1 What does" There are several things one can say" mean? Does it mean that the narrator had already foreseen his falling in love the woman?I think it means that he is thinking a lot of things at the same time here: that the events in the story of Gyges are connected to the story of him and Katharine; that maybe she chose to read this story because of how she was feeling about her life; that she was becoming lost in the story, as she was lost in her life...This is a story of how I fell in love with a woman, who read me a specific story from Herodotus. I heard the words she spoke across the fire, never looking up, even when she teased her husband. Perhaps she was just reading it to him. Perhaps there was no ulterior motive in the selection except for themselves. It was simply a story that had jarred her in its familiarity of situation. But a path suddenly revealed itself in real life. Even though she had not conceived it as a first errant step in any way. I am sure.
It is a strange story. Is it not, Caravaggio? The vanity of a man to the point where he wishes to be envied. Or he wishes to be believed, for he thinks he is not believed. This was in no way a portrait of Clifton, but he became a part of this story. There is something very shocking but human in the husband’s act. Something makes us believe it.
2 What does the "something" refer to?In this case, I don't think "something" refers to anything specific; it is intended to communicate the idea that even though we don't know exactly why, we do believe the husband could do such a shocking thing. Or maybe "something" refers to the idea that we can understand the husband's vanity and his shocking act because we are vain and human, too.So the king is killed. A New Age begins. There are poems written about Gyges in iambic trimeters. He was the first of the barbarians to dedicate objects at Delphi. He reigned as King of Lydia for twenty-eight years, but we still remember him as only a cog in an unusual love story. She stopped reading and looked up. Out of the quicksand. She was evolving. So power changed hands. Meanwhile, with the help of an anecdote, I fell in love.
Words, Caravaggio. They have a power.”
3 I feel somewhat dizzy when I met this sentence"She was evolving. So power changed hands".Yes, I can understand your feelings!
I'm not sure about this one either (maybe Michael Ondaatje is here somewhere to help us!), but here is my idea:
While she was reading, she was in "quicksand", submerged in the story, not looking at or thinking of anything but the story she was reading. The story had power over her, and was changing her.
"So power changed hands," probably has both a literal meaning - in the story, Gyges takes power from the king - and a figurative one - the narrator (or the idea of having an affair with him) is gaining power over Katharine while her husband is losing power.
My goodness! This is a challenge for native speakers to read and comprehend on first reading! I really commend you for your efforts!
I hope this helped. I would love to read other people's interpretations as well.
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