cours limité par un bras de levier

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by mkallet, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. mkallet Senior Member

    Benjamin Peret is making me crazy again. This time, it's a matter of a line from his prose poem, "Flamme Bleue":

    "j'en appelle aux éventails que nous aimons pour leur cours limité par un bras de levier facilement mesurable..."

    Don't ask me for context--the poem is Surreal. It's about a rendez-vous.

    Mercy! And merci--Marilyn
  2. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    I appeal to the fans which we love for their flow (of air) limited by an easily measured lever arm . .

    Basically saying that the flow of air from a fan which is limited by the length of the blades.
    I don't know why he's appealing to them . . . .
    Maybe a modern alternative to the old Learian appeals to the heavens/four winds/ etc !
  3. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    Je comprends "leur cours" as "leur course / leur envergure", something like 'I appeal to the (hand-held) fans which we like for their travel/span limited by an easily measured lever arm'.
  4. mkallet Senior Member

    Hmmm...I like the "flow of air" interpretation, even though it doesn't seem the usual reading of "cours"--but lever arm? Lever arm? Can there be a less poetical phrase?

    Argh. It's not your fault, guys! You rock--
  5. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    Yes -- Xtra's more literal translation of cours makes clear physical sense, though I found no "appeal" in it.

    But you are the expert in French surrealist poetry, so you must do the real interpretation here based on what you've read from, and on, this guy, Peret.
  6. mkallet Senior Member

    Thanks, bud!
  7. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    One can find other physical connotations for this.
    Rather than his meaning that the air-flow is limited by the size of the fan-blade (which I first assumed he meant), one could interpret it as applying to a speed-adjusting switch (lever) .
    This guy Peret died in 1959 so the controls would be fairly basic then -- maybe just a selector switch for 3 airflow speeds.
    Another thing is what kind of fan are we talking about ?
    Is it just a desk fan -- or would it (more likely as an object of fascination for a recumbent surrealist) be an overhead (Saigon hotel-room) ceiling type fan above a bed ?
    So many great insights come to a fella when lying idly in bed . . . easily adjusting the cool air down upon himself by a
    switch-lever on the wall behind him .. . .

    Well, if this is about a rendez-vous, it's going to be a real comfortable and cool position for both parties.
    Flamme bleue, indeed . . . .

    It may be necessary for you to apply for a special travel scholarship to pursue the interpretation of this
    charming verse .
  8. mkallet Senior Member

    I like your thinking! I need a grant to lie around and be fanned...and so forth.

    The dictionary says "Eventail" is the old-fashioned fan that one waves by hand. This lever arm thing is just odd!
  9. pointvirgule

    pointvirgule Senior Member

    Mtl, QC
    langue française
    When one holds a fan in one's hand, the span of the fan's motion is limited by a lever arm - the human arm. :)
  10. mkallet Senior Member

    O sure, it all sounds so simple when you say it! :) It makes sense--


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