Discussion:
Baldwin: river scene
Add Reply
Quinn C
2020-02-05 18:29:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
This sentence from Giovanni's Room is confusing to me:

The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.

I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.

It then goes on:

Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.

Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession. Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
--
Behold, honored adversaries,
We are the instruments of your joyful death.
Consu war chant -- J. Scalzi, Old Man's War
Jerry Friedman
2020-02-05 19:21:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Maybe the river level lowered after the winter rains and snows. My
best guess for the smoke is that it's an odd metaphor for silt,
which settles to the bottom.
Post by Quinn C
Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.
Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession.
It suggests recreation more than a profession to me.
Post by Quinn C
Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
"Angler" is almost certainly recreational, but old-fashioned, though
it may be coming back because it's gender-neutral. Otherwise I
think someone making a living that way might say "I work on a tuna
boat" or some such.
--
Jerry Friedman
Quinn C
2020-02-05 23:13:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Maybe the river level lowered after the winter rains and snows.
If it's about seasonal change, which makes a lot of sense, then in most
places, the river swells in spring when snow is melting upstream, then
subsides. I don't know if that applies to Paris, specifically.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Quinn C
Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.
Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession.
It suggests recreation more than a profession to me.
Post by Quinn C
Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
"Angler" is almost certainly recreational, but old-fashioned,
That would have been clearer. Was it old-fashioned in 1956?
Post by Jerry Friedman
though
it may be coming back because it's gender-neutral.
But it also suggests using a fishing rod rather than - like most of the
professionals - a net, doesn't it?
Post by Jerry Friedman
Otherwise I
think someone making a living that way might say "I work on a tuna
boat" or some such.
In discussions of gender-neutral words for professions, I've
encountered fisherman -> fisher.
--
Quinn C
My pronouns are they/them
(or other gender-neutral ones)
Jerry Friedman
2020-02-06 00:15:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Maybe the river level lowered after the winter rains and snows.
If it's about seasonal change, which makes a lot of sense, then in most
places, the river swells in spring when snow is melting upstream, then
subsides. I don't know if that applies to Paris, specifically.
According to the graph at

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seine#Les_mar%C3%A9es

on average the Seine reaches its highest levels in February and declines
in spring.
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Quinn C
Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.
Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession.
It suggests recreation more than a profession to me.
Post by Quinn C
Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
"Angler" is almost certainly recreational, but old-fashioned,
That would have been clearer. Was it old-fashioned in 1956?
I'm inclined to think so, but I wasn't around then.
Post by Quinn C
Post by Jerry Friedman
though
it may be coming back because it's gender-neutral.
But it also suggests using a fishing rod rather than - like most of the
professionals - a net, doesn't it?
...

Pretty definitely, as Paul Wolff noted.
Post by Quinn C
In discussions of gender-neutral words for professions, I've
encountered fisherman -> fisher.
That works too. For me it doesn't have as strong a suggestion of
just-for-fun.
--
Jerry Friedman
Eric Walker
2020-02-06 01:38:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the brown
winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Maybe the river level lowered after the winter rains and snows. My best
guess for the smoke is that it's an odd metaphor for silt, which settles
to the bottom....
Perhaps the "it" it dropped out of was the morning that was one of "those
mornings": to write "the brown winter smoke dropped downward out of the
morning" is a just barely possible bit of poetic license.
--
Cordially,
Eric Walker
Horace LaBadie
2020-02-05 22:19:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
Post by Quinn C
Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.
Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession. Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
Quinn C
2020-02-05 23:13:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
That would never be "out of it" for me, but it could be different for
the author. It vanishes out of sight.
--
We say, 'If any lady or gentleman shall buy this article _____ shall
have it for five dollars.' The blank may be filled with he, she, it,
or they; or in any other manner; and yet the form of the expression
will be too vulgar to be uttered. -- Wkly Jrnl of Commerce (1839)
Ross
2020-02-05 23:54:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
That would never be "out of it" for me, but it could be different for
the author. It vanishes out of sight.
I'm thinking it might be actual smoke, which hangs
over the river during the winter; as the weather
warms, it forms a thinner layer, until
eventually it disappears -- _as if_ it had
sunk into the river.
s***@gmail.com
2020-02-05 23:41:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
I had only gotten as far as thinking that smoke often blows down in winter,
especially in cold, grey weather.

/dps
Jerry Friedman
2020-02-06 15:38:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
...
The Seine apparently doesn't freeze over often. Oddly enough, it did in
1956, but I don't think that's the winter Baldwin had in mind.

However, I'm starting to think that he might have meant literal smoke,
as you say, and might have thought that the reason the river was more
turbid in winter was that the air was smokier--and that he might have
been mistaken.
--
Jerry Friedman
b***@aol.com
2020-02-06 18:00:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
...
The Seine apparently doesn't freeze over often. Oddly enough, it did in
1956, but I don't think that's the winter Baldwin had in mind.
However, I'm starting to think that he might have meant literal smoke,
as you say, and might have thought that the reason the river was more
turbid in winter was that the air was smokier--and that he might have
been mistaken.
As the scene takes place in the cold of winter, the phenomenon described
could be "sea smoke". This article says:

---
“Sea smoke,” also known as “frost smoke” or “steam fog,” is formed
when very cold air moves over warmer water. It forms when a light
wind of very cold air mixes with a shallow layer of saturated warm
air immediately above the warmer water. The warmer air is cooled
beyond the dew point and can no longer hold as much water vapor,
so the excess condenses out. The effect is similar to the “steam”
produced over a hot bath or a hot drink.

https://texashillcountry.com/smoke-water-temperatures-dropping/
---

What the included video shows does look like smoke.
Post by Jerry Friedman
--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2020-02-06 18:32:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
...
The Seine apparently doesn't freeze over often. Oddly enough, it did in
1956, but I don't think that's the winter Baldwin had in mind.
However, I'm starting to think that he might have meant literal smoke,
as you say, and might have thought that the reason the river was more
turbid in winter was that the air was smokier--and that he might have
been mistaken.
As the scene takes place in the cold of winter, the phenomenon described
---
“Sea smoke,” also known as “frost smoke” or “steam fog,” is formed
when very cold air moves over warmer water. It forms when a light
wind of very cold air mixes with a shallow layer of saturated warm
air immediately above the warmer water. The warmer air is cooled
beyond the dew point and can no longer hold as much water vapor,
so the excess condenses out. The effect is similar to the “steam”
produced over a hot bath or a hot drink.
https://texashillcountry.com/smoke-water-temperatures-dropping/
---
What the included video shows does look like smoke.
I assume that's why "Love came by from the riversmoke/ When the
leaves were fresh on the tree".

https://books.google.com/books?id=WAwn9W6v5AIC&pg=PA201

But I can't see it being brown or "dropping down out of [the river]".
--
Jerry Friedman
Mack A. Damia
2020-02-06 19:15:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Feb 2020 10:32:43 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
...
The Seine apparently doesn't freeze over often. Oddly enough, it did in
1956, but I don't think that's the winter Baldwin had in mind.
However, I'm starting to think that he might have meant literal smoke,
as you say, and might have thought that the reason the river was more
turbid in winter was that the air was smokier--and that he might have
been mistaken.
As the scene takes place in the cold of winter, the phenomenon described
---
“Sea smoke,” also known as “frost smoke” or “steam fog,” is formed
when very cold air moves over warmer water. It forms when a light
wind of very cold air mixes with a shallow layer of saturated warm
air immediately above the warmer water. The warmer air is cooled
beyond the dew point and can no longer hold as much water vapor,
so the excess condenses out. The effect is similar to the “steam”
produced over a hot bath or a hot drink.
https://texashillcountry.com/smoke-water-temperatures-dropping/
---
What the included video shows does look like smoke.
I assume that's why "Love came by from the riversmoke/ When the
leaves were fresh on the tree".
https://books.google.com/books?id=WAwn9W6v5AIC&pg=PA201
But I can't see it being brown or "dropping down out of [the river]".
Loading Image...

Untreated wood used as fuel produces brown smoke.
Quinn C
2020-02-06 18:05:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Best guess is that the "smoke" is the soot deposited on the ice by the
smoke. When the ice melts, the soot settles to the river bed.
...
The Seine apparently doesn't freeze over often. Oddly enough, it did in
1956, but I don't think that's the winter Baldwin had in mind.
The winter of the novel is a cold one, though: the protagonist visits
the south of France, near the Italian border, and they have rare snow
there.
--
Quinn C
My pronouns are they/them
(or other gender-neutral ones)
Tony Cooper
2020-02-06 18:44:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Feb 2020 13:05:31 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
The winter of the novel is a cold one, though: the protagonist visits
the south of France, near the Italian border, and they have rare snow
there.
As written, the snow in the south of France is a rare type of snow.
Perhaps the flakes are identical.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Sam Plusnet
2020-02-06 21:00:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 6 Feb 2020 13:05:31 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
The winter of the novel is a cold one, though: the protagonist visits
the south of France, near the Italian border, and they have rare snow
there.
As written, the snow in the south of France is a rare type of snow.
Perhaps the flakes are identical.
Perhaps they have bien cuit snow.
--
Sam Plusnet
Richard Heathfield
2020-02-06 21:08:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 6 Feb 2020 13:05:31 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
The winter of the novel is a cold one, though: the protagonist visits
the south of France, near the Italian border, and they have rare snow
there.
As written, the snow in the south of France is a rare type of snow.
Perhaps the flakes are identical.
Perhaps they have bien cuit snow.
I thought that was Alaska?
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."
Paul Wolff
2020-02-05 22:34:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 5 Feb 2020 13:29:47 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
Giovanni was right about the fishermen; they certainly never seemed
to catch anything, but it gave them something to do.
Here I was surprised that these "fishermen" are apparently fishing
recreationally. I always thought of fisherman as a profession. Is there
no way to distinguish the two explicitly without an adjective?
I would not hesitate to call my son, my grandsons, or my son-in-law
"fishermen". They fish only for recreational reasons.
My son and grandsons are bass fisherman. Anything they catch is
released. (Freshwater) bass are not considered to be an edible fish.
Son-in-law is a salt water fisherman. What he catches is brought home
and cooked.
Jerry brought up "Angler". That's defined as a fisherman who fishes
with a rod and line, but I would use it only to describe someone who
fly-fishes. A person dangling a baited hook in the water watching for
the bobber to bob is using a rod and line, but not - in my opinion -
an angler.
A week or so ago I thought I'd better look up 'angler' to throw some
light on which angle it referred to - the obvious one was between the
rod and the line. But the angle is also the fishing hook - the bent pin,
almost. It's from Old English / Old Saxon / Old High German / Old Norse.

So fly fishing isn't quite angling. And while I've never read Izaak
Walton's treatise 'The Compleat Angler' I always have imagined Izaak
sitting on the bank with a stick and a string and a hook, never in
waders with a whippy rod and an arsenal of tied flies. But I'm very
likely wrong.

I think 'fisherman' is marginally biassed towards commercial fishing.
Listen to Ewan McColl's 'Shoals of Herring':

"Now you're up on deck, you're a fisherman, You can swear and show a
manly bearing, Take a turn on watch with the other fellows, While you're
following the shoals of herring."

Mind you, it was simple 'fisher' at one time. "I will make you fishers
of men."
--
Paul
Quinn C
2020-02-05 23:13:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Jerry brought up "Angler". That's defined as a fisherman who fishes
with a rod and line, but I would use it only to describe someone who
fly-fishes. A person dangling a baited hook in the water watching for
the bobber to bob is using a rod and line, but not - in my opinion -
an angler.
Then there's the angler fish. Nothing fly about him!
Mrs. angler fish might disagree.
--
Behold, honored adversaries,
We are the instruments of your joyful death.
Consu war chant -- J. Scalzi, Old Man's War
Mack A. Damia
2020-02-05 23:33:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 5 Feb 2020 13:29:47 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
The trees grew green those mornings, the river dropped, and the
brown winter smoke dropped downward out of it, and fishermen
appeared.
Post by Quinn C
I can't envisage what the river and the smoke do.
He is looking at a section of the river from his house where the river
goes downhill - or "drops".

He talks about houseboats, and they must have some kind of heating for
the winter, and it produces brown smoke. Also, he mentions barges and
yachts. Same thing. He is looking at this, and fishermen appear,
too.
Loading...