In the present context it is oddly incongruous and "ungrammatical," in Michael Riffaterre's sense of a dictional
feature that sends us searching for a meaning-making reference outside the present context.
We have seen that passages which imitate Lucretius on the dictional
level may at the same time run contrary to Lucretius's purpose on the level of meaning.
145, `The repeated use of larger narrative units, like the smaller dictional
formulae themselves, is part and parcel of the poet's technique.
Most rhetorical analysts of Pater's style, following his own compositional practice, have approached on the level of the sentence, wanting like Stanley Fish to describe the phenomenological and temporal experience of reading the Paterian sentence, with its postponements, deferrals, and hesitancies, or wanting (like Christopher Ricks or Denis Donoghue, among others) to focus on specific, characteristic argumentative, dictional
, or rhetorical tics.
A certain poetic maturity is evident in the thematic, as well as dictional
and tonal, coherence of many of these sequences, as contrasted with the more typically miscellaneous nature of first or second books.
abstemiousness becomes one of his strategies for showing solidarity with the deprived poor of England.