On the fringes of scholarship

sabro98

Member
Italiano - Italia
Hi everyone,

I'm currently reading "Lyra's Oxford" by Philip Pullman.
I stumbled on a sentence I can't entirely figure out.

Here's a bit of context.
Our protagonist - Lyra - is asking for information about alchemists in general, and Miss Greenwood - a Scholar - tells her there's still an alchemist who lives in Oxford. This alchemist was a scholar himself, and here's the sentence I have difficulty in understanding:

Lyra: "Who was that?"
Miss Greenwood: "I forget his name. Irony - Why do I say that? ...He's still alive - an eccentric ex-scholar. You find people like that on the fringes of scholarship - genuinely brilliant, sometimes - but cracked, you know, possessed by some crazy idea that has no basis in reality".


That "on the fringes of scholarship"... does it mean he was very close to get a scholarship, meaning an amount o money [= borsa di studio]?
Or is it an honorary title, somehow, that he missed due to his strange ideas without valid basis?

Thanks for your help!
Sabry
 
  • rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    does it mean he was very close to get a scholarship, meaning an amount o money [= borsa di studio]?:cross:
    Or is it an honorary title, somehow, that he missed due to his strange ideas without valid basis?
    :cross: Closer but not really.
    She's using the word in a very broad and general way, to mean academia in general. She's saying that he doesn't work in the mainstream academic world but somewhere on the outside. On the fringes means on the extreme side, in some way or other.
     

    sabro98

    Member
    Italiano - Italia
    @rrose17 so a correct translation might be "ai margini del mondo accademico", as he is not a proper Scholar but a person of knowledge who enjoys studying?
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    does it mean he was very close to get a scholarship, meaning an amount o money [= borsa di studio]?:cross:
    Or is it an honorary title, somehow, that he missed due to his strange ideas without valid basis?
    :cross: Closer but not really.
    She's using the word in a very broad and general way, to mean academia in general. She's saying that he doesn't work in the mainstream academic world but somewhere on the outside. On the fringes means on the extreme side, in some way or other.
    @rrose17 so a correct translation might be "ai margini del mondo accademico", as he is not a proper Scholar but a person of knowledge who enjoys studying?
    i agree with you both, that's what I think she means: 'real' academics look at him a bit askance, consider his views to be, shall we say, "unorthodox".
     
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