preoccupation


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preoccupation

[prē·ok′yəpā′shən]
a state of being self-absorbed or engrossed in one's own thoughts to a degree that hinders effective contact with or relationship to external reality.
References in classic literature ?
asked Muishkin, still rather absently, as though unable to throw off a deep preoccupation into which the conversation had thrown him.
Full of preoccupation, however, from the scene of the previous evening, and hardly recovered from the effects of the poison which Colbert had then administered to him, the king, during the whole of the day, so brilliant in its effects, so full of unexpected and startling novelties, in which all the wonders of the "Arabian Night's Entertainments" seemed to be reproduced for his especial amusement - the king, we say, showed himself cold, reserved, and taciturn.
Rostov looked inimically at Pierre, first because Pierre appeared to his hussar eyes as a rich civilian, the husband of a beauty, and in a word- an old woman; and secondly because Pierre in his preoccupation and absent-mindedness had not recognized Rostov and had not responded to his greeting.
But she made him visualize her in her own character, so that he looked quickly at her, as she walked a little in front of him across the plowed field; for the first time that morning he saw her independently of him or of his preoccupation with Katharine.
Ralph heard her giving orders to attentive, rosy-checked men in white aprons, and in spite of his own preoccupation, he commented upon the determination with which she made her wishes known.
But let them conceive one more historical contrast: the gigantic broken revelations of that Imperial and Papal city thrust abruptly on the notions of a girl who had been brought up in English and Swiss Puritanism, fed on meagre Protestant histories and on art chiefly of the hand-screen sort; a girl whose ardent nature turned all her small allowance of knowledge into principles, fusing her actions into their mould, and whose quick emotions gave the most abstract things the quality of a pleasure or a pain; a girl who had lately become a wife, and from the enthusiastic acceptance of untried duty found herself plunged in tumultuous preoccupation with her personal lot.
My reading from the first was such as to enamour me of clearness, of definiteness; anything left in the vague was intolerable to me; but my long subjection to Pope, while it was useful in other ways, made me so strictly literary in my point of view that sometimes I could not see what was, if more naturally approached and without any technical preoccupation, perfectly transparent.
His air, however, was that of preoccupation rather than deliberation: one might have said that he had "something on his mind.
But in spite of his preoccupation, Michel Ardan did not forget to prepare the morning repast with his accustomed punctuality.
My deep anxiety and serious preoccupation could not be concealed from her maternal eyes; and I had much ado to calm her apprehensions of some disastrous mystery.
But the preoccupation of his mind so hindered him from planning any walk, or taking heed of the objects he passed, that his first consciousness of being near the Weir, was derived from the sound of the falling water close at hand.
It was more than a dislike--it resembled fear, a nervous preoccupation of what went on where he could not see.