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permissão (+ sentence)

English translation: explanation

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13:46 Jan 20, 2002
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
Portuguese term or phrase: permissão (+ sentence)
Mas seus pés tinham a milenar desconfiança da possibilidade ‘de pisar em alguma coisa que se mova - os pés apalpavam a moleza suspeita daquilo que aproveita a escuridão para existir. Pelos pés ele entrou em contacto com esse modo de ceder e poder ser moldado que é por onde se entra no pior da noite: na sua permissão****. Não sabia onde pisava, se bem que através dos sapatos, que se haviam tornado um meio de comunicação, ele sentisse a dubiedade da terra.

THIS SENTENCE:
Pelos pés ele entrou em contacto com esse modo de ceder e poder ser moldado que é por onde se entra no pior da noite: na sua permissão.

AND ESPECIALLY THE LAST PART IS CONFUSING. Could anybody try to translate the entire sentence? Thanks in advance.
xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 05:05
English translation:explanation
Explanation:
Hi Ailish,

I wouldn't dare translating this sentence because I am not a native speaker. But here is my interpretation of the meanings and subleties in this sentence.

Mas seus pés tinham a milenar desconfiança da possibilidade ‘de pisar em alguma coisa que se mova -

This is a man who is afraid of taking his shoes off, a man who has always lived in cities, a man whose instincts and primeval feelings are buried under layers and layers of civilization (millenary). He is afraid of the contact with the earth, I imagine it as earth that is wet from the rain, somewhat muddy, and therefore squishes under your shoes as you walk. By extension, he is afraid of change, anything that is not clearcut and rigid, but rather moist, changing, hard to pin down.

os pés apalpavam a moleza suspeita daquilo que aproveita a escuridão para existir.

He is using his feet as hands to explore. (apalpar is a word used for touching with the hands). Darkness here is a tough one. 'Aproveita' means "use". There is also a "sneaky way" overtone in the way the earth uses darkness to exist. Maybe it rained the night before and this man is walking on earth that is wet from the dew and night showers (very common in Brasil)? So in this passage, Lispector points to the way darkness has a sneaky way of making itself felt and changing our stride, our stepping ground. Moleza has negative overtones, I don't think you could use softness here. It has something more "gooey".

Pelos pés ele entrou em contacto com esse modo de ceder e poder ser moldado que é por onde se entra no pior da noite: na sua permissão****.

Ceder here is something like "surrender", "give in", obviously he is talking about the earth that surrenders its firmness to the moistness brought on by darkness. The worst part of darkness is not being changed by it, but giving in to this change (permissão), authorizing this change and being molded by it, just like the earth is molded by our footprints. It gives in and lets itself be shaped by our feet, submissively, because it has been changed by darkness.

Não sabia onde pisava, se bem que através dos sapatos, que se haviam tornado um meio de comunicação, ele sentisse a dubiedade da terra.

Through his shoes he feels how supple and changing is the earth that has been touched by darkness. He doesn't know where he is going or what he is stepping on (maybe his eyes are closed?)

Just a couple of ideas which will hopefully shed some light,

ME
Selected response from:

Maria Eugenia Farre
Brazil
Local time: 01:05
Grading comment
An absolutely invaluable analysis! I chose 'liberty' in teh end. Here's my justification, for your/ProZers information:

But his feet had that age-old fear of stepping on something that moved – they palpitated the suspect ooze which avails of darkness to exist. Through his feet he made contact with that way of surrendering and being moulded that is how one enters into contact with the worst of the night: with its liberty.

From the context of the background information and the extract itself, it seemed that this deals with civilised man returning to nature, which is a kind of metaphoric ‘darkness’ for him in his ignorance, potentially treacherous and full of dangers. The darkness is the opposite of ‘terra firme’ in the figurative sense. But he has to surrender to all this strangeness, allow it to mould him, and this is the ‘permissão’, translated as ‘liberty’. In other words, by giving himself up freely to the night, he obtains his liberty, both literally and metaphorically. It is similar to the idea of facing death, by overcoming the fear we conquer it. By overcoming or going to meet darkness, we can enjoy the freedom it offers us.


4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4confusion
Fiona N�voa
4explanation
Maria Eugenia Farre
4 -1permission, allowanceFernando Lopes


  

Answers


36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
permission, allowance


Explanation:
I propose the following translation:

"By his feet he came in touch with this way of giving in and being able to be molded; this is where one gets into the worst of night: in its permission".

It sounds strange, but I can't find any other meaning for "permissão".

Fernando Lopes
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  De Sneed: He asked permission to bring his dog to the theater
4 hrs
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
explanation


Explanation:
Hi Ailish,

I wouldn't dare translating this sentence because I am not a native speaker. But here is my interpretation of the meanings and subleties in this sentence.

Mas seus pés tinham a milenar desconfiança da possibilidade ‘de pisar em alguma coisa que se mova -

This is a man who is afraid of taking his shoes off, a man who has always lived in cities, a man whose instincts and primeval feelings are buried under layers and layers of civilization (millenary). He is afraid of the contact with the earth, I imagine it as earth that is wet from the rain, somewhat muddy, and therefore squishes under your shoes as you walk. By extension, he is afraid of change, anything that is not clearcut and rigid, but rather moist, changing, hard to pin down.

os pés apalpavam a moleza suspeita daquilo que aproveita a escuridão para existir.

He is using his feet as hands to explore. (apalpar is a word used for touching with the hands). Darkness here is a tough one. 'Aproveita' means "use". There is also a "sneaky way" overtone in the way the earth uses darkness to exist. Maybe it rained the night before and this man is walking on earth that is wet from the dew and night showers (very common in Brasil)? So in this passage, Lispector points to the way darkness has a sneaky way of making itself felt and changing our stride, our stepping ground. Moleza has negative overtones, I don't think you could use softness here. It has something more "gooey".

Pelos pés ele entrou em contacto com esse modo de ceder e poder ser moldado que é por onde se entra no pior da noite: na sua permissão****.

Ceder here is something like "surrender", "give in", obviously he is talking about the earth that surrenders its firmness to the moistness brought on by darkness. The worst part of darkness is not being changed by it, but giving in to this change (permissão), authorizing this change and being molded by it, just like the earth is molded by our footprints. It gives in and lets itself be shaped by our feet, submissively, because it has been changed by darkness.

Não sabia onde pisava, se bem que através dos sapatos, que se haviam tornado um meio de comunicação, ele sentisse a dubiedade da terra.

Through his shoes he feels how supple and changing is the earth that has been touched by darkness. He doesn't know where he is going or what he is stepping on (maybe his eyes are closed?)

Just a couple of ideas which will hopefully shed some light,

ME


Maria Eugenia Farre
Brazil
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 40
Grading comment
An absolutely invaluable analysis! I chose 'liberty' in teh end. Here's my justification, for your/ProZers information:

But his feet had that age-old fear of stepping on something that moved – they palpitated the suspect ooze which avails of darkness to exist. Through his feet he made contact with that way of surrendering and being moulded that is how one enters into contact with the worst of the night: with its liberty.

From the context of the background information and the extract itself, it seemed that this deals with civilised man returning to nature, which is a kind of metaphoric ‘darkness’ for him in his ignorance, potentially treacherous and full of dangers. The darkness is the opposite of ‘terra firme’ in the figurative sense. But he has to surrender to all this strangeness, allow it to mould him, and this is the ‘permissão’, translated as ‘liberty’. In other words, by giving himself up freely to the night, he obtains his liberty, both literally and metaphorically. It is similar to the idea of facing death, by overcoming the fear we conquer it. By overcoming or going to meet darkness, we can enjoy the freedom it offers us.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  barbarabt: Clarice Lispector was one of the most creative and sensitive Brazilian writers. I am sure she would have appreciated your interpretation.
1 hr
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
confusion


Explanation:
"permissão" also means confusion when coming from the Latin "permixtu-". This seems to fit in better because the worst thing that can happen is to be lost in the dark wilderness of the night. The last sentence may be "He was unsure of which path to tread, although his shoes that had become his means of communication enabled him to sense the uncertainty of the ground."

Fiona N�voa
Portugal
Local time: 04:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 259
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