As far as I know the words cliché and new are nearly opposite, but I think they weren't be used in the phrase below:

My life there was entirely new, and as near to a cliché as I could make it.

Could you please explain it to me?

The full text is here:

I HAD A GRANT to study that summer in Paris. Drew came with me. Our flat was in the sixth arrondissement, near the Luxembourg Gardens. My life there was entirely new, and as near to a cliché as I could make it. I was drawn to those parts of the city where one could find the most tourists so I could throw myself into their center. It was a hectic form of forgetting, and I spent the summer in pursuit of it: of losing myself in swarms of travelers, allowing myself to be wiped clean of all personality and character, of all history. The more crass the attraction, the more I was drawn to it.


No, they are not opposite in this context because they apply to different elements.

Her life was new in relation with her former life back in the US but it was a cliché, it was not original and not interesting. She behaved like any other tourist in Paris.


a saying or remark that is very often made and is therefore not original and not interesting

  • And could you please explain the last line:"The more crass the attraction, the more I was drawn to it."
    – Peace
    Jun 20 '18 at 10:07
  • 1
    According to Oxford Dictionary, crass = Showing no intelligence or sensitivity. I guess that she didn't go to museums or theatres, she didn't visit great monuments, ... Maybe she just enjoy watching some sort of crowded street spectacles. It's not clear what she did.
    – RubioRic
    Jun 20 '18 at 10:16
  • 1
    Sorry, but the more cliché the attraction, the more she was drawn (attracted) to it, means the more "famous" the sights were, the more she went to visit them. The answer is perfectly correct though +1
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20 '18 at 18:13
  • 2
    crass and cliche are related inasmuch as crass is vulgar, cheap and "common", and cliche is overused, predictable, common. Tara (the narrator) did not pretend to be an intellectual, she didn't act like a snob, she did the things that tourists normally do
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20 '18 at 18:32
  • 2
    @Peace it's spelled with an "a". I would never say that crass is popular, it carries a very negative connotation. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/crass and collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/crass (look at the American definitions because Tara Westover is an American author.)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20 '18 at 19:37

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