Tue 19 Jul, 2016 01:35 pm
I don't know why my brain is shutting down on this sentence but it is. Maybe I was just raise in a bad neighborhood with bad schools or never had the initiative to understand commas better but I need help.
"Corto y derecho, he drew the sword out of the muleta, profiled on the splintered left horn, dropped the muleta across his body, so his right hand with the sword on the level with his eye made the sign of the cross, and, rising on his toes, sighted along the dripping blade of the sword at the spot high up between the bull's shoulders."
I don't know why but the discretion behind the commas throws me off. I get that "Corto y derecho..." is used to describe the manner in which he withdrew his sword but then the next few commas go on to describe a series of actions. Then "dropped the muleta across his body" is linked with "so that his right hand with the sword on the level with his eye made the sign of the cross". For some reason all this confuses me. I get that commas are just breaks in sentence but is there any way for me to keep track of the subject? That probably doesn't make sense but I'm hoping someone on this forum can decipher my confusion.
Also is Hemingway saying that his right hand combined with the sword forms a cross or that his right hand, who happens to have a sword, forms a cross.
and what do they mean by "Sighted along the dripping blade of the sword at the spot high up between the bull's shoulders?"Is it saying that he sighted the part of the blade that was between the bull's shoulders or sighted along the dripping blade of the sword(while he was at the location between the bull's shoulders.
Please don't call me stupid
It may help ypu to realise that when the right hand "makes the sign of the cross" it makes four movements: up, down, left, right (from the point of view of the hand's owner). Ask any Catholic or Greek/Eastern/Russian Orthodox person to show you. Jocularly known as "spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch".
This is what Hemingway's describing by "sighting":
Corto y derecho: short and straight.
The sentence is about ceremonial/ritual actions performed by a matador.