2

I'm familiar with ようとする to mean "try to" or "about to", but how about this:

新聞から顔を上げようともしない。

Obviously that's a negation of ようとする with an added も. I'm guessing も adds a hint of "even" to the phrase. Does the phrase still retain the 'try' meaning?

He doesn't/didn't even try to look up from his newspaper.

Adding 'try' seems a bit strange since looking up from a newspaper is not a difficult or demanding activity.

Or is it maybe a volitional thing e.g.

He wasn't even prepared to look up from his newspaper.

Or can it be both, depending on context, or something else altogether?

5

The auxiliary verb う/よう denotes the subject's will in a broad sense, and you don't have to use "try" in a case like this. I think "He won't/wouldn't even look up from his newspaper" is enough.

You can see other example sentences in these dictionaries:

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