" I had it in my power to ripen his frenzy with proper applications"

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Maggiemoocn

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone,

I came across this sentence when I was reading Henry James's Italian Hours on Page 32,

"If there was an occasion for the experiment, I would not question to make a proud man a lunatic in three weeks’ time, provided I had it in my power to ripen his frenzy with proper applications"

I wonder if anyone can help explain this sentence to me, especially the last part of it. Many thanks.

Maggie
 
  • ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Castellano (España)
    If such an experiment was to be done (the author talks about pride turning to madness) he (the author) affirms that it would be possible to turn a proud man into a lunatic in less than three weeks, as far as he (the author) could manage to make use of adequate techniques in order to make his subject's frenzy grow.
    [It is bad to make an inverse translation, i.e. from Spanish to English when English is not your mother language. But it is even trickier to make an English to English one!! Thanks for the chance, Maggiemoocn, and hope it helps! Surely and obviously enough a native will give you a more understandable ENG>ENG explanation...]
     
    Tatler, No. 127, Jan 31, 1709-10
    The Tatler and Guardian


    James links pride with madness. Madness is a sort of superstructure that is built on pride. The proud man can be driven mad in a short time (3 wks.) with people telling him how wonderful he is, catering to his every wish. If this is done--and continued ("proper applications")--the man will, by degrees, become completely mad (ripened in frenzy).
     
    Last edited:

    Maggiemoocn

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If such an experiment was to be done (the author talks about pride turning to madness) he (the author) affirms that it would be possible to turn a proud man into a lunatic in less than three weeks, as far as he (the author) could manage to make use of adequate techniques in order to make his subject's frenzy grow.
    [It is bad to make an inverse translation, i.e. from Spanish to English when English is not your mother language. But it is even trickier to make an English to English one!! Thanks for the chance, Maggiemoocn, and hope it helps! Surely and obviously enough a native will give you a more understandable ENG>ENG explanation...]
    Hi Chema, I was trying to translate this into Chinese. You explained very well, now it looks clear to me. Thank you very much.
     

    Maggiemoocn

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Tatler, No. 127, Jan 31, 1709-10
    The Tatler and Guardian


    James links pride with madness. Madness is a sort of superstructure that is built on pride. The proud man can be driven mad in a short time (3 wks.) with people telling him how wonderful he is, catering to his every wish. If this is done--and continued ("proper applications")--the man will, by degrees, become completely mad (ripened in frenzy).
    Hi Benny,
    You seemed to be familiar with this piece. James does mention superstructure a little later. I just had difficulty translating "proper applications" into Chinese, I was trying to find an equivalent word for "applications". Can I literally translate it into something like "doing it in a proper way"?
    Maggie
     
    "...provided I had it in my power to ripen his frenzy with proper applications"

    = provided I could take (apply) appropriate(proper) measures to make his madness complete.

    'proper', here, means suited to the situation. So if the man is succumbing to flattery, I do that even more intensively. In essence, the author can produce madness if he can keep on, continuously adapting what he does to the situation, e.g. the persons weaknesses.

    "If my child misbehaves, he's in for a proper beating," said the nasty, violent parent.
     
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