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Rip Van Winkle

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Definition title character in a Washington Irving short story (published 1819) about a man who sleeps for 20 years and finds a different world upon awakening
  • Listen to me, March, that old Rip van Winkle conked out on purpose.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • He played "Rip Van Winkle."
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • That spring Lena went with me to see Joseph Jefferson in 'Rip Van Winkle,' and to a war play called 'Shenandoah.'
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • The story of Rip van Winkle is an example of the delicate case of the returning hero.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • How about "Rip Van Winkle"?
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • I could be Rip Van Winkle.
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King's Men
  • "Very good," returned Hurstwood, "only it's the same old thing, 'Rip Van Winkle.'
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • On the Lower East Side—well, you know what it's like down there, always something new, but for me it's more this Rip van Winkle feeling, always further and further away.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • The greatest change a suddenly awakened Rip Van Winkle would have noticed was a hushed expectancy, a mental glancing-over-the-shoulder, as mankind waited for the Overlords to show themselves and to step down from their gleaming ships.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood's End
  • Nenny found a dollar and a dead mouse between two rocks in the stone wall where the morning glories climbed, and once when we were playing hide-and-seek, Eddie Vargas laid his head beneath a hibiscus tree and fell asleep there like a Rip Van Winkle until somebody remembered he was in the game and went back to look for him.
    Sandra Cisneros  --  The House on Mango Street
  • Well, the clerk wakes a nice young bell hop—fine lad—not a day over seventy-nine years old—fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and doesn't know it's over yet—thought I was one of the Confederates, I guess, from the way he looked at me—and Rip van Winkle took me up to something—I found out afterwards they called it a room, but first I thought there'd been some mistake—I thought they were putting me in the Salvation Army collection-box!
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • Mr. Jefferson recited the best dialogues of "Rip Van Winkle," in which the tear came close upon the smile.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • We do not particularly care whether Rip van Winkle, Kamar al-Zaman, or Jesus Christ ever actually lived.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Rip van Winkle never knew what he had experienced; his return was a joke.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Only I thought that the Rip Van Winkle story was all wrong.
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King's Men
  • I'm like that old man with the beard, Rip Van Winkle.
    Jennifer Niven  --  All the Right Places
  • The talismanic ring from the soul's encounter with its other portion in the place of recollectedness betokens that the heart was there aware of what Rip van Winkle missed; it betokens too a conviction of the waking mind that the reality of the deep is not belied by that of common day.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • All those years I'd drifted along too glassy and insulated for any kind of reality to push through: a delirium which had spun me along on its slow, relaxed wave since childhood, high and lying on the shag carpet in Vegas laughing at the ceiling fan, only I wasn't laughing any more, Rip van Winkle wincing and holding his head on the ground about a hundred years too late.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Rip van Winkle we played.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Then I did Rip van Winkle coming back.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses

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