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English translation: "his man", in this case, means Robinson Carusoe's "man Friday"

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:sentence
English translation:"his man", in this case, means Robinson Carusoe's "man Friday"
Entered by: Christopher Crockett
Options:
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13:57 Mar 5, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
English term or phrase: sentence
Boston, on the coast of Lincolnshire, is a handsome town, writes his man.
The sentence quoted from Coetzee's Nobel Lecture. I wonder how to understand " writes his man".
macky
Local time: 15:18
His servant, "Friday"
Explanation:
The reference is, apparently, to Robinson Crusoe's "man" (servant), whom he named "Friday".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2004-03-05 14:11:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

However, it is not clear to me, from reading the Nobel lecture, exactly how it could be that the aboriginal Friday could be writing, even if he was \" the aptest scholar there ever was\" ; nor how he would know anything at all about Boston.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 16 mins (2004-03-05 14:13:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ahhh, I see now --Robinson & his man are back in England at the time of the writing :

\"When he came back to England from his island with his parrot and his parasol and his chest full of treasure, he lived for a while tranquilly enough with his old wife on the estate he bought in Huntingdon, for he had become a wealthy man, and wealthier still after the printing of the book of his adventures. But the years in the island, and then the years traveling with his serving-man Friday (poor Friday, he laments to himself, squawk-squawk, for the parrot would never speak Friday\'s name, only his), had made the life of a landed gentleman dull for him. And, if the truth be told, married life was a sore disappointment too. He found himself retreating more and more to the stables, to his horses, which blessedly did not chatter, but whinnied softly when he came, to show that they knew who he was, and then held their peace.\"



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 mins (2004-03-05 14:16:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Coetzee has written a sequel to Defoe\'s book, \"updating\" Robinson Crusoe\'s life after he leaves his island and returns to England.




--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 mins (2004-03-05 14:16:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/2003/coetzee-bibl.h...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 48 mins (2004-03-05 14:46:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"man\" in the sense of a servant is, of course, not limited to Defoe\'s use of it.

Here\'s the Oxford English Dictionary :

Man

10.

a. A manservant; a valet.

man Friday: a servile follower or attendant; a factotum or servant of all work. (The allusion is to Robinson Crusoe\'s servant, whom he usually refers to as \'my man Friday\'.)

13.. Guy Warw. (A.) 393 Þou þat art a garsoun, & art mi man, & man schalt be;

1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. xiii. 40 Ac þis maister ne his man no manere flesshe eten;

1381 Rolls of Parlt. III. 113/1 Johannes Pope, Taverners-man.

1463 Bury Wills (Camden) 16 To Raffe Otle sumtyme my man a blak gownne.

1486 Bk. St. Albans E vj b, The mayster to his man makyth his Roys.

1500-20 Dunbar Poems xv. 19 To serve and leif in beggartie To man and maistir is baith schame.

1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 151 A Gentleman and his Man shall spend as much, as if he were accompanied with another Gentleman and his Man.

1638 T. Randolph Amyntes Dram.-Pers., Jocastus, a fantastic shepherd and a fairy knight, Bromius, his man, a blunt clown.

1639 J. Endecott in Massachusetts Hist. Coll. Ser. iv. (1863) VI. 136 One Samuel Eale, a man of Mr. Nathan Rogers, which Nele hath caryed with him.

1728 Swift My Lady\'s Lament. 174 Find out..who\'s master, who\'s man.

1791 Charlotte Smith Celestina IV. 117 There was no possibility of his man giving Willoughby notice.

1870 Ramsay Remin. vi. (ed. 18) 209 Another functionary of a country parish is usually called the minister\'s man.

1885 G. Allen Babylon xix, Awkward, when people mistake your man for your nephew.

1887 Athenæum 16 Apr. 504/3 Count von Rechberg,..was Prince Bismarck\'s man Friday.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 1 hr 19 mins (2004-03-06 15:16:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, \"...,writes his man\" means \"..., his man [Friday] writes\". Coetzee has just inverted the phrase order for litterary effect.
Selected response from:

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 03:18
Grading comment
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +10His servant, "Friday"
Christopher Crockett
3 +3his alter egoDavid Sirett
2 +3a friend or acquaintance of the narrator
Jonathan MacKerron
4Daniel DefoeDavid Sirett
1his protagonist
Lesley Clarke


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +3
a friend or acquaintance of the narrator


Explanation:
is what it sounds like

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hacene: without more context, indeed, unless it's a typo. lol
1 min
  -> a very odd sentence indeed!

agree  jebeen: this is also right, generally speaking.
10 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
23 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
his protagonist


Explanation:
Just a guess

Lesley Clarke
Mexico
Local time: 02:18
Native speaker of: English
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
his alter ego


Explanation:
"In the evening by candlelight he will take out his papers and sharpen his quills and write a page or two of his man"
Another quote from the speech. Crusoe is both writing and reading these 'reports'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-03-06 14:38:55 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

More complicated, in fact: my current take is that \'his man\' is Daniel Defoe--see below.

David Sirett
Local time: 09:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 2

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes, now we are into the "hidden meanings" of a Nobel Prize quality literary work.
1 hr

agree  Laurel Porter: Could also be - context will tell.
1 hr

agree  Jörgen Slet
6 hrs
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1 day39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Daniel Defoe


Explanation:
A second take, stimulated by your later question about a pebble and a blade.
Daniel Defoe, the author of 'Robinson Crusoe', also wrote 'A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain'. In that book, Defoe refers to Boston as "a handsome well-built sea port town". The book as a whole could be viewed as a series of reports of the sort being written by 'his man' and read by Crusoe in the document you are translating.

David Sirett
Local time: 09:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 2
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +10
His servant, "Friday"


Explanation:
The reference is, apparently, to Robinson Crusoe's "man" (servant), whom he named "Friday".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2004-03-05 14:11:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

However, it is not clear to me, from reading the Nobel lecture, exactly how it could be that the aboriginal Friday could be writing, even if he was \" the aptest scholar there ever was\" ; nor how he would know anything at all about Boston.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 16 mins (2004-03-05 14:13:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ahhh, I see now --Robinson & his man are back in England at the time of the writing :

\"When he came back to England from his island with his parrot and his parasol and his chest full of treasure, he lived for a while tranquilly enough with his old wife on the estate he bought in Huntingdon, for he had become a wealthy man, and wealthier still after the printing of the book of his adventures. But the years in the island, and then the years traveling with his serving-man Friday (poor Friday, he laments to himself, squawk-squawk, for the parrot would never speak Friday\'s name, only his), had made the life of a landed gentleman dull for him. And, if the truth be told, married life was a sore disappointment too. He found himself retreating more and more to the stables, to his horses, which blessedly did not chatter, but whinnied softly when he came, to show that they knew who he was, and then held their peace.\"



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 mins (2004-03-05 14:16:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Coetzee has written a sequel to Defoe\'s book, \"updating\" Robinson Crusoe\'s life after he leaves his island and returns to England.




--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 mins (2004-03-05 14:16:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/2003/coetzee-bibl.h...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 48 mins (2004-03-05 14:46:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"man\" in the sense of a servant is, of course, not limited to Defoe\'s use of it.

Here\'s the Oxford English Dictionary :

Man

10.

a. A manservant; a valet.

man Friday: a servile follower or attendant; a factotum or servant of all work. (The allusion is to Robinson Crusoe\'s servant, whom he usually refers to as \'my man Friday\'.)

13.. Guy Warw. (A.) 393 Þou þat art a garsoun, & art mi man, & man schalt be;

1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. xiii. 40 Ac þis maister ne his man no manere flesshe eten;

1381 Rolls of Parlt. III. 113/1 Johannes Pope, Taverners-man.

1463 Bury Wills (Camden) 16 To Raffe Otle sumtyme my man a blak gownne.

1486 Bk. St. Albans E vj b, The mayster to his man makyth his Roys.

1500-20 Dunbar Poems xv. 19 To serve and leif in beggartie To man and maistir is baith schame.

1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 151 A Gentleman and his Man shall spend as much, as if he were accompanied with another Gentleman and his Man.

1638 T. Randolph Amyntes Dram.-Pers., Jocastus, a fantastic shepherd and a fairy knight, Bromius, his man, a blunt clown.

1639 J. Endecott in Massachusetts Hist. Coll. Ser. iv. (1863) VI. 136 One Samuel Eale, a man of Mr. Nathan Rogers, which Nele hath caryed with him.

1728 Swift My Lady\'s Lament. 174 Find out..who\'s master, who\'s man.

1791 Charlotte Smith Celestina IV. 117 There was no possibility of his man giving Willoughby notice.

1870 Ramsay Remin. vi. (ed. 18) 209 Another functionary of a country parish is usually called the minister\'s man.

1885 G. Allen Babylon xix, Awkward, when people mistake your man for your nephew.

1887 Athenæum 16 Apr. 504/3 Count von Rechberg,..was Prince Bismarck\'s man Friday.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 1 hr 19 mins (2004-03-06 15:16:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, \"...,writes his man\" means \"..., his man [Friday] writes\". Coetzee has just inverted the phrase order for litterary effect.


    Reference: http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/2003/coetzee-lectur...
Christopher Crockett
Local time: 03:18
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Aisha Maniar: "Man Friday" sounds likely & good reference :-)
3 mins
  -> Yes, once we have the context it's pretty clear. Thanks, Aisha.

agree  Mario Marcolin: Indeed
21 mins
  -> Thanks, Mario.

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
36 mins
  -> Thanks, Vicky.

agree  karina koguta
41 mins
  -> Thanks, karina.

agree  RHELLER: impressive :-)
44 mins
  -> Should be --that guy won the Nobel Prize. Thanks, Rita.

agree  Fuad Yahya
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Fuad.

agree  Laurel Porter: Very nice... And by an odd coincidence, the book I just finished reading is Coetzee's "Waiting for the Barbarians" - I highly recommend it.
2 hrs
  -> Never heard of the guy, myself, but, if you say so. Thanks, Laurel.

agree  Jörgen Slet
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jörgen.

agree  jebeen
10 hrs
  -> Thanks, jebeen.

agree  chopra_2002
23 hrs
  -> Thanks, lang.
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