Meaning of the phrase: "...blinked, looming behind me" I'm reading Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin. There is a sentence in one of the dialogs that I do not understand. The story is told from the main character Skeeve point of view. The sentence is: "What tent?" The keeper blinked, looming behind me. What is the meaning of "looming behind me" part? If the keeper is standing behind Skeeve then Skeeve can't see him blinking. Is it the mistake of the author or "behind me" means something other? Context: "WHERE did that tent go?" I demanded desperately. "What tent?" The keeper blinked, looming behind me. "That tent," I exclaimed, pointing at the now vacant space. The Deveel frowned, craning his neck, which at his height, gave him considerable visibility. "There isn't any tent there," he announced with finality. "I know! That's the point!" "Hey! Quit trying to change the subject!" The keeper growled, poking me in the chest with an unbelievably large finger. "Are you going to pay for the dragon or not?"
Feb 2, 2016 6:33 PM
Answers · 5
It does sound like a minor mistake by the author. From the context it does sound like the keeper is standing behind Skeeve, and obviously Skeeve would have no idea that the keeper had blinked if he were "looming behind". I see no other way to interpret "looming behind".
February 2, 2016
Katie, thank you. I'm wondering, do you think it is a fine way to describe the setting, or it is rather a little oversight? That was the only sentence where I noted this problem. In other scenes, a reader see the surroundings through the eyes and ears of the main character, e.g. another character may inform Skeeve about something, he wouldn't have seen. In this scene the keeper might be described as "looming over me", not "behind me". Besides, just a few sentences below he poked Skeeve in the chest, so if he was "behind" then he had to move "off-camera" in order to stand in front of Skeeve.
February 4, 2016
In regards to the character blinking though the narrating character (Skeeve) wouldn't have seen... it's another example of the author "painting" the setting for the reader beyond what pure dialogue can accomplish.
February 2, 2016
'Loomed" is a reference to the character, the Keeper's, size and personality. Looming is foreboding. It implies intimidatingly large size with possibly ill intent .... see ""the keeper growled"
February 2, 2016
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