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Scene : He has been crawling in the dark in a cramped shaft of ventilation duck for god knows how long.

Crawled for what seemed like days. His eyes conjuring strange displays of light that appeared with greater frequency the longer he stayed in darkness. Vivid bursts of color. Imaginary auroras. Haunting radiance in the black.

What's this Haunting radiance in the black? is it a radiance of light in the black (darkness?) or is it a black radiance that hunting him?

Novel: Pines, Blake Crouch

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I will assume you've looked up "radiance" and "haunting" in a dictionary. "In the black" here means darkness, the total absence of light.

Putting the meanings together, the author is describing frightening/disturbing light. But it's imaginary. Have you ever been in a dark place for so long that you imagined seeing light when there really wasn't any? It can be an uncomfortable sensation: humans are accustomed to light and our brains crave it when it's taken away for a long time.

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  • I understand the meaning of both radiance and haunting, but I was a bit confused of what the "black" is referring to, is a black light (I don't know if it's make sense but the sort of light thumping behind your eyelids when you closed it black white black white something like that) or that "black" is a darkness and the radiance was radiating in it...I was thinking "well, if the author's referring to the darkness he would've said that why would he say black instead of darkness?" and I'm confused...I wasn't thinking straight! thank you. Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 6:43
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    No worries. "In the black" is somewhat metaphorical and also a bit old fashioned. But even today it still conveys a more total sense of darkness than just saying "dark." My room is dark at night, but an abandoned mine with the lights off is pitch black. Anyone who's ever been to a truly dark place should appreciate the difference.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 6:57

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