And while I'm trying to find to get my novel started ...


I just want to make sure that I understand the following correctly:

"And while I'm trying to find to get my novel started,..." ("Adrienne Mesurat", by Julien Green).

I looked up the possible meanings of this verb. I think that here it is synonymous with "to decide". As in "they found that it was easier to let go...". Am I right about this?

Thanks a lot! :)
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    Senior Member
    American English
    My first thought is that "a way" is missing after "to find." Or something. Unfortunately, the copies on Amazon aren't searchable.


    Senior Member
    American English
    Maybe ... unless he wrote it in French and then it was translated into English and this is the 74th printing and something got lost along the way. :D I only say this because mistakes happen ... and Julien Green didn't really write the book you're holding.

    But it's certainly possible this is exactly how he wrote it and if I read what came before, or perhaps the entire book, I could tell you why it's phrased this way. But I can't.

    Before you quote anything more, we only allow four sentences of quoted text total. :)


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It sounds to me as if the word "time" has been omitted after "find", whether by an editor or a printer or some other careless person who played a role in the processing of the text.


    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    It's also entirely possible that the sentence is periodic, and that the complement to "find" is coming later in the sentence.

    Can you give a full citation, ludolila? For instance, of the sentence before this one and the entirety of this sentence.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think I found the relevant passage, in the Preface to the French Edition. It's something like "And while I try to find a beginning for my novel". The author was trying to write while members of his family were in the same room, disturbing him. If this is the passage, some words are missing in ludolila's version.


    Here is the full citation:

    " "Couldn't you be quiet long enough for me to read this article?" my father asked.
    "And while I'm trying to find to get my novel started," I said to myself.
    At that moment Lucy entered, a picture of mystery. "

    Hmmm, I guess that some words are indeed missing...
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