Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Interlocutor Count
As I traveled recently through a used-bookstore find of James's oddly-sized works I idly began to catalog his use of the word "interlocutor," which I have long had the impression he is wont to use in profusion—it's a word I associate entirely with him. Merriam-Webster defines it: "1. One who takes part in dialogue or conversation. 2. A man in the middle of the line in a minstrel show who questions the end men and acts as leader." Needless to say, perhaps, I have never known James to use it in the second sense (and I have never known anyone else ever, anywhere, to use it at all, which might say something about my 19th-century reading habits). In the case of The Europeans, where it appears only once, I wonder if James might not have inserted it himself years later when he returned to his earlier work for some revisions.
"interlocutor" count = 1/145 pages
In case it's not at the library. (Library of America)