1. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Bonjour tout le monde,

    J'ai une question sur le titre du livre par Rejean Ducharme: L'Avalée des avalés.

    Le titre de ce livre était traduit en Anglais comme: The Swallower Swallowed, mais je me pense que le titre doit etre "L'avaleur avalée" (si L'avaleur est une femme Cet à dire)

    Je fais la traduction du titre en Anglais comme "The swallowed of the swallowed".

    Mais je pense que je n'ai pas raison, pourriez vous m'expliquer? (en Anglais si est acceptable pour vous, c'est meilleur pour moi comme ça)

    Merci Beaucoup,
    Cadet
     
  2. carolineR

    carolineR Senior Member

    Indian Ocean
    France
    l'avalée is coined on the principle container + ée = contents
    ex : bouche (récipient) + ée = bouchée (mouth+full= mouthful)
    or table + ée = tablée (table + full = tableful)
    Therefore l'avalée would corrrespond to swallow + full = swallowful
    (except swallow can't beconsidered a container, can it ?)
    Litterally, the title should be 'the swallowful of the swallowed'.
    hope this helps :)
     
  3. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Sorry, Caro, but when reading a bit of the book, I was under a different feeling.
    She (the narrator) was "avalée" (taken) by all kinds of sensations...
     
  4. carolineR

    carolineR Senior Member

    Indian Ocean
    France
    Ah sorry ! I haven't read the book ! :(
    Forget what I said, Cadet :)
     
  5. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Thanks caro, no problem.

    FranParis,

    So "L'Avalée" in the title is participe passé of s'avaler (not in my dictionary but I assume it exists and means to swallow oneself) and adds the extra e to denote it's female.

    Because otherwise if it wasn't s'avaler and merely avaler, wouldn't the participe passé not add an extra e even if it was talking about a female?

    So if s'avaler exists as a verb, it should mean "to be completely taken up, swallowed - sounds bad in English, equivalant would be 'engulfed' or perhaps 'emmerced'.

    So how should the title be translated?

    Is it "The swallower swallowed" as it was translated in the English version?

    But if so why is the title not "L'avalée avala" or "L'Avalée avalé"?

    the 'des' to me, based on what you have said about the narrator (I haven't read the book yet, I shall have it soon) would imply that there are a group of people that are taken up by all kinds of sensations but since the perspective is from the narrator, it is as if she is being singled out from the crowd and you go with her on her story.

    ie. "the story of one of the swallowed from the swallowed"

    If you could please correct my errors I would sincerely appreciate it.

    Thankyou,
    Cadet
     
  6. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    Provence
    français
    Je n'ai pas lu le livre, mais le mot avalée pourrait désigner une descente ou une chute si on se réfère à un vieux sens du mot avalé (pendant, chutant) comme dans l'expression "à brides avalées" ou le mot aval.

    C'est un peu tiré par les cheveux bien sur, et sans rien connaître à l'histoire, l'idée de carolineR (qu'une avalée soit une sorte de gorgée) semble plus plausible.

    Donc je propose "the fall of the swallowed" ou "the swallowing of the swallowed". Si swallowful semble douteux.

    D'un autre côté, pour peu qu'il y ait une vallée dans l'histoire, qu'elle ait de l'importance et qu'il y ait un jeu de mot important sur "l'avalée"/"la vallée", peut-être que "the valley of the swallowed" serait plus prudent.

    Bref, il faut connaitre l'histoire.

    De plus le terme "des avalés" est bizarre. Est-ce que ce sont des personnes qui ont été avalées? Je ne vois pas, ni comment on peut traduire "avaler" par "taken".
     
  7. Rouleau Senior Member

    French-Speaking Maine
    English United States
    Yes, I definitely agree with this. I have not read the book either, but my first reaction, when I read the title of your post, was that the title *seemed* wordplay on "vallee." If the heroine/protagonist is notable for her naivete, her misfortunes, or her youthful indiscretions/wildness, could you possibly choose a word entirely different from "swallowed" (or anything having to do with the verb "to swallow")? "Dupe" came to mind.

    Best of luck with your difficult translation problem.
     
  8. CulDeSac

    CulDeSac Senior Member

    North-west Italy
    English (UK)
    Cadet,
    Happily returning the earlier favour.

    Can I suggest that one/both are NOT "swallow", but "downriver"?
    Marc
     
  9. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Certains livres, comme certaines idées, ne sont pas accessibles à tout le monde. La lecture du livre change pourtant bien des choses. La licence littéraire est de mise ici.

    - C'est déjà arrivé que l'on prenne un verre, l'avalant à la va-vite.

    - Quelqu'un, entendant une histoire par laquelle j'ai été pris, me dit: et tu vas me faire avaler ça?

    - Avalé par son commentaire, je me suis tu.

    Je me dis même, que, parmi tous les avalés du monde, je suis le plus avalé.

    Cadet, I'll come back on the title...
     
  10. CulDeSac

    CulDeSac Senior Member

    North-west Italy
    English (UK)
    Cadet,

    for ex:

    Downriver of the swallowed? The intestine?
    Downriver of all downrivers? The ocean?
    etc

    Marc
     
  11. CulDeSac

    CulDeSac Senior Member

    North-west Italy
    English (UK)
    Cadet,

    A further thought. Possibly the 'downriver' not of a river but of time - the future?

    The destiny, the future, the 'what happened next'.. of the "swallowed" ??

    Marc
     
  12. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Un court extrait de L'avalée des avalés:

    Tout m'avale. Quand j'ai les yeux fermés, c'est par mon ventre que je suis avalée, c'est dans mon ventre que j'étouffe. Quand j'ai les yeux ouverts, c'est par ce que je vois que je suis avalée, c'est dans le ventre de ce que je vois que je suffoque. Je suis avalée par le fleuve trop grand, par le ciel trop haut, par les fleurs trop fragiles, par les papillons trop craintifs, par le visage trop beau de ma mère. Le visage de ma mère est beau pour rien.

    - Now, a quote from Mariel Hemingway (just an example): - "I was taken by the romanticism of being thought of as an adult and living in a world that was completely new to me."


    - In the light of some previous comments, what do you think about it?

    - Cadet, I could go with your translation: "The swallowed of the swallowed", literally.

    - But if you think about the actual English title, it's not that bad. The problem is that people identify it being similar in meaning with "L'arroseur arrosé" (what goes around comes around).

    - I think it's not.

    - She swallows life (the beauty of things). On the other hand, she is swallowed by different feelings and sensations. Hence The swallower swallowed.
     
  13. Rouleau Senior Member

    French-Speaking Maine
    English United States
    The only problem with a literal translation--and it is a big one--is that to an English (or American-English) reader, "The Swallower Swallowed" would be either bizarre or downright ridiculous.

    I'm not saying this to be offensive! I think many of the French-speaking posters on this thread have been correct in saying you have the liberty to change the title entirely. Once when I was in Paris, there were playbills posted all over the Left Bank for a drama called either (it's been a long time!) "Le fils aux pattes" or "Les pattes au fils." I spent my entire trip trying to figure out what the play could be about and never did figure it out. As a Senior Member has pointed out, certain words aren't accessible to everyone, in every language.
     
  14. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    And none of these titles were Un fil à la patte from Georges Feydeau...
     
  15. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Well, English speaking Canadians seem to like it..
     
  16. David Senior Member

    Tout m'avale. Quand j'ai les yeux fermés, c'est par mon ventre que je suis avalée, c'est dans mon ventre que j'étouffe. Quand j'ai les yeux ouverts, c'est par ce que je vois que je suis avalée, c'est dans le ventre de ce que je vois que je suffoque. Je suis avalée par le fleuve trop grand, par le ciel trop haut, par les fleurs trop fragiles, par les papillons trop craintifs, par le visage trop beau de ma mère. Le visage de ma mère est beau pour rien.

    Translation is an art, not a science. Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes sounds ridiculous in literal translation. I think the English verb that is equivalent here to "avaler" is swallow up, one of those separable verbs that depend on the prepositions that follows, just as "come at" means to attack, while "come to" means to regain consciousness after fainting. Overcome would be a "better" translation, but it loses the connotations of avaler, whence the art, as opposed to the science.

    Everything swallows me up. When my eyes are closed, my belly swallows me up, I suffocate inside my belly. When my eyes are open, I am swallowed up by what I see; I suffocate in the belly of all that I see. I am swallowed up by the river, which is too broad; by the sky, too high; by flowers, too delicate; by butterflies, too timid; by my mother's visage, too beautiful. My mother's visage is beautiful for naught.

    L'Avalée des avalés means, literally, I suspect, "The One Most Swallowed Up among all the Swallowed Up," which obviously cannot be translated literally, especially because L'Avalée indicates gender and avalés implies number, much harder to convey in English. But the compound verb "Swallowed Up" is different from "swallowed," and furnishes a better clue to the meaning. From there, a thousand titles suggest themselves: "Swallowed Up among the Swallowed Up", "Inside the Belly of the Beast," etc.
     
  17. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Firstly to all,

    Many thanks for contributing to this interessting discussion, each post has been helpful.

    I have too much to say in one post therefore I shall make a few.

    FranParis, you say that Ducharme has 'literary licence' here, is this why he is using the subjonctif here or is the subjonctif normal here but I am too much of a beginner at French to realize it?

    Many thanks for all your help, especially the excerpt below, it has been fantastic.

    Thanks,
    Cadet
     
  18. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    FranParis,

    I see what you mean by she being the swallower and being swallowed but I think to convey your meaning (she swallows and is swallowed) is it perhaps a better English title to say: "The swallowed swallower"?

    From your excerpt (merci beaucoup) and your Mariel Hemmingway quote, it appears that the swallowed don't make the choice to be swallowed, it is a gift and a curse.

    As we know in English, as caro brought up above, and I have subsequently researched this further, the -ée suffix in English is usually used to describe the person who is the recipient of the action, some examples:

    - Trainée (the one who is trained by the trainer)
    - Gazée (the one who is gazed at by the gazer)

    This usage somewhat corresponds to the participe passé, example:

    - echantée (enchanted, pas le echanteur/euse)

    But in English the -ée suffix can also be used as the doer of the action,

    Examples:

    - absentee (the one who was absent - no 'absenter' making them absent)
    - escapee (the one who escaped)
    - enrollee (the one who enrolled)

    I wonder then if French can work like this also with the -ée suffix, whether there are some situations where it denotes the doer, rather than always being the recipient.

    If the answer is yes, the title could be "The Swallower of the swallowed", if the answer is no, we are still in the same place pondering. :)

    The thing about the English title "The Swallower swallowed" is that the question is asked, "what's so special about that?"

    After all, we expect a swallower to swallow!

    If the title was any of the following:

    - "The Fighter fought"
    - "The Painter painted"
    - "The Worker worked"

    All of these with the -er suffix denoting the doer of the action (habitual at that) makes the English title seem somewhat strange because there is nothing special to focus upon here with the actions of habitual doers of something, their actions are expected and because they are so habitual they have become a part of them.

    Anybody can be in a fight, or paint a picture once in their life, but we wouldn't classify them as "A Fighter" or "A Painter" as being something they are all day every day.

    If you came home on a Friday night and said "I fought this guy tonight" you would get a shocked reaction except if you were a boxer, because it would be expected that you fought a fight.

    True, in the act of fighting/painting then in that time they play that role, but if it's an isolated incident they revert back to being whom they were after the deed is done. (debatable)

    I guess it depends on your point of view.

    If a person works once when they are young, and then is unemployed for the rest of his life, do we still call him a worker?

    Most people would probably say no.

    But, if a person murders somebody once when they are young, and then never does it again for the rest of his life, do we still call him a murderer?

    Most people would probably say yes.

    All I know about the girl who is the protagonist of this book from your excerpt (which I can't thank you enough for doing) is that she does seem to be taken up with everything as you say, but that would make her the 'swallowed' more than the 'swallower' wouldn't it, because it appears that she is powerless (gift/curse) to stop herself from being taken up with everything, contrast this to the 'fighter/painter' who chooses to do this.

    But as I said, I haven't read the book yet, maybe the tag of swallower is more apt than the swallowed. (even though Avalée does usually denote swallowed, as you said perhaps the title in french is Avalée rather than Avaleuse to avoid confusion with "L'arroseur arrosé" (what goes around comes around)?

    But, on the other hand, as you say she is the swallower and is swallowed, so what goes around did come around to her, n'est pas?

    So if Ducharme was using literary licence to full effect, wouldn't getting the title as close as possible to "L'arroseur arrosé" been praised as poignant and intelligent?

    Lastly, one has to ask the question of whether Ducharme like the English title at all, he is a recluse.

    -Cadet
     
  19. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    David,

    Thankyou for your translation of FranParis' excerpt.

    I would wager that your french is superior to mine, and I have a question
    with how you have translated FranParis' excerpt.

    You translate 'ventre' as 'belly', and my mind recalls my reading of the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

    I was always a bit confused when I would come across a passage like this:

    My bible flags this archaic usage of bowels and gives the equivalent of 'heart' and I looked at where 'bowels' has occurred elsewhere in the New Testament, and it occurs in Acts 1:18 describing Judas' death and him loosing his bowels.

    Interestingly enough, the English of 1611 (King James Bible) uses the same word 'Bowels' to denote:

    1) The anatomical aspect we know today (the bowels/intestines etc) but
    2) The place of emotions within the body
    3) A heart in which mercy resides

    Because When King Jame's translators translated the Greek of the New Testament in the 15th century, they used the English word bowels for the greek word ('splagchnon'), which is used both in Acts 1:18 seemingly concerning the intestines and Phillipians 1:8 concerning the heart
    of Christ.

    Then I wondered about the Norman Conquest of 1066, so much of English was influenced by the 200 years that the Normans ruled England, and I wondered if the English usage of 'bowels' came from
    a possible French usage also of 'ventre'.

    I'm aware that languages change, for example in modern English, nobody uses bowels to mean heart any longer, its usage is strictly defined to anatomy, and therefore I realize that modern French has changed
    from Old French and so I may not have success.

    Nevertheless, I consulted my huge Collins-Robert French > English dictionary and I've found the following examples in my Collins-Robert where 'ventre' seemingly has nothing do with the anatomical aspect of the word, here they are:

    -----------------------------------------------

    passer sur le ventre de qn
    (fig) to ride roughshod over sb, walk over sb.

    il faudra me passer sur le ventre!
    over my dead body!; danse, plat 1

    nous allons voir s'il a quelque chose dans le ventre
    we'll see what he's made of, we'll see if he's got guts * (asterix denotes colloquial usage)

    il n'a rien dans le ventre
    he has no guts*, he's spineless

    j'aimerais bien savoir ce qu'il a dans le ventre
    (ce qu'il pense) I'd like to know what's going on in his mind; (quelles sont ses qualités)
    I'd like to see what he's made of

    ouvrir sa montre pour voir ce qu'elle a dans le ventre*
    to open [up] one's watch to see what it has got inside ou what's inside it

    -----------------------------------------------

    I think (tentitively) that these examples show that 'ventre' does retain a "heart aspect" in modern French (please correct me if I am wrong) that was present in English but now gone.

    My point is, if 'ventre' can be used like 'bowels' was in 15th century English to mean 'heart' (not the anatomical heart - pas le coeur - but the figurative heart - ie. sacred heart of Jesus) and by these Collins-Robert examples it would appear to me that they can then would this translation work? (it is your translation reworked to allow ventre to be translated as heart)

    Everything swallows me up. When my eyes are closed, my heart swallows me up, I suffocate inside of my heart. When my eyes are open, I am swallowed up by what I see; I suffocate in the heart of all that I see. I am swallowed up by the river, which is too broad; by the sky, too high; by flowers, too delicate; by butterflies, too timid; by my mother's visage, too beautiful. My mother's visage is beautiful for naught.

    Thanks,
    Cadet
     
  20. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    Paris
    English - UK
    That's very intersting as some other indo-european languages have retained the dualness of heart and stomach. I always thought it strange that in Persian (farsi) "del" means both. Now I know.
     
  21. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    What I found interesting also timboleicester is that on my Bible passage search for Bowels in the King James Version, I looked at 1 Kings 3:26 (in the Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew) and the Hebrew word 'racham' which the KJV translators translated for 'bowels' also doubled for womb and compassion.

    As you know, Hebrew isn't Indo-European, but Afro-Semitic and yet it has a similar distinction.

    Makes you really think that the Bible & Linguists are right that in the beginning there was one language which factioned off into groups and then kept on subdividing til this day.
     
  22. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Notwithstanding, I trust David's translation, Ducharme intended to say ventre as belly...
     
  23. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Hi FranParis,

    Can you tell me why you are so sure Ducharme intended belly here?

    I know you are a natural speaker and therefore have the natural intuition about language which is priceless and something second language speakers can't ever acquire, it's just that "my belly swallows me up" sounds very illogical to me unless the girl was pregnant, then I could reason that the beauty of what is in her belly swallows her up.

    Thanks,
    Cadet
     
  24. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Hi, Cadet,

    I'm sure for the very same reason you mention, I feel it.

    Maybe it sounds illogical because it's a translation. And if it sounds illogicall, it's not a good translation, at least for you. But maybe someone else can feel the implied or conveyed concept.

    Could your feeling change if the word used was devoured or overwhelmed?

    Would you associate devoured with heart?

    I cannot explain better...
     
  25. catay Senior Member

    Canada anglais
    Nice suggestion, FranParis. For me, devour evokes powerful imagery and means "swallowed up," both literally and figuratively: a heart devoured by passion, sorrow, remorse.

    Etymology: 14c: from French devorer, from Latin devorare to gulp down.


    devour
    verb devoured, devouring

    • 1. To eat up something greedily.
      • Thesaurus: eat, consume, gulp, guzzle, stuff, gobble, bolt, gormandize, cram, polish off, wolf.
      2. To completely destroy something.
      3. To read (a book, etc) eagerly.
      4. To look at something with obvious pleasure.
      5. To be taken over totally.
      • Example: He was devoured by guilt
      • Form: be devoured (usually)
    Derivative: devourer
    noun
    Source:
    http://www.allwords.com/word-devour.html
     
  26. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Hi FranParis & Catay.

    It is not the verb "swallow" here, I know swallow is not used here as in digestion, but rather like a wave that crashes over the person and like you and catay says 'devours' it's subject completely.

    It's the word belly here that I cannot understand. (ventre)

    If belly is belly (anatomy) and cannot be like the exceptional usage to denote:

    - the Place of Emotions
    or
    - Heart

    ... then I don't understand the stand the line.

    To me, It's like if Ducharme said:

    "When my eyes are closed I am swallowed by my foot"

    Why is the foot so emotional to the character?

    If the character's foot was disfigured, amputated, or the character used their foot to stomp someone to death (forgive the horror) then I would understand the line because the foot would then be an instrument that can swallow up a person with guilt & pain.

    So if the main character in Ducharme's novel was pregnant I would understand the line perfectly. She is taken up with all the beauty in life, and now a piece of that beauty is in her belly and the thought of it takes her up.

    100% understood.

    But if the belly is normal and nothing special about it, I can only fell comfortable with that line if her belly was especially beautiful, but even then it's quite narcisistic to be in love with one's own body part and even so, I find it difficult to believe that a belly can be so awesome as to take someone up, like a river, the sky, a butterfly, or the beautiful face of someone you love. (like one's mother)

    If you can explain 'ventre' here, I'd sincerely appreciate it.

    Happy New Year,
    Cadet
     
  27. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Now try to think of ventre as womb.
     
  28. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Yes I suppose that is acceptable.

    Even if the womb is not harboring a baby inside it, the beauty of it's potential to create life could be so beautiful that the character gets taken up in the beauty of it.

    Is this true?

    -Cadet
     
  29. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Yes, I think it is, in the whole. But again, it's not what "I" feel when reading Ducharme.

    Looks like you cannot think of ventre outside the usual concept as bowels.

    Think of some idioms:

    - La peur au ventre.
    - Avoir du coeur au ventre
    - Ventre mou

    These are not connected with bowels but with feelings.
     
  30. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Ah FranParis, this is why we got our wires crossed.

    In my big post on page 1 I mentioned that the English of the 15th century used the word 'bowels' to mean either the intestines, or 'the place of emotions'.

    I theorized that "ventre" could be used similarly from those expressions, but when you said Ducharme mean't belly (belly = anatomy) I abandoned that theory.

    So ventre in French does retain that 'place of emotions' meaning right?

    If so, then Ducharme's 'ventre' makes more sense, she gets caught up with all her emotions inside her, and also the external world too.

    Is this right?
     
  31. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    I would like to come back on the construction : xxxx des xxxxs(here : l'Avalée des Avalés)

    It is called in french : génitif biblique and you can find it in the Bible : Cantique des Cantiques (no idea of the translation in english).

    As you were told, it means : the one among all... It's probably important to keep it when translating.
     
  32. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    Yes, now you're coming to the right feeling. The last part of it is that you have to distinguish between the feelings of the two: heart and belly (ventre et coeur).

    Feelings like love, friendship, compassion belong to the heart.
    Usually and literary, other feelings belong to belly.

    At least in my view.

    I hope it's clear.
     
  33. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    itka, thankyou for the name gentif biblique.

    Would you know a verse in the bible I could look up on an online french bible to see the gentif biblique in action?

    Thankyou.
     
  34. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    This is very interesting FranParis, do all french people think this way?

    Thanks,
    Cadet
     
  35. FranParis

    FranParis Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    I cannot talk for the others but I could write a book only with examples of what I assume.
     
  36. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    I do agree !:)
    For your question about the "génitif biblique", I can only give you the title (it is a title of a book in the Bible, I think) "Cantique des Cantiques" which is famous, but I have no idea of its translation... "Song of the Songs".... :confused: Seems a bit weird ! But I'm not too confident with Bible... Sorry;)
     
  37. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Understood.

    Thanks.
     
  38. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Yes, "song of songs" is the English translation because we frequently drop determiners before nouns in many places, this being one of them.

    So this genitif biblique in this example, does it mean that all songs are equal but one is chosen to be focused upon - OR - does it mean that this song focused upon is superior to all the others?

    Thanks,
    Cadet
     
  39. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    I think your second hypothesis is right... The best, the most important of all... You can find for instance :
    'c'est le champion des champions' i.e. the best one.
     
  40. Cadet Rousselle Senior Member

    English
    Merci itka. :)
     
  41. anahata New Member

    Montreal
    French - Canada
    Hi, I found this thread while looking for information about "L'Avalée des avalés", a strange book which was a delight to rediscover again, this time in English.

    Forgive me if I'm so late to the discussion, but I would like to add a few ideas as well as quotes from the original English translation (Barbara Bray, Hamish Hamilton, London).

    I do believe that Cadet Rousselle's second hypothesis is right - the swallower = the greatest of the swallowed, being, well, swallowed. As to what this might means exactly, I still don't really know, but here's a few excerpts from the book :

    "You have to see things and people differently from what they are in order not to be swallowed. In order not to suffer you must see in things only what can free you of them."

    "I want to be swallowed by everything, even if only so as to escape again."

    also :

    "Life is in my mind, and my mind is in life. I'm at once the engulfer and the engulfed. I'm at once the swallower and the swallowed."

    Perhaps to be "swallowed" is losing one's freedom. In that sense, the English translation of the title seems equivalent to the French, except for the missing wordplay on "la vallée" and "l'avalée". In all his books, the author is very fond of wordplays, even when (and especially when) they don't have any important meaning, just sound good or funny. The reason I find this translation so interesting is the challenge it must have been, and I enjoy how the translator came up with her own, equivalent wordplays, yet preserving the original text's rhythm.

    Also I wanted to comment on ventre-belly, and FranParis' view : "Feelings like love, friendship, compassion belong to the heart.
    Usually and literary, other feelings belong to belly."

    I agree to this; the gut feeling. In the translation I refer to, here's how "ventre" is translated - again, to me a quite faithful interpretation of the French text.

    "Everything swallows me. When my eyes are shut it's my inside that swallows me, it's in my inside I stifle."

    Thanks for the interesting discussion!
     

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