So I was watching a TV show called Hannibal. I was on the last episode of season three, called "The Wrath of the Lamb".

So Will Graham (a character from the show) was having a talk with psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier (another character).

Their disscussion:

Bedelia Du Maurier: "We assign a moment to decision. What you propose is so thoughtless, I find difficult to imagine that moment exists."

Will Graham: "Decisions are made of kneaded feelings. They are more often a lump than a sum."

I can't really understand Will Graham's statement. I understand the part "Decisions are made of kneaded feelings" but I can't understand the other part. What is meant by "lump than a sum"?

Is it some kind of idiom? I have searched, but I couldn't find it.

  • 1
    It's a play on words for the idiom "lump sum". – Hot Licks Jul 9 '16 at 11:32

It's an unusual turn of phrase, and it would be helpful to have more context.

From Adequote:

We assign a moment to decision, to dignify the process as a timely result of rational and conscious thought. But decisions are made of kneaded feelings; they are more often a lump than a sum.

  • Thomas Harris, Hannibal)

The author is saying that we tend to regard (and describe) decisions as being made at a definite time and after carefully weighing all the factors involved, but that in fact the process involved is neither so logical (being largely emotion-driven) nor so linear, nor so easy to analyse.

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  • 3
    Nice work tracking down the quote - though I'm guessing it's from the book rather than the series. In any case it gives valuable confirmation of the quite unusual wording. It's likely that the author is also making a wordplay of the expression "lump sum" - though I'm not sure we can draw any additional understanding from this. It's more likely that the language is meant to appear more meaningful than it really is, as you'd expect from a pretentiously intellectual character. – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jul 9 '16 at 9:05

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