perverse possibilité de reconstruire un monde inégal

English translation: the perverse opportunity to recreate an unequal, unjust and violent world

23:15 May 18, 2010
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / scholarly article
French term or phrase: perverse possibilité de reconstruire un monde inégal
"Une fois habitée, la prison jugule, broie, détruit; mais elle offre aussi la possibilité perverse de reconstruire un monde inégal, injuste, violent."

The "prison" here discussed is not a particular prison, but prison in general. This is from the same article on Kafka as my two previous queries.

Does "reconstruire" here mean rebuild or reconstruct as it was, or reshape in a NEW way? Does reconstruire even have that dual meaning (à la perestroika in Russian, which means rebuild but also restructure and reshape, with the implication of change)?

My instinct is that "reconstruire" here means rebuild as it was, but someone else put doubt in my mind about that, pointing out the fact that the sentence talks about a "perverse possibility." The distinction makes all the difference, because it either has to do with the inequality, injustice, and violence in the world being reinforced, or fought against.
ameliacf
Local time: 15:12
English translation:the perverse opportunity to recreate an unequal, unjust and violent world
Explanation:
The judicial system is cracked up to treat people equally and to mete out justice. People get sent to prison for violence. Kafka depicted an unequal, unjust and violent society. Prison, in reconstructing or recreating "un monde inégal, injuste, violent" might be seen as mimicking in an exaggerated way the world outside
Selected response from:

B D Finch
France
Local time: 22:12
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2the perverse possibility of rebuilding an unequal, unfair and violent world
Chris Hall
4 +1the perverse opportunity to recreate an unequal, unjust and violent world
B D Finch


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
la perverse possibilité de reconstruire un monde inégal, injuste, violent
the perverse possibility of rebuilding an unequal, unfair and violent world


Explanation:
N/T

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Note added at 15 mins (2010-05-18 23:31:01 GMT)
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If you want to know the meaning of "rebuild", then I suggest that you look it up in a dictionary.

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Note added at 56 mins (2010-05-19 00:11:58 GMT)
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Une fois habitée, la prison jugule, broie, détruit; mais elle offre aussi la possibilité perverse de reconstruire un monde inégal, injuste, violent
=
Once detained, prison curbs, crushes and destroys [you]; but it also offers the perverse possibility of rebuilding an unequal, unfair and violent world.

Chris Hall
Local time: 21:12
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: I know that's what it literally means, and that's how I translated it; but that doesn't answer my question about the semantic meaning of "rebuild."

Asker: That's not what I meant; I'm clear on the semantic range of "rebuild," but I meant in the context of the sentence. I wanted to know if, in context, "rebuild" meant "rebuild AS IT IS" or "rebuild DIFFERENTLY"; they're the same word with opposite connotations. (Extra note: Why have you translated "habitée" as detained? "Habitée" modifies "prison," not the prisoner—"Once inhabited, a prison curbs, crushes and destroys.")

Asker: I agree that the word is ambiguous, but I was hoping to take away some of the ambiguity. The word "reconstruire" is not responsible, it is true, for clarifying the meaning—but I was asking for help in understanding the meaning in context. There still seems to be a lively debate over whether the opposition (the "but) is between oppression and reform, or between destruction and reconstruction. My query is not about the word "reconstruire" per se as the whole sentence.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Najib Aloui: "rebuilt" is the strict equivalent of "reconstruire" whatever the context. The word is not "responsible" for receiving this or that particular connotation here or elsewhere, the context imprints the particular connotation.
8 hrs
  -> Many thanks Najib.

agree  InfoMarex: Yes, agree
11 hrs
  -> Many thanks InfoMarex.
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the perverse opportunity to recreate an unequal, unjust and violent world


Explanation:
The judicial system is cracked up to treat people equally and to mete out justice. People get sent to prison for violence. Kafka depicted an unequal, unjust and violent society. Prison, in reconstructing or recreating "un monde inégal, injuste, violent" might be seen as mimicking in an exaggerated way the world outside

B D Finch
France
Local time: 22:12
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 43

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jennifer White: Agree - opportunity, not possiblilty
5 hrs
  -> Thanks Jennifer
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