A wind from Hell that takes no prisoners and stops for no man

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alienastarte

Member
Brazil and Portuguese
I found this expression - a wind from hell that takes no prisioners and stops for no Man. Does anybody know what it means? Is it a usual expression?

This is the original sentence:
"The doors of perception have been blown off their hinges by a wind from hell that takes no prisoners and stops for no Man. ."

If that´s not a current expression, what does it mean anyway?

Thank you in advance !!!

A.
 
  • DaleC

    Senior Member
    There's nothing special about its meaning. What's special is that the author created it.

    Maybe pieces of it (perhaps "stops for no Man") had been used before (e.g., in the Bible, maybe), but that matters little.

    It seems to me to mean just what it says. That is, it would be hard to make a mistake by translating it word for word. All the pieces of the relative clause describing the wind are transparent in meaning.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The author may, possibly, have heard of Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception, a short work considering the use of mescalin, or the use of this phrase by William Blake:
    If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell).

    But even taking into account this potential allusion to the drug culture of an earlier generation, I agree with DaleC - it means what it says.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    The parts "X from hell", "take no prisoners", and "stops for no man" are cliches, probably common to many cultures. The sentence is intended to be amusing because it strings together four terms or cliches that are vivid. "Doors of perception" of course refers to the 60s drug culture -- people who are middle aged now all heard of Huxley's book, although few of us ever read it. (Incidentally, the 60s rock band, The Doors, did not name themselves for Huxley's book, nor even for the line in William Blake's poetry. But many people assumed the band had done that -- maybe even the author of your sentence. This widespread misconception then is part of the group thinking of Anglophone society.

    So it's clear that we can't say the entire sentence is a cliche or a proverb. You will have to read the story to find out what it is the author is applying the metaphor "wind" to.
    "There are things known," Jim would say in a quote often attributed to William Blake but in fact Jim's own, "and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors." But Blake did say, [. . . .] http://www.thedoors.com/band/jim/?fa=mythos
    So claims Doors biographer Danny Sugerman. Maybe he's right, maybe not. But it's very easy to repeat the rumor that attributes it to Blake, so the fact that hundreds of Web pages attribute it to Blake is not strong evidence. I have seen still other claims about the source of the line. I assume Sugerman thoroughly researched the issue, but I don't really know.
     
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