlin Cummings

... sensitive and imaginative girl. Objectively speaking, as men living and acting in a practical world, St. John and Rochester are both in some degree caricatures of men; and, if the narrative were a cold story calmly composed by a certain Miss Bronte to amuse us, we could not avoid the sense of unreality in the men. But the intensity of the vision, the realism of every scene, the fierce yet self-governed passion of Jane herself, pouring out, as in a secret diary, her agonies of love, of scorn, of pride, of abandonment,—all this produces an illusion ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... prowess on trust. In a word Borrow was content to give us the wonderful, without taking that trouble to find for it a logical basis which a literary master would have taken. And instances might easily be multiplied of this exaggeration of Borrow's, which is apt to lend a sense of unreality to some of the most picturesque ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... no more work from him for a while; he was going abroad to take a long-earned holiday. He lunched at his club, speaking in a more than usually friendly manner to the few men with whom at times he had found it a pleasure to associate, and finally, with that sense of unreality growing stronger and stronger, he found himself once more in the Park, in his usual chair, looking out with the same keen sympathy upon the intensely joyous, beautiful phase of life which floated around him. The afternoon breeze rustled ...
— Berenice • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... being brought to bear on such problems as the effect on humans who are deprived of their sensory perceptions, or whose sensory systems are overloaded, or who are exposed to excessive boredom or anxiety or sense of unreality, or who must do their job under hypnosis or ...
— The Practical Values of Space Exploration • Committee on Science and Astronautics

... concerned. By meditation on him, the soul is released and somehow associated with him. But it is not clear that we have any warrant for finding in the sutras (as does Sankara) the distinction between the higher and lower Brahman, or the doctrine of the unreality of the world (Maya) or the absolute identity of the individual soul with Brahman. We are told that the state of the released soul is non-separation (avibhaga) from Brahman, but this is variously explained by the ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... have been seated together in a restaurant had she not satisfied her curiosity. She should have let him alone; she knew that. She tried to wish that she had—tried to regret everything, anything; and could not, even when within her the faint sense of alarm awoke amid the softly unchangeable unreality of these last six ...
— Between Friends • Robert W. Chambers

... face, the hideous anger of the cripple, the blow, the dead body, Rutherford's arrest. And when her brain was sick, it would turn for relief to the noble story of Hugh's self-sacrifice, only to be balked by a sense of unreality. What the detective had told, briefly and dryly, lived in her mind convincingly; but Hugh's romance, that had glowed on his tongue, now lay lifeless on her fancy. Back her mind would go to the bookshop, the gibing professor, ...
— Snow-Blind • Katharine Newlin Burt

... brown-robed monks were hoeing in the field; occasionally, visitors came and went; and, just as I was leaving, one of the priests, in obedience to a summons, hurried away to minister to the sick; yet over all there hung an atmosphere of unreality and sadness. I felt myself ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... Some feeling of unreality in his own experiences must have crept into his mind; unconsciously he had been questioning his own sanity. Now, at sight of the sandy waste where he and Rawson had labored, with the dark slopes of desolate craters looming ahead and a blot of burned wreckage ...
— Two Thousand Miles Below • Charles Willard Diffin

... contrasted with the slow and fallible study of outward appearance by a science relying wholly upon the senses. All who are capable of absorption in an inward passion must have experienced at times the strange feeling of unreality in common objects, the loss of contact with daily things, in which the solidity of the outer world is lost, and the soul seems, in utter loneliness, to bring forth, out of its own depths, the mad dance of fantastic phantoms which have hitherto appeared as independently ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... Coalition" had been shattered by the defeat of the Allies at Hohenlinden. The Peace of Amiens which shortly ensued (March, 1802, to May, 1803) was but a delusion. England greeted it with joy and hope, but soon discovered its unreality. From the renewal of hostilities, in May, 1803, until the final triumph of the allies, in 1815, the war resolved itself into a struggle between Napoleon and England. This young Corsican lieutenant had raised himself by sheer force of genius and unscrupulous ambition ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... them. She went through the days with a sternly smiling precision, but she hardly knew what was happening, and when night-fall released her from the shop, and she could carry her work to Evelina's bedside, the same sense of unreality accompanied her, and she still seemed to be accomplishing a task whose object ...
— Bunner Sisters • Edith Wharton

... final stage when the typical lost its type without reverting to the specific, to the portrait. The successors of Michael Angelo were among the most skilful craftsmen who ever existed; but their knowledge only bore the fruit of unreality. Donatello did not achieve the typical except in his children: it was only in children that Michael Angelo failed. He missed this supreme opportunity; those on the roof of the Sistine Chapel are solemn and grown old with care: children without childhood. ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... intelligent reader cannot fail to respond to a recognisable Personality there, a Personality with apathies and antipathies, with prejudices and predilections. Very quickly he will discern the absurd unreality of that monstrous Idol, that ubiquitous Hegelian God. Very soon he will recognize that in trying to make their poet everything they have made ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... passage in writing which the old emotion would seem to revive; but in reading these, Annie, modest and doubtful as she always was of her own judgment, especially where her husband's work was concerned, seemed to recognize a certain element of excitement that gave it a glow, or rather, glamour of unreality, or rather, unnaturalness, which affected her as inharmonious, therefore unfit, or out of place. She thought it better, however, to say little or nothing of any such paragraph, and tried to regard it as of small significance, and probably carrying little influence in respect ...
— Far Above Rubies • George MacDonald

... time since he had set out from his flat that night in Spike's company, Jimmy was conscious of a sense of the unreality of things. It was all so exactly as it would have happened in a dream! He had gone to sleep thinking of this girl, and here she was. But a glance at the man with the revolver brought him back to earth. There was nothing of the dream-world ...
— The Intrusion of Jimmy • P. G. Wodehouse

... that, surely, were the secret of wisdom, of the true knowledge of them. It means susceptibility, sympathetic intelligence, capacity, in short. It was the spirit of God that moved, moves still, in every form of real power, everywhere. Yet to Plato motion becomes the token of unreality in things, of falsity in our thoughts about them. It is just this principle of mobility, in itself so welcome to all of us, that, with all his contriving care for the future, he desires to withstand. Everywhere he displays himself ...
— Plato and Platonism • Walter Horatio Pater

... revolutionary doctrines flashing out here and there, will yet be struck and interested by the masterly piece of character-painting that makes of the novel a success. The utmost fanaticism for the ideas ventilated in the Compagnon du Tour de France can reconcile no reader to the dullness and unreality of the story which make of it a failure. For her socialism itself, as set forth in her writings, dispassionate examination of what she actually inculcated, leaves but little warrant, in the state of progress now reached, for echoing the mighty outcry ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... ritual, of dogmatic theology, and of casuistical morality, under the New. As Man gradually shifts the centre of gravity of his being from the religious to the secular side of his life, this puerile element in religion—the element of ultra-formalism, of irrationality, of unreality—tends, like a morbid growth, to draw to itself the vital energies of what was once a healthy organism but is now degenerating into a "body of death." If, in these days of absorbing secular activity, Man continues to tolerate the theories and practices ...
— What Is and What Might Be - A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular • Edmond Holmes

... the most extraordinary, the most highly colored figure in the dull New England church-life was the tithingman. This fairly burlesque creature impresses me always with a sense of unreality, of incongruity, of strange happening, like a jesting clown in a procession of monks, like a strain of low comedy in the sober religious drama of early New England Puritan life; so out of place, so unreal is this fussy, pompous, restless tithingman, ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... me it seems bad to fear the opinion of people one despises, to practise what one does not believe, and to yield before prejudices and phantoms of which one knows the unreality. It is bad to be a slave or a hypocrite, as are three fourths of the world. Evil is ugliness, ignorance, folly, and baseness. Good is beauty, talent, ability, and ...
— Monsieur de Camors, Complete • Octave Feuillet

... dust rose higher and higher, and darker and darker as the suction increased. To either side was no longer yellow and green distinct, but a mingling, indistinct, mottled unreality. Ahead the ribbon of yellow and white seemed to rise up and throw itself into their faces; again and again endlessly. The engine no longer moaned. It roared as a fire under draft. The wind was a wall that held them back ...
— The Dominant Dollar • Will Lillibridge

... and severely criticised as showing a lack of gentlemanlike feeling. But those who take this view forget that he was writing to an intimate friend of a matter which had greatly occupied his own mind for a year; that he mentioned no names, and that he threw such an air of humorous unreality about the whole story that the person who received it never dreamed that it recorded an actual occurrence until twenty-five years afterwards, when, having been asked to furnish it to a biographer, she was warned against doing so by the President himself, who said there was ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... an indefinable air of boredom. He rose from his seat and began to pace up and down. The whole situation had a suggestion of unreality. In pleading with Helen for a chance to talk to Hilmer he had a sense of crossing swords with some intangible and sinister shadow; his wife seemed suddenly to have arrived at a state toward which she had been traveling all these last uncertain weeks ... fading, ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... and looking free towards all the winds and all the stars. He goes about suppressing platitudes, ripping off futilities, turning deceptions inside out. The realm of Disorder, which is Unveracity, Unreality, what we call Chaos, has no fiercer enemy. Honest soul, and he seemed to himself such a stupid fellow often; no tongue-learning at all; little capable to give a reason for the faith that was in him. He cannot argue in articulate logic, only in inarticulate bellowings, or worse. He must ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume IV. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Friedrich's Apprenticeship, First Stage—1713-1728 • Thomas Carlyle

... circumstance, of itself, aroused suspicion; and he was asked why, if the revolt, as he asserted, was to be throughout all England, he did not choose Somersetshire, instead of Wiltshire, for the scene of action. The reason he gave for that choice had in it a strong dash of unreality. His motive was, he declared, because 'if he did any mischief, or killed anybody,' he preferred to do mischief 'among strangers, where he was not known.' So unsatisfactory was his demeanour, that a recruit, whom he endeavoured to cajole, refused to join the ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... This idea has found expression, not only in the cynical exclamation of the misanthropist that most men are fools, but also in the cry of despair that sometimes breaks from the weary searcher after absolute truth, and from the poet when impressed with the unreality of ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... we saw, his religion was a reality, an organic growth, coincident at every point with the perils he encountered in his daily toil; here, in the City-state, it must from the beginning have had a tendency to become an unreality, and it ended by becoming one entirely. Some of the old rites may have attached new meanings to themselves; it is possible, for example, that beneath the military rites of March there was an original agricultural significance; ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... Vergil. 'He cannot perceive that the divine interventions which are admissible in the quarrel of Aeneas and Turnus are ludicrous when imported into the struggle between Scipio and Hannibal. Who can help resenting the unreality when at Saguntum Jupiter guides an arrow into Hannibal's body, which Juno immediately withdraws, or when, at Cannae, Aeolus yields to the prayer of Juno and blinds the Romans by a ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... front of the house for a council of war. Instantly they scrambled out of their alcoves, pulled on their coats and trousers; and noiselessly stole out into the night. The sun was yet visible, but a red veil of fiery mist was drawn across his face; and a magic air of fairy-tales and strange unreality was diffused over mountains, plains and lakes. The river wound like a huge, blood-red serpent through the mountain pastures, and the snow-hooded peaks ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... direction—a tall woman who at the first glance seemed altogether beautiful and fine. She came along with the fluttering assurance of some tall ship. Then as she drew nearer paint showed upon her face, and a harsh purpose behind the quiet expression of her open countenance, and a sort of unreality in her splendor betrayed itself for which Ann Veronica could not recall the right word—a word, half understood, that lurked and hid in her mind, the word "meretricious." Behind this woman and a little to the side of ...
— Ann Veronica • H. G. Wells

... girl's life-hope was so dead within her, that for the time she looked upon all things in the universe through a veil of unreality. What did it matter, one thing or the other? what did it signify any longer which way she took through the wilderness of this world? Diana's senses were benumbed; she no longer recognised the forms of things, nor ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... and tired, his thoughts were chaotic. He saw before him no clear course. Whichever way he looked at it the horrible tangle grew more horrible. There was a recurring sense of unreality, a visionary feeling of detachment which enabled him to view the situation from an impersonal standpoint, as one criticises a nightmare, confident in the knowledge that it is only a dream. But in this case the confidence was based on nothing tangible ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... themselves. And in human character it is the same. St. Preux, Rene, Werther, Manfred, Quasimodo, they are all anomalies, distortions, ruins,—so much easier is it to caricature life from our own sickly conception of it, than to paint it in its noble simplicity; so much cheaper is unreality ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... of Episcopal appointments, instituted by Henry VIII, as a temporary expedient, and abolished under Edward as an unreality, was re-established by Elizabeth, not certainly because she believed that the invocation of the Holy Ghost was required for the completeness of an election which her own choice had already determined, not because the bishops obtained any gifts or graces in their consecration which she herself ...
— Brother Copas • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... who should be the choosers and creators under God of their own spheres of utility and happiness, self-degraded into mere slaves of propriety and custom, their true natures undeveloped, their hearts cramped and shut up, each afraid of his neighbor and his neighbor of him, living a life of unreality, deceiving and being deceived, and forever walking in a vain show? Here, now, we have just left a married couple who are happy because they have taken counsel of their honest affections rather than of the opinions of the multitude, and have dared to be true ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... of the train Stanton stood for a second rubbing his eyes at the final abruptness and unreality of it all. Woodstock! What was it going to ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... Mme. Dudevant have painted Chopin somewhat as a sickly sentimentalist, living in an atmosphere of moonshine and unreality. Yet this was not precisely true. In spite of his delicacy of frame and romantic imagination, Chopin was never ill till within the last ten years of his life, when the seeds of hereditary consumption developed ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... Mr. Bond, that we must take things as they are? Granted that there is a great deal of unreality in the church, what are we going to do about it? Can one man who sees the point work a revolution in the whole church? Must we not just take conditions as they are and make the ...
— The First Soprano • Mary Hitchcock

... sublated cognition comes to an end. But the circumstance of something which is seen at one time and in one place not persisting at another time and in another place is not observed to be invariably accompanied by falsehood, and hence mere non-persistence of this kind does not constitute a reason for unreality. To say, on the other hand, that what is is real because it persists, is to prove what is proved already, ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... shattered these illusions but for the Grand Orient. We have already seen the identity of theory between French Masonry and French Socialism in the nineteenth century. It was thus that, although in France one experiment after another demonstrated the unreality of Socialist Utopias, the lodges were always there to reconstruct the mirage and lead humanity on again across the burning desert sands towards the same phantom palm-trees and illusory ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... his life since his last visit to Las Palmas that it gave him a feeling of unreality to discover no alteration in the ranch. He had somehow felt that the buildings would look older, that the trees would have grown taller, and so when he finally came in sight of his destination he ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... other hand, he should by some incantation be projected forward only fifty years in time, still in the place of his birth, the effect of unreality would be even more startling, especially if those things should have happened which prophets predict and toward which all progress tends. Conditions would be unendurable, manners offensive. No man would seem quite a man. No woman would seem modest. Clothes, ...
— The Co-Citizens • Corra Harris

... auction proceeded, even the guileless Cai could not help detecting an air of unreality about it. Mr Middlecoat bid for everything. Now and again, if Mr Middlecoat miscalculated, a friend helped and raised the price by a very few pounds for Mr Middlecoat to try again: which Mr Middlecoat duly did. It became obvious that Mr ...
— Hocken and Hunken • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... peasant, it matters not to them. They have enjoyed the excitement, and made perchance a vast fortune at another's expense. They are, indeed, the true parasites of commerce; and in spite of their intense voices and rapid gestures, there is an air of unreality about all their transactions. As I watched the fury of the combatants, I found myself wondering why samples of corn were thrown upon the floor. Perhaps they serve to ...
— American Sketches - 1908 • Charles Whibley

... now—gone as if it had never been; and it was as foolish as, if the attempt had succeeded, it would have been mischievous, to revive a devotional interest in the Lives of the Saints. It would have produced but one more unreality in an age already too full of such. No one supposes we should have set to work to live as they lived; that any man, however earnest in his religion, would have gone looking for earth floors and wet dungeons, or wild islands to live in, when he could get anything ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... days of the Son of Man? Knowing what He thought and did, and how He felt, have we ever tried to think and act and feel as He did—and if we have not, what wonder that our religion, being wholly theoretical, appears to us tainted with unreality, a thin-spun web of barren, fragile idealism which leaves ...
— The Empire of Love • W. J. Dawson

... moisture upon his bare feet. His eyes were heavy with sleep, and to his cloudy gaze the familiar objects of the barnyard assumed grotesque and distorted shapes. The manure heap near the doorway presented an effect of unreality, the pig-pen seemed to have suffered witchery since the evening before, and the haystack, looming vaguely in the drab distance, appeared to be woven of some ...
— The Voice of the People • Ellen Glasgow

... across the table into Barry Elder's eyes and poured his coffee and ate his bread and jam. The amazing youth in her forgot for those moments all that it had suffered and all that it must meet. She was floating, floating in the web of this beautiful unreality. ...
— The Innocent Adventuress • Mary Hastings Bradley

... day, there were thousands to whom the world 'was a blank' at twenty or thereabouts, and of whose dark imaginings,' as Macaulay says, the waste was prodigious; so now there are hundreds of dilettanti pantheists', mystics and sceptics to whom everything is a 'sham,' an 'unreality'; Who tell us that the world stands in need of a great 'prophet,' a seer,' a 'true prophet', a large soul,' a god-like soul,'*—who shall dive into 'the depths of the human consciousness,' and whose 'utterances' shall rouse the human mind from the 'cheats and frauds' which ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... an effort to swallow something that troubled me, and which I thought must be somehow connected with my breakfast. But it would not go down, and I could do nothing but gaze hard as through a mist at the little delicate woman who was holding so tightly to my hands. There was a dimness and an unreality about everything. Things seemed to be going on in a way I did not understand, and I quite started at last as somebody seemed to say, "Good-bye," and I found myself in the little boat and on the way ...
— Bunyip Land - A Story of Adventure in New Guinea • George Manville Fenn

... we are equally susceptible to the negative suggestions of the whiteness of the marble and the smallness of the outline of the tree. Every work of art represents a sort of compromise between reality and unreality, ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... to hers. The chafing-dish was between them. He was filled with a curious sense of unreality. It was a little scene, this, out of a story or a play. It didn't actually concern him. It wasn't Nora who sat within a few feet of him, bending down over the chafing-dish ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the conditions which seem to make the reading of the Bible different from other reading? Is there a sense of unreality about it as a book? ...
— Religious Education in the Family • Henry F. Cope

... scene, being played so easily and lightly by this man and woman, had a nightmare quality for Henrietta. It had the confusion, the exaggerated horror of an evil dream, without the far-away consciousness of its unreality. Here she was, in the presence of the man she loved and it was wicked to love him. She had longed to meet him and now she wished she might have kept his memory only, the figure on the horse, the man with the pink orchid in his hand. She had suspected her Aunt ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... to rest upon the evidence of the senses, for this evidence is not absolute, and therefore not real, in our sense of the word. All that is beautiful and good in your individual consciousness is permanent. That which is not so is illusive and fading. My insistence upon a proper understanding of the unreality of matter and evil arises from their deleterious effects, physical, moral, and ...
— Unity of Good • Mary Baker Eddy

... was obscured to Ruth. She had never had any experiences of the heart. Her only experiences in such matters were of the books, where the facts of ordinary day were translated by fancy into a fairy realm of unreality; and she little knew that this rough sailor was creeping into her heart and storing there pent forces that would some day burst forth and surge through her in waves of fire. She did not know the actual fire of love. Her knowledge of love was purely ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... the avenue is less than half a mile long, but whatever its length, and whether one look down it from the house, or up the gentle grade from the far end, to where the converging lines of grass and foliage and sky melt into the house, it has about it something of unreality, something of enchantment, something of that quality one finds in the rhapsodic landscapes of those poet painters who dream of distant shimmering palaces and supernal vistas peopled by fauns and nymphs dancing amid the trunks of giant trees whose luxuriant dark tops ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... look upon men and women as shadows that have no longer any connection with me. I am very weak and feeble and I wish to sleep.... But the love of God continues, and through Jesus Christ, the love of men. It is the only truth—love of God, love of man—the rest is fantasy and unreality. Look up, my son, bear this with patience. God is standing at your shoulder and will be with you to the end. This is training for you. To show you, perhaps, that all through life you have missed the most important thing. You are learning through this trouble your need of others, ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... at the same time represented as failing utterly in the attempt, and compelled to fall back upon the imperfections of humanity, and acknowledge them as its laws. Its improbability, judged by the experience of most men I admit; its unreality in fact I deny; and its absolute unity with the true idea of humanity, I ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... comprehended what the Sister had told her well enough so far as words went, but she was too stunned and confused to take in their full meaning; and in truth her presence there at all had only been another unfamiliar element in this bewildering whirl of events, imparting an additional sense of unreality. But when she mentioned Madame Lavaux, the name linked itself at once with recent memories and emotions, and its accustomed association with her every-day life made it a rallying point, as it were, for her scattered ideas. Madame Lavaux had been ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... The sense of unreality was deeper than ever on Marjorie's mind. One incredible thing after another, known to her only in the past by rumour and description, and imagined in a frame of glory, was taking shape before her eyes.... She was in London; she had slept in Cheapside; she had talked with ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... real man in him. There is one thing a hypocrite even can never do, and that is, hide the natural signs of his hypocrisy; and Rowland, who was no hypocrite, only a man not half so honourable as he chose to take himself for, could not conceal his unreality from the eyes of his simple country cousin. Little, however, did Dorothy herself suspect whence she had the idea,—that it was her girlhood's converse with real, sturdy, honest, straight-forward, simple manhood, in the person ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... Science,—namely, that there are no sickness, sin, and death in the divine Mind. What seem to be disease, vice, and mortality are illusions of the physical senses. These illusions are not real, but unreal. Health is the consciousness of the unreality of pain and disease; or, rather, the absolute consciousness of harmony and of nothing else. In a moment you may awake from a night-dream; just so you can awake from the dream of sickness; but the demonstration of the Science ...
— Rudimental Divine Science • Mary Baker Eddy

... picturesqueness always tried Hawthorne's patience and sympathy a little. It is the unknown past that is most fascinating, that comes home closest to the heart. The things told of in history books are hackneyed, and they partake of the unreality inherent in the descriptions of the writers. But the unrecorded things are virgin, and enter into our most private sympathies and realization. My father viewed and duly admired the great castles, palaces, and cathedrals of England; but he loved the old villages and ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... grey windows, its iron-hung gas-lamps, its ugly desk and platform, was veiled now in a thin steaming heat that rose mistily above the heads of the kneeling congregation and seemed to hide strange shapes and shadows in its shifting depths. Every one was swimming in an uncertain world; the unreality grew with the heat. Maggie herself, at the end of Mr. Warlock's prayer, felt that her test of a real solid and unimaginative world was leaving her. She was expectant like the rest, as ready to ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... The cool water refreshed him after his long sleep. He seemed to have forgotten all that he had gone through. A dim sense of having taken part in some strange tragedy came to him once or twice, but there was the unreality ...
— The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

... detailed. It was, Bart thought, as though one were looking through a window into the Nipe's nest itself. Only the tremendous depth of focus of the lens which caught the picture gave the illusion a sense of unreality. Everything—background and foreground alike—was sharply ...
— Anything You Can Do ... • Gordon Randall Garrett

... in the near distance, the white mound close at hand is your wood-pile, the great trees stand like sentinels in the moonlight; snow has drifted upon the doorstep and lies there untracked. It is, indeed, a dim and untracked world: coldly beautiful but silent—and of a strange unreality! You close the door with half a shiver and take the real world with you up to bed. For it is past ...
— Adventures In Contentment • David Grayson

... It is literally practicable to a greater extent than most men think. It ought to be practicable universally. At the same time there is no disguising the fact that large numbers of men to-day find themselves in circumstances to which such a doctrine cannot without palpable unreality be applied. The structure of existing society under modern industrial conditions forces multitudes, by an evil economic pressure, into mechanical, uncongenial, and soul-destroying occupations: and ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... there had come a new and strange sense of unreality as he stood and listened to cold-blooded murder being thus calmly, coolly planned, as though it were some afternoon's pleasure trip that was being arranged, so that he hardly knew whether he did, in fact, hear this smooth, low, unceasing voice that from ...
— The Bittermeads Mystery • E. R. Punshon

... an idea in the mind would not involve lack of cognitive and representative value in that idea. The fact that material objects were represented or conceived would not of itself prove that they could not have a real existence. It would be necessary, to prove their unreality, to study their nature and function and to compare them with such conceptions as those of Providence and a spirit-world in order to determine their relative validity. Such a critical comparison would have augured ill for Berkeley's prejudices; what its result might have been we can ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... truths; and statements are to be found in every stage of approach to this final condition. Every time there is an impotency or unreality in their enunciation, they are borne a step nearer the sepulchre. If the smirking politician, who wishes to delude me into voting for him, bid me his bland "Good-morning," not only does he draw ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... will occasionally be heard to patter against my window-panes, which look forth upon one of the quietest streets in a New England town. After a time, too, the visions vanish, and will not appear again at my bidding. Then, it being nightfall, a gloomy sense of unreality depresses my spirits, and impels me to venture out before the clock shall strike bedtime to satisfy myself that the world is not entirely made up of such shadowy materials as have busied me throughout ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... well before this audience as ever before the bourgeoisie. As I turned up the collar of my coat I reflected that the actors deserved all the applause they got for their heroism in playing in such cold. Now and then during the evening I was unusually conscious of the unreality of opera generally, perhaps because of the contrast in magnificence between the stage and the shabby, intelligent audience. Now and then, on the other hand, stage and audience seemed one and indivisible. For "Samson and Delilah" is itself a poem of revolution, and gained enormously by being ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome



Words linked to "Unreality" :   reality, unreal, nonexistence, immateriality, incorporeality, falsity, nonentity, cloud, falseness



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