Solaris: wypukłą szybę

zzjing

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
The following is from Lem's novel Solaris:

Podniósłszy oczy, zobaczyłem przez wypukłą szybę ściany studni i, wyżej, schyloną nad nią twarz Moddarda. Znikła zaraz i zapadła ciemność, bo z góry nałożono ciężki ochronny stożek.​

What does the "wypukłą szybę" refer to here?

You probably need more context, which can be found in the first two paragraphs of the first chapter.
 
  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    No, observe: "przez wypukłą szybę ściany studni"

    Is that how it reads? I think you are right, in that this describes a scene where the narrator is looking out the window of a space capsule before it is launched. But I thought it was "Zobaczyłem <przez wypukłą szybę> <ściany studni> i... <schyloną nad nią (tj. studnią) twarz Moddarda>"? ("I saw through the convex pane the walls of the shaft and, higher up, the face of Moddard leaning over it (i.e. the shaft)").

    If my reading is wrong, that means "ściany" here is genitive singular, rather than accusative plural?
     

    zzjing

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    Is that how it reads? I think you are right, in that this describes a scene where the narrator is looking out the window of a space capsule before it is launched. But I thought it was "Zobaczyłem <przez wypukłą szybę> <ściany studni> i... <schyloną nad nią (tj. studnią) twarz Moddarda>"? ("I saw through the convex pane the walls of the shaft and, higher up, the face of Moddard leaning over it (i.e. the shaft)").

    If my reading is wrong, that means "ściany" here is genitive singular, rather than accusative plural?
    It's not a window. Later in the text we'll learn that the pothole of the capsule did not open until the capsule was launched. Here the narrator is looking up through the opening at the top of the capsule where he just entered, and he is already wearing a space suit. So I agree with Hanares above, it should refer to the visor of the space suit's helmet.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Is that how it reads? I think you are right, in that this describes a scene where the narrator is looking out the window of a space capsule before it is launched. But I thought it was "Zobaczyłem <przez wypukłą szybę> <ściany studni> i... <schyloną nad nią (tj. studnią) twarz Moddarda>"? ("I saw through the convex pane the walls of the shaft and, higher up, the face of Moddard leaning over it (i.e. the shaft)").

    If my reading is wrong, that means "ściany" here is genitive singular, rather than accusative plural?
    Well, you can't distinguish here the accusative plural from from genitive singular. I think that you are right, I was too fast to make a conclusion. Your reading is much more plausible, as it would be strange if the shaft was made of glass.
     

    anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It's not a window. Later in the text we'll learn that the pothole of the capsule did not open until the capsule was launched. Here the narrator is looking up through the opening at the top of the capsule where he just entered, and he is already wearing a space suit. So I agree with Hanares above, it should refer to the visor of the space suit's helmet.

    That makes sense, thanks for explaining. "Szyba" in itself literally refers to a pane of glass, which most normally is used in a window loosely defined as something that lets light in from the outside. You can only really tell by the context here whether it's attached to a space helmet and not a wall.
     
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