she twisted the pavements under her feet

AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Dear all,
this is from GUT SYMMETRIES by Jeanette Winterson. Two women are walking in Manhatten.

I had to follow her as she twisted the pavements under her feet. I lost sense of where we were. The grid had buckled. The city was a bent alley and she was the better rat.


I think this is a bit surrealistic description. The author means the street (with its pavements) changed its direction under the feet of a woman walking along it. Is this understanding correct?
 
  • vincix

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I think it actually refers to the manner in which she herself walks. She twisted her own legs in such a way, that the pavement itself seemed to be twisting. Perhaps her gait was... how should I say, inelegant, etc.

    Of course, as PaulQ says, only a proper reader can understand what it really means. And if the laws of physics are observed in her book, I guess it's just a trope, a sort of visual metaphor.
     

    vincix

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Then, as you inferred, it might be a prolonged surrealistic scenario. This might not be a language-related problem after all, given that you understand the meaning of the sentence and of the words. You should try to compare it the other contexts near this particular scene. They might be more realistic, or, on the contrary, equally surrealistic, and so on, and so forth.
     

    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Did that happen in the book's reality, i.e. would other people also witness this? Or is it a figurative use?
    Other people, witnesses are mentioned only a little earlier, in the bar, where another surrealistic scene took place.

    There was a wind in the room that tore the drink out of the drinkers, that scattered the bar bottles like bottle tops, that levitated the furniture and smashed it into the tranced wall. Waiters and waited on blew in rags out of the door.
    So, yes, PaulQ, that happened in the book's reality. Such a book.


     

    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    This might not be a language-related problem after all, given that you understand the meaning of the sentence and of the words.
    The problem is, Vincix, I'm not quite sure about the meaning of the sentence and of the words. :mad:That's why I ask. To be on the safe side.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In which case,
    The author means the street (with its pavements) changed its direction under the feet of a woman walking along it.
    is correct. and "I had to follow her as she twisted the pavements under her feet." is a real description of a surreal world.

    (Reviews of the book agree that it is unreadable... :))
     
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