dépouillé du même souffle de mot

English translation: both baroque and bare at the same time / in the same breath

20:30 Mar 14, 2011
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
French term or phrase: dépouillé du même souffle de mot
This comes from a description of a staged version of La Fontaine's Fables. The whole sentence reads as follows:

"Les Fables, c'est plonger dans un univers baroque et dépouillé du même souffle de mot, c'est visiter de drôles de bêtes déguisées en hommes ou de drôles d'hommes déguisés en bêtes."

I have read and reread this sentence so many times that I can't see it anymore! I feel that "dépouillé du même souffle de mot" must refer to a paring down of language (stripped bare of language...or something) but in my head this is the exact opposite of the Baroque spirit also referred to in the same sentence.

I would be grateful for any ideas/suggestions :)
laenai
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:45
English translation:both baroque and bare at the same time / in the same breath
Explanation:
I think the writer is establishing the contrast between baroque and dépouillé

Hope my answer is not too late for you - I only just signed up today!

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Note added at 2 days13 hrs (2011-03-17 09:58:24 GMT)
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You could also say 'a universe that is both baroque and stripped bare in the same breath' if you want to keep the sense of 'stripped' in the translation
Selected response from:

LINDA WATKINS
France
Local time: 23:45
Grading comment
Thank you to everyone who invested time into helping me resolve this. I like the simplicity of this answer even if it expresses the same ideas as most other people. So thank you all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +1both baroque and bare at the same time / in the same breath
LINDA WATKINS
4stripped by the same breath of the word
dianalang1
4stripped even of the/of the very breath words hang on
Bourth (X)
3[spare] through the same verbal inspiration
Ann Drummond (X)
32 possibilities: [in the same utterance of the word] OR [at the same time]
MatthewLaSon


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
stripped by the same breath of the word


Explanation:
My understanding is that the richness of language leaves the universe of "The Fables" bare, exposed, for those who can read behind the colourfulness of the words. I selected a link, maybe you want to have a look there, then click on "ne pas souffler mot", you might get few ideas there. Good luck!


    Reference: http://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/souffler
dianalang1
Local time: 22:45
Native speaker of: Native in RomanianRomanian
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
stripped even of the/of the very breath words hang on


Explanation:
There are at least two options, hinging on the meaning of même here. Is it "the same" or "the very". I tend to think it's "the very".

So while "baroque" (outrageous in terms of characters and events), the fables are short and sweet when it comes to words. If "short and sweet" is what is meant, I feel the French is somewhat OTT, but I've tried to reflect that OTT-ness in my proposal above.

Otherwise, to inject some Anglo-Saxon practicality into things, something like "The Fables evoke the baroquest of worlds in paradoxically few words" might do the trick.

Bourth (X)
Local time: 23:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 110
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
[spare] through the same verbal inspiration


Explanation:
I have been wrangling over this one for a bit, and like Matthew, I think that dépouillé is associated with "univers" and the following clause is separate. It gives quite a different sense of the sentence. "Souffle" can also mean "inspiration", usually in the creative sense. So this could give something along the lines of "The Fables involve plunging into a world made Baroque and sparse by the same verbal inspiration,... " The second half of the sentence also suggests that the fables contain other oppositional elements. It's a bit of a leap in interpretation from what immediately seems to be the reading, but to me it makes more sense.

Ann Drummond (X)
Local time: 22:45
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
2 possibilities: [in the same utterance of the word] OR [at the same time]


Explanation:
Hello,

I don't think that "dépouillé" is directly connected to the expression "du même souffle de mot", which seems to be modifying "plonger". Yes, "de" usually follows "dépouillé", but it's not be read that way here.

du même souffle de mot = in the same breath of word = in the same utterance (natural English), referring to the world "fables".

All that said, I could also possibly understand this to mean "at the same time", but then that would make the punctuation incorrect in the original French sentence. It would have to read like this: Les Fables, c'est plonger dans un univers baroque et dépouillé, ET du même souffle de mot, c'est visiter...

So the two possibilities are:

1) Fables, is to plunge into a world that is both baroque and bare in the same utterance of the word

2 Fables, is to plunge into a world that is both baroque and bare, and at the same time, it is a visit with bizarre...

My final point I would like to make, is that "dépouillé", imho, is not directly related to "du même souffle de mot". It's either modifying "plonger" (first part of sentence), or or it's directly connected to the "c'est visiter..." (second part of the sentence).
At any rate, I think that you need to stop connecting the "du" with "dépouillé" (just "univers baroque et dépouillé).


I hope this all helps.

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Note added at 1 day37 mins (2011-03-15 21:08:06 GMT)
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In fact, it would be best to say this way in English (if it means "in the same utterance of the word" (I don't think the French is very well-written, but...)

Fables, in the same utterance of the word, is to enter into a world both baroque and bare; it also brings us to visit bizarre...

MatthewLaSon
Local time: 17:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
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1 day 17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
both baroque and bare at the same time / in the same breath


Explanation:
I think the writer is establishing the contrast between baroque and dépouillé

Hope my answer is not too late for you - I only just signed up today!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days13 hrs (2011-03-17 09:58:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You could also say 'a universe that is both baroque and stripped bare in the same breath' if you want to keep the sense of 'stripped' in the translation

LINDA WATKINS
France
Local time: 23:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you to everyone who invested time into helping me resolve this. I like the simplicity of this answer even if it expresses the same ideas as most other people. So thank you all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  guest1234 (X): contraste et même complémentarité que vient renforcer l'image des hommes et des bêtes qui se déguisent en l'autre
3 hrs
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