local garbage from our garbage bird, our ibis, our scavenging turkey-buzzard

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese

Hi, happy new year to you
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 386, chapter 17) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was in Venice, in a stupor of happiness. Then she received a letter from Clifford, saying Mellors' truant wife had returned. .……")
I(Clifford) repeat this from hearsay, as Mellors has not come to me personally. I had this particular bit of local(=nearby?) garbage from our garbage bird, our ibis(it likes garbage?), our scavenging turkey-buzzard, Mrs Bolton. I would not have repeated it had she not exclaimed: her Ladyship will go no more to the wood if that woman’s going to be about!

The part in blue is very confusing for me. What does Clifford mean by local garbage, ibis, and scavenging turkey-buzzard please? Or, why does he call Mr Bolton that way?
Thank you in advance
 
  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    The first garbage means gossip. the local rumors and little scandals of the neighborhood.

    The person who scavenges this garbage/gossip is Mrs. Bolton. She is compared to scavenging birds like the ibis and the turkey buzzard (a kind of vulture, I believe)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Maybe the bird, first searches rumors(i.e, scavenging turkey-buzzard), and then spreads/gossips them
    ?
    There is no bird either ibis or turkey buzzard, whatever that is; and surely you aren't serious about 'talking birds'?
    Who is Clifford describing as 'our' scavenging bird?
     

    8thnote

    Senior Member
    English-Southern US
    Thank you very much. I misunderstood a kind of as the same kind of


    Maybe the bird, first searches rumors(i.e, scavenging turkey-buzzard), and then spreads/gossips them

    Yes, the bird (Mrs Bolton) is likely the type to scavenge for every scrap of gossip that she can find. That is why the author chose this description. We all know people like that.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, LongX didn't seem to realise. Off-topic, but it's interesting that DHL chose birds we don't have in England or Europe. He would know them from his time abroad, I suppose in New Mexico for the buzzard and maybe the ibis from his time in Australia. I gather they have ibis there who scavenge from the refuse bins. The only ibis I was aware of is the Egyptian sort, which I think of as wading birds.
    We do have buzzards, but the bird I think of first as a scavenger is the crow.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm very glad you realised the 'bird' was Mrs Bolton.:)

    But what do you mean about 'talkative birds'? Some birds, like parrots, are very good mimics but that's irrelevant here.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ah, I see! Anyway it's irrelevant. There are lots of words for the noises birds naturally make but talking isn't one of them. I don't have the impression that Mrs Bolton's voice is being compared to bird noises either.
     
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