plutôt que du rien

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by sauge, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. sauge Senior Member


    I'm trying to translate a sentence from "Théorie du corps amoureux" by M. Onfray into my language and I just can't grasp the meaning of the underlined part:

    "Pour réaliser l'idéal célibataire, l'option du cyclope exclut le tiers, la procréation et le foyer. Car les enfants, jamais à l'origine demandeurs de l'être plutôt que du rien, peuvent légitimement exiger de leurs géniteurs une assistance matérielle..."

    It seems to me that it means "Children, who don't originally (in the beginning?) want to be it (children?) rather than nothing...? can legitimately demand of their parents a material assistance/help..."

    Please, could you help?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2013
  2. Michelvar

    Michelvar quasimodo

    Marseille - France
    French from France

    This is a very pedantic way of saying "Car les enfants, qui n'ont pas demandé à naitre, ..."

    Because the children, who at first did never ask to be rather than not to be, are allowed ....
    Because the children, who at first did never ask some being rather than some nothing, are allowed ....
  3. sauge Senior Member

    Thank you for the quick answer! This clarifies it.
    I thought it was something along these lines, but this "du rien" confused me.
    Thanks again! :)

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