a crinkle of amusement to his gray eyes

bambina-in-nero

Senior Member
Italian
Hello,

could you please help me work out the meaning of the following sentence?

"I answered, which seemed to surprise him, because it brought a crinkle of amusement to his gray eyes"
(Source: Fallen, by american novelist T Slatton)

Now, since "crinkle" can be a wrinkle or a crease, I would tend to think that due to the fact that he had an amused expression, a wrinkle formed around his gray eyes.
Did I get it right?

Thans for your kind help!
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I find "crinkle" strange and would prefer "twinkle" but wait for an AE speaker.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I agree; "crinkle" would refer to the skin around the eyes. If "eyes" could be taken generally to include the eyelids, then perhaps "crinkle" would work, but "gray eyes" is rather specific to the eyeball. It ends up being rather an odd sentence.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I like "crinkle", because it describes what actually happens to the fact of someone who smiles. "Twinkle", though commonly used, sounds like a cliché.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello,

    could you please help me work out the meaning of the following sentence?

    "I answered, which seemed to surprise him, because it brought a crinkle of amusement to his gray eyes"
    (Source: Fallen, by american novelist T Slatton)

    Now, since "crinkle" can be a wrinkle or a crease, I would tend to think that due to the fact that he had an amused expression, a wrinkle formed around his gray eyes.
    Did I get it right?

    Thans for your kind help!
    I'd read it as saying that there was a quick flicker of amusement in his eyes; that would mean that the skin around his eyes moved ever so slightly, forming tiny folds or crinkles. The word wrinkle suggests something altogether more permanent.

    I think it's rather good. I can see why the guy gets published.
     

    bambina-in-nero

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi Florentia- and hi everyone- this is exacly my doubt: the fact that she mentions the colour of the eyes plus the fact that she says "to his eyes" instead of "around his eyes" makes me doubt that "crinkle" is a wrinkle on the skin, but let me think, instead, to a light, a glimmer in his eyes...
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'm absolutely sure Thomas Tompion and others have the right idea, bambina. "Crinkle" cannot refer to a light or glimmer.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Florentia- and hi everyone- this is exacly my doubt: the fact that she mentions the colour of the eyes plus the fact that she says "to his eyes" instead of "around his eyes" makes me doubt that "crinkle" is a wrinkle on the skin, but let me think, instead, to a light, a glimmer in his eyes...
    A painter often suggests things to us and our imagination fills in the rest. I think this Mr Slatten can mention the colour of the eyes here without suggesting that the crinkles formed on the eyeball. He relies on the reader's imagination and sensitivity to see what he's saying.

    To spell all this out would be to kill the sentence; good writers often work by suggestion.
     
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