overcoming the unwillingness

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
He moved back and forth, picking pods [food] as he went, approaching the crevasse [the unpleasantly hot vent] at a distance that was mediated by the desire for food overcoming the unwillingness of his tread [the creature's feet, I suppose] to move to hotter crust.
(Dragon's Egg; Robert L. Forward)

Would you be so kind as to tell me whether the part in bold modifies 'the desire for food'?

Thanks.

 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Wow, talk about convoluted, Suprun. I think what it all means is: "He walked closer to the crevasse than he wanted to because he wanted food more than he wanted not to burn his feet." (I'm prepared to be corrected, though.)

    He moved back and forth, picking pods as he went, approaching the crevasse at a distance that was mediated by the desire for food overcoming the unwillingness of his tread to move to hotter crust.
     

    Yankee_inCA

    Senior Member
    Yeah, sheesh! The author himself says it "mediates" the desire for food, so I would say yes, it modifies it. [A tread is a footstep not a foot. "You trod on my foot!" shows the past tense for the verb form of tread.]
     
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