Ich, der ich wandle, bin kompositorischer Laune

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StockholmBoy

Senior Member
English
There's this difficult sentence (quite the syntactical nightmare from my point of view but it is probably due to my lamentable want of German skills) that is giving me a hard time. I underlined the parts I think are more translation-resistant...

"Gedanke, noch weiter auszuführen: Gänge wie die von Rio gleichen Kompositionen - ich, der ich wandle, bin kompositorischer Laune, und nun bringt die Welt Visionen über Visionen an, gleich Noten, die ich dem in mir spielenden Motiv einordne."

My provisional (and very improptu) version of this runs as follows:

An idea to be further developed: alleyways like those in Rio resemble compositions - I am in a creative mood, the one in which I go wandering around, and now the World piles on vision upon vision, like notes, which I re-arrange in a motif that resonates in me.

It's the best I can do at the moment.

I have a bad feeling about this sentence...
 
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  • Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    There are basically two independent statements:
    - Ich wandle. (I'm wandering around.)
    - Ich bin kompositorischer Laune. (I'm in the mood for composing.)

    A not so literal translation:

    While wandering (around), I'm in the mood for composing.
     

    StockholmBoy

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank you. Do you think my translation would be regarded as inaccurate from a native speaker's point of view?
     

    ayuda?

    Senior Member
    I think most of this will defy a strict literal translation.
    A rudimentary attempt here with a loose translation of some of the other context to help clarify the meaning.

    walks[n.], as was the case in the Rio compositions…
    I, as I wanderaround/stroll around, am in a composing mood…[ der could in some way refer backt or Gänge (walks)?? and mean like with those?? I am having trouble, too, with the meaning of der in this context ich, der ich wandle,]
    …like notes which I arrange to the motif playing in me

    Hope this helps a little.
     

    StockholmBoy

    Senior Member
    English
    I think your first part is miles better than mine. I mistranslated "gänge" as alleyways because I thought he was referring to the actual streets of Rio that he described in previous compositions. But your interpretation makes much more sense, I find. As regards the remainder of the passage, I believe, like you suggested, that it is up for the translator to decide how best to interpret the author's meaning.
     

    StockholmBoy

    Senior Member
    English
    As for "der", I personally think he simply means that the creative mood he is in now, is the one in which he's wandering around the streets like he was previously in Rio.
     

    ayuda?

    Senior Member
    Attempt at a full translation
    An idea to be further developed:
    Walks, like was the case in the Rio compositions—
    I, as I walk, am in a composing mood, and now the world provides/brings vision after vision, like notes, which I arrange to the motif playing in me.
     

    StockholmBoy

    Senior Member
    English
    We're getting there, closer and closer to this Jüngerian world of visionary-lyrical-Romanticist near-deliriousness.
     

    ayuda?

    Senior Member
    Note: In any event, I don’t think the der is essential to the translation. Omg, literary German :eek:
    Thank goodness people don’t really talk like that.
    l Still curious as to what a Muttessprachler thinks about the der??
     
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    Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    "der" refers to the author (literally: I, who walk). You could translate it as: as a walker, but as I walk isn't bad either.
     
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