Wednesday, September 20, 2017

“Like a leaf sinking in the current”

Stefan Zweig, Fear. 1936. The Collected Novellas of Stefan Zweig. Trans. Anthea Bell (London: Pushkin Press, 2015).

Related reading
All OCA Stefan Zweig posts (Pinboard)

comments: 3

misterbagman said...

Okay, now some jerk on the internet is gonna pick apart Stefan Zweig (or maybe his translator):

Maybe it's just me, but it seems a little unclear whether "bewildered and shaken" modifies "he" or "his pleading hand." Contextually I get it. Maybe it doesn't matter, since a hand that can plead could probably be bewildered as well. A shaken hand, well, there's the literal and also the metaphorical way to read that, isn't there? I'm sure anyone who's had a Donald Trump handshake came away with a hand that was both bewildered and shaken.

Perhaps I should have some coffee and get back to work.

Michael Leddy said...

I didn’t see it until you mentioned it, but now I see it. Better, maybe: “ He stood there, bewildered and shaken, his pleading hand still outstretched,” and so on. I wonder if the translator was seeking to keep to the syntax of the original.

I’ve watched Donald Trump’s handshakes ever since the arm wrestling with Macron, trying to predict whose shoulder will be dislocated.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, Bell is following Zweig: “Er blieb stehen mit seiner noch flehend ausgestrecken Hand, ratlos und durchschauer.” Or as Google Translate puts it, “He stopped with his still begging hand, helpless and perplexed.”