plank lace

Swamp-landia

Senior Member
NYC
Mandarin; Shanghainese
There's a line from Swamplandia by Karren Russell,

The next thing I knew light was pouring through all the holes in Stiltsville: dawn light screaming through the doorways that hung on their hinges, the broken windows that birds could fly through, the plank lace, the cheesed metals.


What's the meaning of 'plank lace' as it is here?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I haven't heard this before, nor can I find other examples of its use. I believe it is the writer's invention. Someone may correct me on this.

    As it is, I would understand "plank lace" to mean that the planks are broken and have holes in them, so that light comes through the planks that form the walls as light comes through lace.
     

    Swamp-landia

    Senior Member
    NYC
    Mandarin; Shanghainese
    Thank you Cagey.
    Does it refer to floor planks? Could the 'lace' here indicate the edges of each plank, and that planks are disconnected at their edges so the light can go through?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It could, if the houses are on stilts and the scene takes place near sunrise or sunset so that a low sun might shine through the floor.

    However, that seems less than likely. Unless the architecture is unusual, I would suspect that she is talking about the walls, which may be made of unfinished planks in a poor neighborhood.
     

    Swamp-landia

    Senior Member
    NYC
    Mandarin; Shanghainese
    Actually this is a long abandoned village where no one lives anymore.

    But wall planks make more sense I guess. Thank you.
     
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