closer and closer plunged the palpable unknown [inversion]

< Previous | Next >

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(the third paragraph, page 255, chapter 12) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):

And it seemed she was like the sea, nothing but dark waves rising and heaving, heaving with a great swell, so that slowly her whole darkness was in motion, and she was Ocean rolling its dark, dumb mass. Oh, and 1.far down inside her the deeps parted and rolled asunder, in long, fair-travelling billows, and 2. ever, at the quick of her, the depths parted and rolled asunder, from the centre of soft plunging, as the plunger went deeper and deeper, touching lower, and 3.she was deeper and deeper and deeper disclosed, the heavier the billows of her rolled away to some shore, uncovering her, and 4.closer and closer plunged the palpable unknown, and further and further rolled the waves of herself away from herself leaving her, till suddenly, in a soft, shuddering convulsion, the quick of all her plasm was touched, she knew herself touched, the consummation was upon her, and she was gone. She was gone, she was not, and she was born: a woman.

The second sentence is far too complicated for me. I feel it consists of four main clauses, which are parallel with each other:
1.far down inside her the deeps parted and rolled asunder, in long, fair-travelling billows;
2. ever, at the quick of her, the depths parted and rolled asunder, from the centre of soft plunging, as the plunger went deeper and deeper, touching lower;
3.she was deeper and deeper and deeper disclosed, the heavier the billows of her rolled away to some shore, uncovering her;
4. closer and closer plunged the palpable unknown, and further and further rolled the waves of herself away from herself leaving her, till suddenly, in a soft, shuddering convulsion, the quick of all her plasm was touched, she knew herself touched, the consummation was upon her, and she was gone(adverbial clause of time, I think).


But the fourth sentence is strange for me, because normally, we don't use inversion structure as in the faster you drive, the more dangerous it is. Why did Lawrence use an inversion structure in closer and closer plunged the palpable unknown, and further and further rolled the waves of herself away from herself? Of course,maybe it's not an inversion.

And what does the palpable unknown refer to please?
Thank you in advance
 
Last edited:
  • longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    After deep consideration, I feel the palpable unknown refers to the plunger(or the penis), which Connie is not familiar with very much and that can be felt by her inner body. And the inversion seems to be a poem style. Is that possible?
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I agree that it seems to refer to the penis and "closer and closer plunged...." is a literary style.
    edited to omit query about usage of "plunger" as I see it's in the original text.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think the reason for the inversion structure was to make the sentence more rhythmic, to evoke the activity being described in meter and flow of words.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Personally I think the palpable unknown refers to her orgasm. I agree that the inversion is there for poetic reasons.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Could you please explain why you think palpable unknown refer to orgasm?
    The reason why I thought it refers to plunger or penis is: his penis is like a diver, and tries to sunk into her sea to explore there. And Connie can feel where it goes inside her body(=it is palpable). As for unknown, it is similar to stranger I thought, because Connie took no notice of it before:). What's more, this is not the first time for Lawrence to use unknown for strange.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top