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impalpable - vocabulary

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adjective

Incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch; intangible; difficult for the mind to grasp easily or readily, as in impalpable distinctions.

This name [Virginia Woolf] springs to one's mind because Miss [Nadine] Gordimer is a writer who can not only capture but express in the lives of human beings those moments which are so fleeting, so impalpable, as well as so common that they are overlooked by all but a very rare artist. I can think of no modern first ''novel'' superior to Miss Gordimer's.

—James Stern Book review of The Lying Days by Nadine Gordimer New York Times

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