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"spleen"

English translation: melancholy, melancholic nostalgia

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16:13 Dec 4, 2004
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Italian term or phrase: "spleen"
when used figuratively in English, spleen means anger or ill temper but what's the significance in Italian?
"Nel sonno ristoratore tornava a possederci uno spleen molto articolato per il nostro passato"
snatalieg
Local time: 04:51
English translation:melancholy, melancholic nostalgia
Explanation:
Looking back at the sentence in Italian, as Richard has pointed out, the translation "nausea" is indeed rather too strong. Given the context (and at least the apparent tone of the sentence), I would say that "melancholy" would be a good choice. "Melancholic nostalgia" may be another option and be slightly more exact in rendering the meaning, but does sound a little tautological.

I doubt that the author is directly referring to the poetic value of the word "spleen", but using it as a commonly accepted word, the meaning of which has naturally shifted and become somewhat a synonym of "malinconia" and "nostalgia". The true strength of the word "spleen" in its purest poetic sense seems to have been lost.

Best of luck,

Antoine Cassar.
Selected response from:

Antoine Cassar
Local time: 10:51
Grading comment
Thanks so much for all your comments. I'm using melancholic nostalgia at the moment....maybe I'll eliminate the nostalgia later.......
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2melancholy, melancholic nostalgiaAntoine Cassar
5malinconia/umor nero
Alessandra Renna
4nauseaAntoine Cassar
4definition
Francesca Siotto
3world-weariness
Richard Benham


  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
spleen
malinconia/umor nero


Explanation:
Dal Devoto-Oli: Atteggiamento sentimentale caratterizzato da umor tetro e malinconico...

Alessandra Renna
Local time: 10:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 20
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
spleen
definition


Explanation:
Sentimento di noia esistenziale, d'inquietudine e di malinconia che trovò espressione poetica nel romanticismo inglese e francese.

da www.sapere.it

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Note added at 15 mins (2004-12-04 16:29:08 GMT)
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www.sapere.it/gr/ ArticleViewServlet?tid=1159911&rid=1159911&from=Categories

Francesca Siotto
Local time: 10:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Italian
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
spleen
nausea


Explanation:
Since Baudelaire, the term "spleen" has been used in French and Italian poetry to mean a certain kind of chronic melancholy, a desperately ill yet insuperable feeling of tedium which invades both body and soul. It is quite close to the Spanish word "hastío", but I would say slightly stronger.

Perhaps "nausea" may be the nearest equivalent in English. Another choice, should you wish to specify a little more, would be to use "spiritual nausea".

Best regards,

Antoine Cassar.

Antoine Cassar
Local time: 10:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in MalteseMaltese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Richard Benham: Nausea seems a little strong.
20 mins
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49 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
spleen
world-weariness


Explanation:
This is the English term I would pick as being closest to the definitions provided by Sympholangue and Antoine, as well as to the French use of "spleen". I confess that I am not very familiar with the word in Italian.

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Note added at 1 hr 3 mins (2004-12-04 17:16:57 GMT)
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Another possibility: the French \"mal du siècle\" is not unknown in English. Like \"spleen\" in Italian, it is obviously exotic, which is actually an advantage.

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 10:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
spleen
melancholy, melancholic nostalgia


Explanation:
Looking back at the sentence in Italian, as Richard has pointed out, the translation "nausea" is indeed rather too strong. Given the context (and at least the apparent tone of the sentence), I would say that "melancholy" would be a good choice. "Melancholic nostalgia" may be another option and be slightly more exact in rendering the meaning, but does sound a little tautological.

I doubt that the author is directly referring to the poetic value of the word "spleen", but using it as a commonly accepted word, the meaning of which has naturally shifted and become somewhat a synonym of "malinconia" and "nostalgia". The true strength of the word "spleen" in its purest poetic sense seems to have been lost.

Best of luck,

Antoine Cassar.

Antoine Cassar
Local time: 10:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in MalteseMaltese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks so much for all your comments. I'm using melancholic nostalgia at the moment....maybe I'll eliminate the nostalgia later.......

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ian Burley
14 mins

agree  Michele Fauble
39 mins
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