bore beyond the edge of audibility

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sisse nar

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, all.

This is from <A death in the family> by James Agee.
I don't get the bold sentence.
I'm not sure whether an auto engine mean an automobile or still a switch engine.
What does "bore beyond the edge of audibility" mean?

[FONT=HY중고딕]Couplings clashed and conjoined; a switch engine breathed heavily. An auto engine bore beyond the edge of audibility the furious expletives of its incompetence. Hooves broached, along the hollow street, the lackadaisical rhythms of the weariest of clog dancers, and endless in circles, narrow iron tires grinced continuously after.[/FONT]
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    Bore is the past participle of "to bear" = "to carry." So the noise of the engine was carried beyond the edges of audibility. To me “to the edge of audibility” would mean “to the limit of what one is able to hear” so “beyond” that would mean one could not hear it ? :confused:

    However, I understand it to mean “the noise that was carried in the air was at the very extreme of what one’s ears can tolerate” i.e. unbearable.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is clear from the preceding context that this sentence is self-contained. Therefore 'its' refers to the auto engine.

    We can break the process of the author's composition of this sentence into three steps.

    (1) Describe the physical event which took place:
    A car was heard driving away, the engine backfiring violently, until it was too distant to be heard.

    (2) Rewrite this in the metaphor of an inefficient car taking its noises away:
    A car carried out of earshot the noises, like angry swearing, caused by its badly-conditioned engine.

    (3) Raise the level of metaphor, polish the style and tighten the phrasing:
    An auto engine bore beyond the edge of audibility the furious expletives of its incompetence.
     
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