a stirring and the desire to stir

felixgata

Senior Member
España Castellano
Hi everybody,
In the autobiography by Patti Smith that I am transalting, she talks about her parner, Robert Mapplethorpe, when he was a chid.

He was gracious and shy with a precise nature. He contained, even at an early age, a stirring and the desire to stir.

I do not know for sure if a get the meaning of the sentence in bold letter, and find it very difficult to translate. Could anybody explain to me what "stir" refers to? Has it got anything to do with "provoke"? Could you give any synonyms?

Thank you very much in advance,

Gata
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello felixgata,

    We would need to know quite a lot about Mapplethorpe to be sure, but the general sense appears to be:

    "a stirring" ~ he was vibrant, engaged, perhaps curious or motivated to do something.
    "the desire to stir" ~ A wish to provoke is certainly a possibility. It may also suggest that he wanted to be active. The juxtaposition with "a stirring" leads me to think that the former is internal, and the latter is directed at other people, which supports your idea of provocation.
     

    felixgata

    Senior Member
    España Castellano
    Thank you very much, cuchuflete. I agree with you that the former is internal and the latter is directed to other people. I just find it really difficult to translate...

    Really helpulf, your description. I think I can work out something with "motivated" or "curious".

    Thanks again,

    Gata
     

    Yankee_NLPer

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Well, provoke might be too strong as it might suggest irritating someone... it would be appropriate for some situations. "Mix it up" might be appropriate for other situations. Usually, one can tell what the author meant by the examples given after the phrase a stirring and the desire to stir.

    "A stirring and the desire to stir" also suggests a "deep" person rather than a "shallow" person. Someone with a good intellect... we say he has a good "head on his shoulders". He might like to provoke people's thoughts in a way that makes them think deeper... as this forum does, or it might mean someone that gets into disagreements, fights.

    Look for clues by how the author further describes the person's personality.
     

    felixgata

    Senior Member
    España Castellano
    Thank you very much, Yankee NLPer. You are right about this forum. I don't know what I would do without the "deep" observations you all make to help me.

    As you say, the idea , I think, is "make people think deeper". Let's see if I find a good way to translate it.

    Gata
     
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