Dylan's solitude which his father left unbruised his mother burst like a grape.

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tardistance

New Member
chinese
Dylan's solitude which his father left unbruised his mother burst like a grape.
I cannot understand this sentence from Jonathan Lethem‘s the Fortress of Solitude, the attributive clause is confusing. Can someone paraphrase it? thx
Here is the a brief introduction for the characters mentioned: Dylan was 6. He and his parents lived in brooklyn in the 1970s. His father was a cartoon film maker and locked himself in his studio. His mother is very young and wild. She went out to work to support the family.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I think you need a comma:

    Dylan's solitude which his father left unbruised, his mother burst like a grape.

    His father never 'touched/interrupted' Dylan's solitude – in other words, his father always left him alone

    But, his mother (on the other hand), broke his solitude violently (by her wild behaviour, presumably) – Dylan's solitude is like a bubble and she bursts it like bursting the skin on a grape.

    That is what I understand by the sentence.
     

    tardistance

    New Member
    chinese
    I think you need a comma:

    Dylan's solitude which his father left unbruised, his mother burst like a grape.

    His father never 'touched/interrupted' Dylan's solitude – in other words, his father always left him alone

    But, his mother (on the other hand), broke his solitude violently (by her wild behaviour, presumably) – Dylan's solitude is like a bubble and she bursts it like bursting the skin on a grape.

    That is what I understand by the sentence.
    wowowow thank u so much! I got it.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Dylan's solitude, which his father left unbruised, his mother burst like a grape.

    I”d add two commas. :) It means, of course: His father left Dylan's solitude unbruised but his mother burst it like a grape. The literary style in which it’s written employs the technique of fronting – in this case it’s the object, of both clauses, that’s placed first for emphasis.
     

    tardistance

    New Member
    chinese
    Dylan's solitude, which his father left unbruised, his mother burst like a grape.

    I”d add two commas. :) It means, of course: His father left Dylan's solitude unbruised but his mother burst it like a grape. The literary style in which it’s written employs the technique of fronting – in this case it’s the object, of both clauses, that’s placed first for emphasis.
    thank you~ I feel that either one comma or two commas will do. Now I understand the message the author wants to convey! I need to translate it into Chinese hahah so what to deal with next is how to express this in Chinese.....
     
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