Interested in Language
Can anybody explain to me in what sense retrospective is used in the text?
Yet they continued angrily to hang about. The air of the hall held a bleak, mute suggestion of the unsavoury and sinister, as if, some hours ago, it had experienced a large-scale concussion—due to the explosion of an unspeakably tremendous but entirely odourless and silent firework—and was still coldly retrospective, shocked and strained.
John Metacalfe, Mr. Meldrumīs Mania, 1931
Thank you very much
Not a Teacher
It would make more sense to me if there were a comma after 'still. This would suggest that the atmosphere of the hall was still shocked and strained, looking back on the hypothetical explosion some hours ago.