a muovere le fila dell'incontro

phillyitalianstudent

Senior Member
English, U.S.A.
What is the meaning of this phrase? It is found in a discussion of the formation of the electoral contract between Liberal moderates and Catholic intransigents in Milan in 1895:

CONTEXT:

i veri contraenti del clerico-moderatismo sono i "liberali moderati" e i "clericali" organizzati e militanti, mentre a muovere le fila dell'incontro sono spesso uomini di governo provenienti dalla Sinistra.

ATTEMPTED TRANSLATION;

the real contractors of clerico-moderatism were the "Liberal moderates" and the organized and militant "Clericals," while the motivation for these two groups to line up together often came from men in the national government who stood on the Left.

I would be grateful for any advice or suggestions on how to improve my understanding here. Thank you in advance for your help!
 
  • Laaa

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    Hi! I think that "Muovere le fila" is an expression very close to "tenere/reggere le fila" and it has a different meaning from the one you have grasped. It means "to control, to pull strings". In another thread in this forum I found as follows: "pulling strings, analogous not to sewing but to marionettes -- meaning that you control a person because you operate the strings connected to his arms, legs, etc".
    I hope it will be useful.
     

    phillyitalianstudent

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.A.
    That makes sense of the whole thing. Thank you very much!

    Let me revise it:

    i veri contraenti del clerico-moderatismo sono i "liberali moderati" e i "clericali" organizzati e militanti, mentre a muovere le fila dell'incontro sono spesso uomini di governo provenienti dalla Sinistra.

    the actual contractors of clerico-moderatism were the "Liberal moderates" and the organized and militant "Clericals," while the ones who motivated them to contract with each other were often men in the national government who stood on the Left.
     

    Laaa

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    I think you did not grasp the sense I want to convey. It does not mean "to motivate, to encourage to contract with each other", it means that men of the left are in control of the meeting, they actually control the meeting, even though the Liberal moderates and the Clericals are the actual contractors. Liberal moderates and Clericals are pawns in the hands of the left.
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    ...while the ones who pull the strings of/at the meeting are often...

    The sense of the phrase is that the ones who really control the meeting are the left-leaning men in government.
     

    Blackman

    Senior Member
    Italiano/Sardo
    ...while the ones to pull the strings of the meeting are often...

    The sense of the phrase is that the ones who really control the meeting are the left-leaning men in government.
    Yes, to pull someone's strings means literally tirare/reggere i fili. Reggere le fila sounds not very correct to me, but, as discussed in a previous thread, le fila is an irregular plural of il filo. So it is commonly accepted.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top