sense that something of them came back to him

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
He learned to direct the light and augment it with mirrors, and on several occasions, when the lighthouse keeper could not do so, he stayed to keep watch over the night at sea from the tower. He learned to know the ships by their voices, by the size of their lights on the horizon, and to sense that something of them came back to him in the flashing beacon of the lighthouse.
(Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez)

What is the part in bold supposed to mean?

Thanks.
 
  • erbp

    Senior Member
    Bilingual English Spanish
    This book was originally written in Spanish.

    I think the English translator is trying to say that the person that was installed at the top of the lighthouse (and to whom García Márques refers) began to feel that he was perceiving/identifying/recognizing messages from the ships.

    I'll try to find the words in the original version and let you know if that's what Garcia Márquez wanted to convey.
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Thank you, erbp!

    I'm trying to work out the way this meaning is conveyed, but it somehow evades me...

    He began to sense that something of them (messages from them?) came back to him in the flashing beacon of the lighthouse (the rays from the beacon went to the ships and then back to him carrying some messages with them from the ships?).
     
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