some strange alloy with an equally beautiful and scarcely identifiable metal

vkhu

Senior Member
Vietnamese
The material seemed to be predominantly gold, though a weird lighter lustrousness hinted at some strange alloy with an equally beautiful and scarcely identifiable metal.
I'm confused by the wording here. This is how I read the above sentence:

The material seemed to be predominantly gold. But it has a weird lustrousness. This means it also contain some strain alloy. This strange alloy is as beautiful and hard to identify as some other unknown metal.

There's no coherence in this. Why did a 3rd metal randomly popped up without being named? How is the comparison supposed to work if the equivalence is kept hidden?

Source: "The Shadow over Innsmouth" by H. P. Lovecraft
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It'snot a comparison. An alloy is a combination of two metallic elements. The narrator does not know what the other metal might be, so he/she can't name it.

    a weird lighter lustrousness (in the metal) hinted (that the metal might be) some strange alloy (of gold) with (another) equally beautiful metal (that could not readily be identified)
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Remember that Lovecraft is a 19th writer in the genre of suspense and fantasy. He will create things that don't necessarily exist in real life.

    Obviously in real life today you could easily determine in a lab the alloy in a piece of gold.

    Lovecraft is trying to create a mood of mystery. Does this object come out of an ancient tomb or from outer space? Does it have magical properties?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Alloy is being used as a word for combination. Not as a metal itself. There are only two metals mentioned (both pure) and together they have formed an alloy.

    The material seemed to be predominantly gold, though a weird lighter lustrousness hinted at some strange alloy melding with an equally beautiful and scarcely identifiable metal.

    So there was gold alloyed with the mystery metal.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Gold is almost always mixed with an alloy for use in jewelry unless you are buying 24 carat solid gold items for investment. The nature of the alloy subtly alters the color of the gold
     
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