a hollow seemed to menace him somewhere,a void and into this void his energy would collapse

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Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para. 386, chapter 10) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):
He(Clifford) looked so well and ruddy in the face, his shoulders were broad and strong, his chest deep, he had put on flesh. And yet, at the same time, he was afraid of death. A terrible hollow seemed to menace him(Clifford) somewhere, somehow, a void, and into this void his energy would collapse. Energyless, he felt at times he was dead, really dead.

The colored sentence is quite difficult for me. I feel "hollow" and "void" are the same thing, but how can his energy collapse into(=fall into,I think) a hollow or void? And how can the hollow exist in him somewhere?

Could you please give me some help?
Thank you in advance
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You are translating "hollow" far to literally - it is not physical, it is mental and emotional. It is entirely figurative/metaphorical. Hollow and void are the same thing and mean a feeling of emptiness, apathy, hopelessness, depression, etc.

    You must imagine his motivation and will to do things as his "energy", and that this energy has been depleted by his depression: his "energy" had collapsed and fallen into this deep void in his psyche.
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