I was wondering if you could tell me when we can use this structure:

The most purely delightful of his book

The superlative + adv + adj + of + something

  • 2
    You cannot use this. May 8 '21 at 22:14
  • Would you kindly shed light on your answer?
    – Milad
    May 8 '21 at 23:34
  • Where did you find it? It makes no sense.
    – mdewey
    May 9 '21 at 12:32
  • Why do you think that purely delightful of anything makes sense? Purely delightful what of anything is the unavoidable question. May 9 '21 at 18:05
  • This is the book: Amerika, Franz Kafka (Translated with an introduction by Michael Hofman); published in Penguin Books...
    – Milad
    May 9 '21 at 19:22

You can't use it exactly as it is, it's missing a noun for the adjective to apply to. It should be:

"The most purely delightful part of his book".

Otherwise, as tea-and-cake's answer says, it's fine.

  • We come to realize it’s safe to say: the best commonly used way of...
    – Milad
    May 9 '21 at 19:15

The example you gave doesn't work because "book" needs to be plural. (There are ways that it could be understood in the singular but they're pretty obscure.)

However, the structure you give is, in general, fine. You can use it in lots of circumstances:

It was the most thoroughly unpleasant of my life experiences.

That was the least well-researched of the year's biopics.

Smudge is the most unexpectedly popular of my cats.

  • Yes! You’re so right. It’s copied from the book, Amerika, by Franz Kafka. I was extra concerned about this part that I forgot the other part. I stand corrected.
    – Milad
    May 8 '21 at 23:18
  • You’re generosity personified.
    – Milad
    May 8 '21 at 23:28
  • 1
    You should always tell us in your question where a phrase is quoted from. May 9 '21 at 8:22
  • I just added the comment where this passage is from. Please, check it out at your earliest convenience.
    – Milad
    May 9 '21 at 19:25
  • Aha! That explains it. I didn't think of it being supposed to be "books".
    – A. B.
    May 10 '21 at 4:12

Now that I see the context, the question makes more sense:

I agree with Edwin Muir [...] that it is "the most purely delightful of Kafka's books"

Saying of something "it is the most purely delightful of his book" (singular) has no meaning. The most purely delightful what of his book? As A. B. answered, you could say: the most purely delightful part of his book (or chapter of his book, or section of his book, etc). But this is not what your question asks about.

When you make "books" plural, the "it" now refers to one of his books specifically. It is the same construction as in the singular—"the most purely delightful one of his books"—but the "one" is understood and does not need to be written out.

You are comparing one thing to its peers, and saying that one thing is the most delightful, so you need to make clear what the peer group is. In A. B.'s singular example, the peer group is: the parts of the one book. When you make "books" plural, the peer group is: all of Kafka's books. tea-and-cake's examples all follow this format.

  • Now, I begin to understand that.
    – Milad
    May 11 '21 at 13:59
  • I do appreciate this💙
    – Milad
    May 11 '21 at 14:00

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