for what little it might be worth

Garin

Senior Member
Czech - Czechia
Hello, everyone!
I am working on a translation of an introduction to a comic book, "100 Bullets". The author has written it in a complicated style, one that is very difficult to translate into Czech where we do not use such long sentences with many parentheses, bombastic language, etc. Anyway, I have almost succeeded to translate it whole, there is one part, though, where I am uncertain of what the author meant to say. It is about the collaboration between Brian Azzarello, the writer, and Eduardo Risso, the artist - the idea is that they both are, in fact, authors of the story:

Disregarding the obvious divisions of labor - I have no idea if, for instance, Brian Azzarello could draw, even if you put a gun to his head (for what little that threat might be worth, I hasten to add) - it is impossible to tell where the one ends and the other begins.

Does it mean that putting a gun to his head would not be much helpful, anyway?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The threat to shoot him in the head might be worth very little. I believe this means that Brian Azzarello might not mind being shot in the head, so such a threat would not motivate him to draw. (The other possible reading is that he wouldn't believe the threat, but this seems less likely to me.)

    If you tried to threaten Brian Azzarello's life to make him draw, he still couldn't draw.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Garin, my reaction is: If I were attempting a translation of this into another language, I'd just leave that part out; it's not very meaningful in English, and I imagine it would be less so in Czech. I'd omit everything between the two dashes; the author's meaning will still be intact: that the writer and artist collaborated so closely that it's impossible to really say where the creative work of one ends and that of the other begins.
     

    Garin

    Senior Member
    Czech - Czechia
    Thank you, Cagey, for your explanation. I am somehow happy that even the native speaker has problems understanding what the author wanted to say. I am also thankful for your suggestion, Parla, and I am very much inclined to use it. In fact, there are many similar "jokes" in the text that should be treated the same way ;)
     
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