Torrents that are variously thwarted or permitted to gush

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Eric Verville

Member
France French
Bonjour,

Je voudrais avoir un avis sur la façon dont on pourrait traduire la partie à la fin du passage en gras. Je me demande si il est mieux de la mettre à la voix active ou s'il vaux mieux la garder au passif en risquant de trahir le sens du mot "permit" ( permettre/ Autoriser/laisser) car je trouve que ça passe mal en français quand on le met à la voix passive.
"Tonality itself - with its process of instilling expectations and subsequently withholding promised fulfillment until climax - is the principal musical means during the period from 1600 to 1900 for arousing and channeling desire. Even without text or program tonal compositions[…] whip up torrents of libdinal energy that are variously thwarted or permitted to gush" [Susan McClary, Feminine Ending, Music, Gender, 1991]
Voilà ma version:
"La tonalité elle-même - avec ses procédés pour susciter des attentes et en différer par la suite la réalisation promise jusqu’au point culminant. – est, dans la période qui va de 1600 à 1900, le principal moyen musical de faire naître le désir et de le canaliser. Même sans texte, même sans programme les compositions tonales[...]ouvrent des torrents d’énergie libidinal ....
....qu' on contient ou qu'on permet de jaillir/laisse se décharger /libère diversement
...qui sont diversement contenus ou déchargés/libérés

J'hésite entre ces deux options. Mais en fait aucune ne me convient parfaitement . J'ai l'impression de ne pas arriver à capturer l'esprit de la métaphore. Quel est votre avis? Je précise que si je choisis plutôt la traduction "décharger"/ "libérer" c'est par rapport à la notion psychanalytique de libido, où on parlerait plus de déchargement/ de libération de libido, que de jaillissement.

Précision pour la compréhension du contexte: le terme de "tonalité" fait référence au terme technique employé pour désigner le "système tonal", une système de règles grammaticales dans la musique occidentale. Pour simplifier c'est le système de règles à base de mélodie et d'accords. Ce système se caractérisation sur des effets de tentions (attente) et de détente (résolution),de lois d'enchainement d'accords, etc...


Merci d'avance

Cordialement

 
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  • chapteryx

    Senior Member
    From an anglophone perspective, it seems as there is an implied phrasal break before the "tonal compositions", normally seen with a comma. I say this because what follows uses the plural verb form, and this relates to the plural verb beforehand. I would encourage a similar "break" after your "même sans programme".
    The focus of the rest of the phrase is on the "torrents of libidinal energy", and to maintain that focus, the reflexive (passif?) voice would probably maintain the feeling better in French (my guess - I'm not maternally francophone).
    ...qui se jaillissent ou sont restreints en alternance.
    It's as if the author wishes to raise the impression of mutually agreed sexual domination and control.
    I don't know - the English uses "gush" as a loose sexual reference to orgasmic release, coupled with intermittent periods of brinkmanship or deliberate teasing. Perhaps you can find something appropriate in French to convey this too - your words don't quite seem to have the same insinuations as the English.
    Regarding the betrayal of the "permit", it's clear that the author wishes to evoke a duality acting through the use of variant tonalities, calling upon the duality of the human sexual experience as analogy. Permit is essentially a controlling verb, a reference to a power relationship. I don't think you've quite got the feeling conveyed in French, but you're well on the way.
    Note that "whips up" is much more active than "ouvrent" - the torrents of libidinal energy are *deliberately provoked* rather than just opening a tap that is already pressurised.
    All in all - a very intellectual piece of work you have there - best of luck with your translation - not an easy job at all...
     

    Eric Verville

    Member
    France French
    Hi Chapter, thank you very very much, for your time and attention. Also thanks for your useful recommandations.


    From an anglophone perspective, it seems as there is an implied phrasal break before the "tonal compositions", normally seen with a comma. I say this because what follows uses the plural verb form, and this relates to the plural verb beforehand. I would encourage a similar "break" after your "même sans programme".
    You're correct, there was indeed a comma in the original text. Anyway, don't worry I was virtually aware of it. I just forgot to put it in both versions. But I was aware there was one, so it doesn't really affect my translation or my comprehension.

    The focus of the rest of the phrase is on the "torrents of libidinal energy", and to maintain that focus, the reflexive (passif?) voice would probably maintain the feeling better in French (my guess - I'm not maternally francophone).
    I don't know, actually I'm asking because at school I've been frequently adviced to convert english passive phrases into active voice when translating, because they sound better in french. (depending the context).

    It's as if the author wishes to raise the impression of mutually agreed sexual domination and control.
    I don't know - the English uses "gush" as a loose sexual reference to orgasmic release, coupled with intermittent periods of brinkmanship or deliberate teasing. Perhaps you can find something appropriate in French to convey this too - your words don't quite seem to have the same insinuations as the English.
    No worry , that's indeed the way, I understood it...

    The sexual connotation is clear with the notion of "libidinal" but I just tried to deal with the "torrent" metaphor implied as well. In this regard "Libérer" et "contenir" can work very well within that sexual/psychoanalytic context but also with the torrent metaphor as far as I can think of it. I was wondering wether passive or active voice would capture thoses connotations best. On the other hand, I'm afraid "se jaillir"/restreindre don't work very well.

    Also note there might a little misunderstanding concerning the context, Here the "tonal compositions" just refer to average classical music works (she mentions Bach and Brahms in the missing part) not to tonalities. (Classical music is commonly known for using that tonal grammar)


    All in all - a very intellectual piece of work you have there - best of luck with your translation - not an easy job at all...
    Thanks :) all the merit is yours for being the one to respond to that challenge and give me a hand! Especially considering you're anglophone. Again thanks for you useful tips. It's deeply appreciate.

    Greetings
     
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