accabler de leur durée

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by wm138, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. wm138 Senior Member

    On m’a accuse d’avoir des goûtes inconstants, de ne pouvoir jouir longtemps de la même chimère, d’être proie d’une imagination qui se hâte d’arriver au fond de mes plaisirs, comme si elle était accablée de leur durée; [Chateaubriand: René]

    je ne peux pas comprendre et je ne peux pas accepter la traduction anglaise:

    as if overcome by its transience

  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    This quotation is poorly reproduced in your source text, or you have introduced typographical errors when you wrote it out in your post above.

    comme si elle était accablée de leur durée

    elle = une imagination
    leur durée = la durée de mes plaisirs
    accablé is in our dictionary: "overcome" is a perfectly good translation.

    So what don't you understand here?

    In the translation, I see an issue of intended meaning. It seems to me that Chateaubriand is not accused of despairing at the transience (short duration) of his pleasures, but quite the opposite: he is accused of hurrying through pleasures as if he could not bear to have them last too long. So I think the translator was perhaps too free in translting durée as "transience," and should have stuck with a more literal choice like "duration" or "length."
  3. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    "Transience" est bien un contresens ! (Je souligne.)
  4. archijacq Senior Member

    french France though it were oppressed by their duration; ...

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