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    #1

    Lightbulb What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    So here's an excerpt from The Thirteenth Tale written by Dianne Setterfield:
    "Father had finished for the day, switched off the shop lights and closed the shutters; but so I would not come home to darkness he had left on the light over the stairs to the flat. Through the glass in the door it cast a foolscap rectangle of paleness onto the wet pavement,...."
    I don't quite understand where the light is located. It seems to me that the "flat/pavement" means a "porch". Since the light casts paleness onto the outside porch, the light must be inside the shop. But what does over the stairs mean? Does it mean there are lightbulbs above the staircases in the shop which extend to the door/porch/flat/pavement?
    I'm really confused...
    Last edited by gary17; 21-May-2013 at 11:25.

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    #2

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    A "flat" is an apartment. There are stairs that lead up to the flat. There is a light outside that shines light on the stairs.

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    #3

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    In future posts, Gary, please name the author of your quotations as well as the source. In this case, Dianne Setterfield.

    Rover

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    #4

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    Thank you for reminding. I've just added the author to my post.

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    #5

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    What about "Through the glass in the door it cast a foolscap rectangle of paleness onto the wet pavement.."? If the light is outside, how does it go through the glass in the door and cast paleness onto the pavement?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    A "flat" is an apartment. There are stairs that lead up to the flat. There is a light outside that shines light on the stairs.
    Not sure why it has to be outside. I imagine it hanging from the ceiling directly over the stairs. The flat is over the shop, so they are not public/external stairs.

    b

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    #7

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Not sure why it has to be outside. I imagine it hanging from the ceiling directly over the stairs. The flat is over the shop, so they are not public/external stairs.

    b
    I was assuming an outside set of stairs.

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    #8

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    I assumed an indoor staircase, leading up to the first floor of the building, on which was the door to the flat. If the main door out to the street was partly made of glass, the light over the indoor staircase would indeed shed some light onto the pavement.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    "The flat is over the shop" meaning there's an apartment on the second floor?

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    #10

    Re: What does "over the stairs to the flat" mean in this excerpt?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I assumed an indoor staircase, leading up to the first floor of the building, on which was the door to the flat. If the main door out to the street was partly made of glass, the light over the indoor staircase would indeed shed some light onto the pavement.
    Do you mean there are two doors?

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