il sudato pasto

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by theartichoke, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Hello all,

    I'll hope you'll forgive me the subject matter on this one.:D Still with Ammaniti's "L'Ultimo Capodanno," we've got a guy eating oysters from between the toes of a dominatrix. He's had to arrange them all carefully between her toes, and then when he tries to eat them, she yells at him, smacks him on the tongue with her whip, and makes him go back for the lemon. At that point, "Ce lo spremette sopra in fretta e furia e finalmente incominciò a succhiare il sudato pasto."

    I had originally assumed that "il sudato pasto" was a sweaty meal, given that feet are involved: "With eager haste, he squeezed the lemon all over them and finally started to suck down his sweaty meal." But I just checked "sudato" in the dictionary and saw it could also mean "hard-earned," which would also make perfect sense in this context. (There is no indication anywhere else that her feet are sweating. It's winter, and they're described in detail as perfectly beautiful feet.)

    So my question to native speakers: which one of these meanings comes to mind when you read the line in Italian? Or is it an obvious play on both meanings? Would the translation be better with "his hard-earned and slightly sweaty meal"?
  2. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    the correct translation is "hard-earned". 2. fig. Guadagnato, ottenuto o raggiunto con grande fatica e sacrificio: è un pane s., sono soldi veramente s.; una vittoria s.; una promozione s.;
  3. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Thanks, Mary. It's certainly the translation I prefer! However, do you detect any word-play going on at all, given the context? Or does the way it's phrased rule out any hint of "sweaty"?
  4. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    Honestly, I wouldn't see a "pun" (can I say it?) in the sentence, for me it's just an adjective meaning "hard-earned". But who can say? Perhaps the author wamted to play with words...
  5. ohbice

    ohbice Senior Member

    Io non vedrei particolari sottointesi qui, o metafore. La fatica e l'umiliazione sopportate per giungere a mangiare i molluschi sono sufficienti per giustificare l'uso di sudato pasto.
    A me di primo acchito ha ricordato (lontanamente, certo) il fiero pasto dantesco.
  6. Lorena1970

    Lorena1970 Banned

    Italy, Italiano
    No word-play. I have read the novel. It simply means "hard-earned" because of having struggled so much before being allowed to eat those oysters.
  7. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    Many thanks to all three of you. I'm quite happy for the oysters to be merely hard-earned and not at all sweaty!

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