a passion which could tell everything

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sard!ne

Member
Japanese
The source is The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford and I have a question about the following part (bold is mine. Check here if you need more context).
Often and often I have thought that I have discovered somebody who could really comprehend the value of a passion which could tell everything and venture everything.
I think the bold part means "by a passion one could tell everything and venture everything," but for me the original text sounds as if a passion, which is not a person but a kind of feeling, could tell and venture. I think "a passion by which one could tell everything..." or "a passion which makes it possible for one to tell everything..." might be better.

Does the original version sound strange or perfectly normal?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It sounds fairly strange to me, sardine. Like you, I find it odd to read about passions that can tell everything and venture everything. I expect to find a person behind the actions of telling and venturing, not merely a passion.

    That said, I'm really not surprised by the occasional odd expression in the writing of somebody who is enthusiastic about his subject.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The writing is very good, but now more than a century out of date stylistically, of course. Here he seems to still be talking about his youthful passions (crushes, I’m tempted to say), which he felt very intensely:

    God knows that I would have stood against a wall and have been shot for any man or woman whom I loved, as cheerfully as I would have gone to bed, but nobody seemed to wish for such a love, or to know what to do with it.
     
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