even from the shuffling of the collieries

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para. 112) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):
The air was soft and dead, as if all the world were slowly dying. Grey and clammy and silent, even from the shuffling of the collieries, for (for= because,I think)the pits were working short time, and today they were stopped altogether. The end of all things!
Please notice the part in red. What does "even from the shuffling of the collieries" mean? I'm not quite clear about the logic structure of the sentence.
And I guess "grey and clammy and silent" is describing the collieries, but don't know how to understand "even from the shuffling"(especially, what's the subject of "even from"?) .
Could you give me a helping hand please?
Thank you in advance
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "grey and clammy and silent" is describing the weather (i.e. the air)

    Grey and clammy and silent, even from the shuffling of the collieries, should be read as


    The air (in both the literal and figurative sense - i.e. atmosphere) was grey and clammy and silent, even from the shuffling of the collieries,


    "The shuffling" refers to the noise made by the winding machines at the pithead.

    Here is a picture of two winding machines

     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you. But does "even from……"mean "(people can find the weather) grey, and clammy and silent even from the shuffling……"?Or, does "from" mean "because of"?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    They were silent ... not even the sound of work from the collieries was heard (because they were shut down for the day).
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Please note: #2 "The air (in both the literal and figurative sense - i.e. atmosphere)" No. There is silence: this is not a description of the collieries, it is a description of the atmosphere - the feeling that was received, the unoccupied collieries merely contributed to this silence.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Well the collieries ARE silent, because they are only working short hours, and thus the air is silent too. The sentence, however, focuses on the air / atmosphere.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Sorry. Still a question here:
    Is the grey in Grey and clammy and silent describing the color of the sky(i.e, the air), or the atomsphere of the air, meaning dull?
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The air was soft and dead, as if all the world were slowly dying. Grey and clammy and silent, even from the shuffling of the collieries, for the pits were working short time, and today they were stopped altogether.
    The air was soft and dead, as if all the world were slowly dying. The air was Grey and clammy and silent, even from the shuffling of the collieries, for the pits were working short time, and today they were stopped altogether.

    Here, the air is soft, dead, grey, clammy and silent.

    Soft = almost as if you could feel the air and it was soft - usually this is associated with being warm.
    Dead, = completely still; no wind; no energy.
    Grey, = lacking any great intensity of light. This is also used figuratively to mean "depressing, deprived, etc."
    Clammy = humid, . This is also used figuratively to mean "appears to lack oxygen"
    and silent. = there were no noises being carried through the air.

    The word "air" is literally, "the stuff we breathe", which is, in its broadest sense, "the atmosphere", the volume of air that is both 'at the place' and which 'surrounds the place'.

    But here Lawrence also uses the word to include the general 'atmosphere' in the sense of "feeling that a place has".

    The weather and the feeling the place had becomes one concept.
     
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