The question is on why den Rücken der Türe zugewendet as occurring in this quote (from Kafka’s Der Verschollene) is in the accusative case.
Am Fenster saß an einem Schreibtisch, den Rücken der Türe zugewendet, ein kleinerer Herr, der mit großen Folianten hantierte, die auf einem starken Bücherbrett in Kopfhöhe vor ihm aneinandergereiht waren. Neben ihm stand eine offene, wenigstens auf den ersten Blick leere Kassa.
I can think of two reasons:
(a) Such noun phrases are always in the accusative.
(b) It is because of the particular grammatical circumstances, e.g., it being an object of zuwenden.
By “such noun phrases” I mean those free-standing noun phrases which don’t seem to modify or connect with any particular word of the main clause but to add to it as a whole (I wish I knew the grammatical term for them). For example,
Face reddened, arms akimbo, she stood blocking the door.
The crocodile waited, only his nose out for the scent.
They came, all guns blazing, but too late.
Maybe one way to ask my question is to ask how these three sentences would go in German. Will face, arms, nose and guns all be in the accusative, or does a German speaker have to bother his head about what the surrounding words are doing to them (for example, “Well, the face got reddened so it is in the accusative, but the guns are blazing so nominative”)?
I hope the answer will be (a). That would be nicely consistent with things like heute Abend (as in “Heute Abend gehen wir.”) being in the accusative. (Is that right?)
If anybody knows the grammatical term for these noun phrases, please also let me know. Thanks.