Every day the coast looked the same, as though we had not moved; but we passed various places—trading places—with names like Gran’ Bassam Little Popo, names that seemed to belong to some sordid farce acted in front of a sinister backcloth.
And I heard—him—it—this voice—other voices—all of them were so little more than voices—and the memory of that time itself lingers around me, impalpable, like a dying vibration of one immense jabber, silly, atrocious, sordid, savage, or simply mean, without any kind of sense.
Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world.
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I learned the sordid inner workings of the royal court in Modeg from a …. courtesan.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
I was considering what she had suggested about our pretending to be other people, like figures in a Western novel, imagining how we could somehow exist outside of this place and time and circumstance, share instead the minute and sordid problems of such folks, the vagaries and ornate dramas of imperfect love.