its

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mimike, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. mimike Junior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    I came across a weird use of its in a sentence, I can't quite figure out what it refers to. Situation: two people were watching a very old film in a hall. Later one of them told a third person what he had seen. And the sentence: "The deserted auditorium was a haunting frame for its rainy landscapes of the old film.

    What does its refer to here?
     
  2. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    This does not sound like something a native speaker would say. What nationality was the person? Did you hear them say it personally? Have you seen it written down?
     
  3. mimike Junior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    No, it's in a book. Do I need to mention the source?
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, please. And a link if you can:).
     
  5. mimike Junior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    I can't give you a link. It's from David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.
     
  6. mimike Junior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    I'll quote two more sentences that follow,they might help:

    "The deserted auditorium was a haunting frame for its rainy landscapes of the old film. Giants strode across the screen, lit by sunlite captured thru a lens when your grandfather’s grandfather, Archivist, was kicking inside his mother’s womb."
     
  7. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I would understand "The deserted auditorium was a haunting frame for the rainy landscapes of the old film."

    I don't understand its any more than you do mimike.
    :(
     
  8. Rival Senior Member

    English - UK
    :thumbsup: That makes good sense.

    Also, does the book say anything else about rain in the film?
    I'm wondering if the old film was grainy, not rainy.
    .
     
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    It's a long time since I read Cloud Atlas, (though I loved it!) I have, however, found the equivalent sentence in my copy: it reads The deserted auditorium was a haunting frame for its rainy landscapes of the old disney.

    It's important to note that this part of the novel is set in a post-apocalyptic future, when aspects of the language have changed. "Disney", for example, is the word used for "film" or "movie"; words like "exercise" are written "xercise".

    At this point, a particular film is being discussed, The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. I think it's possible to interpret the sentence in two ways:

    (1) with "its" referring back to the film, and "of the old disney" referring to the genre: "The deserted auditorium was a haunting frame for The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish's rainy landscapes, {which were} typical of the old-style movie genre."
    (2) with "its" being a misprint for "the", as in Biffo's post 7 above.

    I don't know which is more likely here. That said, in any current/early 21st-century context, I would opt for (2):).
     
  10. mimike Junior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    Thank you very much for all your answers, you've been great help. :)
     

Share This Page