przenikliwego osłupienia

zzjing

Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Ostatnie słowa wypowiedział z bladym, suchym uśmiechem, który nie odjął jego oczom wyrazu przenikliwego osłupienia. Skręcałem się wewnętrznie od steku tych tak serio, z taką powagą wygłaszanych frazesów, na szczęście Snaut przerwał przeciągającą się ciszę.​

What exactly is an expression of "przenikliwego osłupienia"?

According to the dictionary at lektorek.org:

przenikliwy aj penetrating, astute, sagacious, perspicacious. strident.​
osłupienie n dumbfoundedness, bewilderment.​

These two words don't seem to go together.
 
  • zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    If you are 'osłupiony', you are kind of immobilized because of being astonished/amazed/bewildered by something. You can also be 'osłupiony' because of fright. The word comes from 'słup', which is a street post. You are not moving like a street post due to astonishment/bewilderment/fright.

    So if I see my friend's new luxury mansion, I might stop and stand 'osłupiony' and then perhaps say a big 'Wow!'
    If I come across a lion, I might also be 'osłupiony', that is, stand still paralyzed by fright rather than run away.

    Yes, przenikliwy means kind of penetrating.

    'Przenikliwe osłupienie' could be something like 'overwhelming bewilderment'
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Ostatnie słowa wypowiedział z bladym, suchym uśmiechem, który nie odjął jego oczom wyrazu przenikliwego osłupienia. Skręcałem się wewnętrznie od steku tych tak serio, z taką powagą wygłaszanych frazesów, na szczęście Snaut przerwał przeciągającą się ciszę.​

    What exactly is an expression of "przenikliwego osłupienia"?

    According to the dictionary at lektorek.org:

    przenikliwy aj penetrating, astute, sagacious, perspicacious. strident.​
    osłupienie n dumbfoundedness, bewilderment.​

    These two words don't seem to go together.
    "przenikliwe osłupienie" is indeed a classical oxymoron. "przenikliwy" can mean a "penetrating" (look), but also "seeing through" with a connotation of understanding a complicated problem. So "bewilderment" and "understanding" have really opposite meanings. This is typical of Lem's prose, which is often very intricate and uses oxymorons and other fancy ways of expression. It is a nightmare for a translator.
    The phrase can be translated as "He uttered his last words with a weak, dry smile, with his eyes still having an expression of astoundment and clarity at the same time. "
     

    zzjing

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    "przenikliwe osłupienie" is indeed a classical oxymoron. "przenikliwy" can mean a "penetrating" (look), but also "seeing through" with a connotation of understanding a complicated problem. So "bewilderment" and "understanding" have really opposite meanings. This is typical of Lem's prose, which is often very intricate and uses oxymorons and other fancy ways of expression. It is a nightmare for a translator.
    The phrase can be translated as "He uttered his last words with a weak, dry smile, with his eyes still having an expression of astoundment and clarity at the same time. "
    It's a nightmare indeed. Thanks very much for the explanation.
     
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