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  1. suprunp's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 599
    #1

    called by the deep pull of language

    "That's right," Mark said. He spoke with self-mocking intentness and a faint familiar accent that reminded David of his father's voice, low and melodic.
    [...]
    "I'm not being hostile," David said, realizing even as he spoke that he was. Realizing, too, that he was beginning to flatten and extend his own vowels, called by the deep pull of language, patterns of speech as familiar and compelling as water.

    (The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards)

    Would you be so kind to clarify what was meant by the part in bold?

    Thanks.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #2

    Re: called by the deep pull of language

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    "That's right," Mark said. He spoke with self-mocking intentness and a faint familiar accent that reminded David of his father's voice, low and melodic.
    [...]
    "I'm not being hostile," David said, realizing even as he spoke that he was. Realizing, too, that he was beginning to flatten and extend his own vowels, called by the deep pull of language, patterns of speech as familiar and compelling as water.

    (The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards)

    Would you be so kind to clarify what was meant by the part in bold?

    Thanks.
    Think about the last word. Being in water makes you do things - you move more slowly, you're influenced - without knowing it - by currents. Remember wading out of water at the sea-side; you locate your home encampment and walk that way. If you don't keep your eyes on that goal, you don't walk in a straight line. You go where the water takes you. (Usualy there's a compromise be tween the 'will' of the water and your own will, so that your course is a wiggly line. Sometimes the water takes you where you don't want to go. It's 'familiar' (you see it everywhere, it's so common that you're hardly aware of it) and 'compelling' (it makes you do things).

    Language is like that. In this case - I'm guessing, from the context of the book's title - thee speaker is unconsciously adopting speech patterns used at a home he's left; or - quite to the contrary - his speech patterns are emphasizing his remoteness from that past. He says 'I'm not being hostile', but his voice tells a different story.

    That's one man's view (mine). The good thing about metaphors is that they make you paint mental pictures; others may not agree at all...

    b

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