a heart where blood was drawn from

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Shadows more terrible and grotesque than Steerpike's gave no such feeling. They moved across their walls bloated or spidery with a comparative innocence. It was as though a shadow had a heart - a heart where blood was drawn from the margins of a world of less substance than air.
(Gormenghast; Marvyn Peake)

Whould you be so kind to tell me whether one can say the following: 'a heart whose blood was drawn from...'?

Thanks.
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I understand it in the sense of "whither" -- that is, "towards where". Blood travels from elsewhere in the body to the heart. You can say it is drawn from the veins into the heart.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Yes, you can say that. The meaning will be the same.
    I disagree. I would say that you cannot say that, and the meaning would be very different. The sentence is not about the heart's own blood; it is instead regarding the heart as a destination for other blood.
     

    akhooha

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I disagree. I would say that you cannot say that, and the meaning would be very different. The sentence is not about the heart's own blood; it is instead regarding the heart as a destination for other blood.
    And wouldn't the heart's "own blood" be the blood drawn into it from other sources?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I would say no. As a matter of correct biology, you can say that blood is always in motion throughout the body, but there is a longstanding image in English of "the heart's blood" that predates the work of Harvey. The heart's own blood would be the blood that the heart already had, with the accompanying images of centrality and self-identification. It does not have the idea of the heart as a destination towards which blood is moving.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    ... "the heart's blood" ... does not have the idea of the heart as a destination towards which blood is moving.
    I think that is a valid point as regards the old phrase 'the heart's blood', both in its original literal sense and its modern metaphorical sense.
    However, I would not apply it to the phrase 'a heart whose blood': which is offered as a paraphrase for the purpose of interpreting the original expression 'a heart where blood ...'
    Both the original and the paraphrase have been conceived within the modern understanding of the circulation.

    Nor would I apply the point to a modern literal usage of 'the heart's blood': meaning simply the blood in the heart at any given time.
     
    Last edited:

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Why not just "a heart in/by/in the case of which blood was drawn from the margins of a world..."?

    I don't see how "the heart's blood" comes up here. The sentence says pretty clearly that when we're talking about this particular heart, we're dealing with a situation in which blood is drawn from the margins of etc. etc.
     
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