What does "a descent of night" man here? Does it mean the dominance of night?

"It is the very event of observing, a descent of night, an invasion of shadow." mean?

1 Answer 1


In English we associate day with rising and night with falling, perhaps because that's what the sun does during those times. So if you want to say "It is night time" but you want to be a little more poetic, you could say "Night has fallen." Descent can take the place of fall in this context, so your sentence means, literally, "It is the very event of observing the transition from day to night."

We also sometimes use night figuratively to mean evil or death. I don't know the context of your sentence, but the author probably refers to either the transition from daytime to nighttime, or the transition in a person or culture from good to evil or alive to dead.

  • The British politician Anne Widdicombe, when she was a minister at the Home Office, once said about her boss, Michael Howard, the then Home Secretary, that he 'had something of the night about him'. It seemed to express what some people felt but couldn't put into words.
    – WS2
    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:59
  • @Caleb Bernard Thank you Caleb. So is that ","(comma) after "observing" additional?
    – user127733
    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:51

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