Word + Quiz: bandy

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Word + Quiz: bandy

verb: discuss or exchange ideas lightly

verb: toss or strike a ball back and forth

verb: exchange blows

adjective: (of legs) curved outward at the knees

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The word bandy has appeared in five articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 4 in the book review “The True Story of a Medieval Romeo and Juliet” by Valerie Martin:

One of the great challenges of writing historical fiction is deploying the research without calling attention to it. Hertmans dismisses this obligation with a bold announcement: Hey, I did research! We see Vigdis in her daily life, praying in her chapel, buttering her hair, walking with her chaperone, flirting with a Jewish boy outside the yeshiva wall, and then — wait, here’s Hertmans again, doing his research. Wherever he looks, he sees her and, knowing her fate, he fears for her. “Does this girl know what she’s getting into?” he cries out with paternal outrage …

… In both “The Convert” and his previous novel, the highly praised “War and Turpentine,” Hertmans habitually treats the reader to his process. This has inspired critics to invoke the hallowed name of W. G. Sebald, and to bandy about the label “literary hybrid” — a vile designation, calling to mind a hybrid car, or beefalo. There’s just no need for such hairsplitting. The novel is an astonishingly capacious form; like Whitman, it can contain multitudes.

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