What is "the slanting illumination"?

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Miaomiao Gong

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello there,
I am reading a novel "The sea, the sea" by Irris Murdoch. I feel confused when I see “I came out into the light from the church (it is a sunny afternoon now) and spent some time looking at the various sailing ships on the tombstones which the slanting illumination had brought out in strong relief”

Is "the slanting illumination" actually the afternoon sunshine? How can sunshine bring out the tombstones in strong relief?
BTW, Why do people of there like to grave sailing ships on the tombstones?
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "Slanting illumination" is almost certainly referring to the sun being low in the sky. When the sun strikes inscriptions on headstones from a low angle, it frequently has the effect of making them much easier to read. The sailing ships carved on headstones suggest that the deceased either died at sea, or else had some strong connection with it.
     

    Miaomiao Gong

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I am clear now. Thank you, DocPenfro.

    "Slanting illumination" is almost certainly referring to the sun being low in the sky. When the sun strikes inscriptions on headstones from a low angle, it frequently has the effect of making them much easier to read. The sailing ships carved on headstones suggest that the deceased either died at sea, or else had some strong connection with it.
     
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