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Do you think the sentence would be incomplete if I omit the part 'in reference'?

With the rise of the Renaissance, new interest sparked in reference to the physical world.

My sentence : With the rise of the Renaissance, new interest sparked to the physical world.

http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/scientificrevolution/context.html

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  • Second sentence made it seem like the interest went to the physical world (i.e the physical world now has the interest). I would stay with your current sentence. – 智障的人 Aug 21 '15 at 0:57
  • Is there a source for the original phrase? – user3169 Aug 21 '15 at 0:59
  • Spark in this sense is ordinarily a transitive verb: The Renaissance's rediscovery of classical sculpture sparked a new interest in the physical world. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 21 '15 at 1:01
  • Without further context, any rendering of the sentence lacks explanation of what kind of interest. And the aithor must be speaking of a particular kind of "interest"— it's not as if people had no interest whatsoever in the physical world before the Renaissance! – Brian Hitchcock Aug 21 '15 at 10:26
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Don't lose "in reference". Lose "reference to".

With the rise of the Renaissance, new interest sparked in the physical world.

But even that is a bit unintuitive. Combining it with what interest you are talking about would be a good idea. For example:

With the rise of the Renaissance, people sparked an interest in painting the physical world.

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    +1. Another way, that doesn't insert "people" but keeps the passive voice of the original: "With the rise of the Renaissance, interest in the physical world was sparked." – Brian Hitchcock Aug 21 '15 at 10:22

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