Patrick Henry ours

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Could someone advise if "Patrick Henry ours" in the following context, taken from "The Camera Eye (41)" in "1919" could be interpreted as "our Patrick Henry"?
Time: 1919
Location: somewhere in France
it was chilly early summer gloaming among the eighteenthcenturyshaped trees when we started home--- I sat on the imperiale of the third class car with the daughter of the Libertaire (that's Patrick Henry ours after all give me or death) a fine girl her father she said never let her go out alone never let her see any young men it was like being in a convent she wanted liberty fraternity equality and a young man to take her out
In other words can we interprete the phrase between the brackets to read like this: (that's the same Liberty that our Patrick Henry said: give me (liberty) or give me death))
 
  • una madre

    Senior Member
    Western Canada English
    Hi Karoba,
    To be truthful, the quote has so many grammatical errors that I'm wondering whether "Patrick Henry ours" is a valid part of the quote. It doesn't make sense to me.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi, Una madre
    you're right but they're no errors of mine. That's how Dos Passos writes his "Camera Eyes". After all, cameras do not observe grammatical rules very much.
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    To me it sounds like there's been some debate about Patrick Henry (historically). He's 'ours after all' but there was a possibility that he could have been 'claimed' by another nation. I know nothing about Patrick Henry, just a theory.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Well, dear Gwan, the whole "USA" is about what Patrick Henry belived in: Liberty!
    Apart from that no one has claimed him in the book. Patrick Henry and the like are challenging the world.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi, dear Trisia
    It's so good to hear from you. I missed you so.
    You're doing so well in "stabbing" at the post as you put it. I think we're getting somewhere.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Sorry if I'm repeating what Trisia said before her crisis of confidence;) ~ I didn't see it.
    Having read it several hundred times now, my guess is:
    The daughter of the libertaire says, "This imperiale of the third-class carriage is ours after all, Patrick Henry ~ we should defend our right to 'own' it to the death" or words to that effect.
    By the way, I have no idea what an 'imperiale' is:eek:
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi, Ewie
    I'm afraid Trisia is more on the track. Imperial (with an accent on the first e) must be sort of train from Paris to a port and funny thing is they're sitting on the roof of it:
    she was a nice girl we sat side by side on the roof of the car and looked at the banlieue de Paris a desert of little gingerbread brick maisonnettes flatterning out under the broad gloom of evening she and I tu sais mon ami but what kind of goddam management is this?
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Impériale, then. Did Trisia have a theory about the bold bit of the sentence? C'mon, Trisia, spit it out (again).
    (I'd be very interested to hear what other members see in their mind's eyes when they read eighteenthcenturyshaped trees but that's for another thread:D)
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Errr.... I'm sorry :eek:

    If I remember well, my initial theory was that the bit meant "the daughter of the Libertaire (that is, Patrick Henry [who is] after all, our "give me... or death" guy) -- and the "after all" part was there to underscore the contrast between his freedom speech and the way he raised his own daughter.

    And then I realised that it couldn't be his young daughter in 1919, cause the guy died in 1799.

    And thought that perhaps, if the girl was someone else's daughter, she was the daughter of "their" version of Patrick Henry. (that would partially explain the "ours" part, and allows for the girl to be, French for example :p)

    If this takes place in 1919, the eighteenthcenturyshaped trees could be there as an additional reference to Mr. Henry, who was from that period -- perhaps the whole atmosphere feels like the 18th century?

    I don't know. This is a bit too strange.


    And Ewie's version sounds at least highly entertaining, so it just might be closer to the truth -- at least it doesn't enter the realm of the long dead :rolleyes:
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Dear Trisia
    All this is a word play. To the narrator of course she was daughter of Liberty i.e. America (Daughter -that's what they call her, his father and brothers at least, is a very interesting character in USA trilogy- she's from Texas and a follower of then overwhelming Americanism though she had a very bitter end perhaps like the Liberty itself).
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Does the original version include the parentheses?
    It seems in any case to be an aside about the Libertaire, about Liberty.
    Liberty? What kind of liberty?
    That's the kind of liberty that Patrick Henry spoke of.
    Our liberty, the liberty of the US.
    The kind of liberty referred to in "... give me liberty, or give me death!"
     
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