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Carnation

English translation: Skin tone & texture (complexion)

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23:28 Sep 7, 2011
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Archaic Greek poetry
French term or phrase: Carnation
Last question about this article; the passage starts out with some lines of verse and then goes into a discussion of those lines:
'"Et, en apercevant de mes yeux Echécratidas
à la chevelure aux reflets lumineux, je saisirais sa main
pour que [me touche] la jeune fleur de son corps plein de charme
et que par son regard il verse sur moi une libation de désir liquéfiant.
Et moi, étendu auprès de l’adolescent parmi les fleurs,
je passerais un moment de bonheur délicat…"
Quel que soit le scénario sous-jacent à cette scène offerte sur le mode du potentiel dans des vers une fois encore très fragmentaire, centrale est à nouveau, dans l’expression poétique du désir érotique, la fluidité du regard qui liquéfie. Et c’est ici très précisément la carnation du jeune homme qui exerce son charme par le désir véhiculé par le regard.'

My problem is with the closing sentences. I translate: 'Whatever the scenario that lies behind this hypothetical scene described in lines that are, once again, very fragmentary, what is once again central to the poetic expression of erotic desire is the fluidity of the gaze which liquefies. And it is precisely here that we find the carnality of the young man who exercises his attractiveness through lust transmitted by the gaze.' I think this is accurate, but once again the meaning is opaque. Thanks again!
xxxJames Kierst
United States
Local time: 16:40
English translation:Skin tone & texture (complexion)
Explanation:
Of the face...

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Note added at 2 hrs (2011-09-08 02:08:09 GMT)
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Larousse French dictionary gives as a definition of carnation: Coloration du teint, des chairs d'une personne...
http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/carnation/1334...

Same dictionary but French English gives: complexion
http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/carnat...

Merriam Webster gives complexion= the hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face <a dark complexion>
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complexion

Collins is giving carnation=complexion (flesh tones in art)
http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/carnation
Selected response from:

Agnes T-H
Local time: 16:40
Grading comment
merci
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3earthly realityxxxBourth
5 +1Skin tone & texture (complexion)
Agnes T-H
4 +1wantonness
Robin Levey
3 +1blush
Frank Foley


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
carnation
wantonness


Explanation:
Not a 'traditional' translation of 'carnation', but one which fits the context, methinks - even if it means rethinking 'lust' as the translation of 'charme'.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/wantonness

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 21:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yolanda Broad: Fits the context very well.
2 hrs

neutral  Helen Shiner: I think this adds a note of judgment where there is none in the FR.
9 hrs

neutral  Gallagy: agree with Helen's point
10 hrs
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Skin tone & texture (complexion)


Explanation:
Of the face...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2011-09-08 02:08:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Larousse French dictionary gives as a definition of carnation: Coloration du teint, des chairs d'une personne...
http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/carnation/1334...

Same dictionary but French English gives: complexion
http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/carnat...

Merriam Webster gives complexion= the hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face <a dark complexion>
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complexion

Collins is giving carnation=complexion (flesh tones in art)
http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/carnation


Agnes T-H
Local time: 16:40
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 3
Grading comment
merci

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  piazza d
19 hrs
  -> Thanks Piazza. I don't see why some have to make it into something so complicated: Carnation is a normal word in French meaning complexion, why try to build a Rube Goldberg machine out of that? Weird...
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
blush


Explanation:
If you want to be really poetic, use a poetic word that means both "complexion" and "look". :-))
Actually, "Young Man's Blush" would make a great name for a variety of carnations...

Frank Foley
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Claire N.
1 hr
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
earthly reality


Explanation:
(power of the) flesh, physical existence, bodily presence, etc.

It's used maybe not metaphorically, but as an extension of the usual meaning, not in the usual sense of "skin colour", but to replace and enhance upon chair and its connotations, carrying notions too of incarnation in the sense that you have a spirit and a body, but that here it is the body, separate from the mind and spiritual desire, that works its effect.

"Carnality" captures something of it, but might be a tad too powerful. The "earthly reality" of the young man?

Does qui in the last part (la carnation du jeune homme qui exerce son charme) refer to the young man (as you have translated it) or to his carnation, do you think?

I rather get the impression that the young man is a "victim" of his body, that he does little or nothing to be seductive, but rather that it is his body, his carnation, his earthly reality that people find so overwhelmingly attractive.

Also, I'm tempted to read regard not as "gaze" (or "eyes") which tends to convey the sense that he is "active" in the seductive process, but rather as "features": "it is the young man's earthly reality which exercises its charm/seductive effect (or "seduces") through the desire conveyed through his features ... Again, he is a victim of his own good looks [I know what I'm talking about ;-) ], does not actively seek to please others or gratify his own senses, but because of his body, his looks, his features, his "look" (regard), not "the way he looks at a person", that he is preyed upon. His desire is indeed conveyed by his eyes, but only in the way that our eyes and expressions betray our inner feelings, despite ourselves, or even without us even being (particularly) aware of our feelings.

You have the full context, I may be very far from the mark, but you might like to ponder on it.




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Note added at 13 hrs (2011-09-08 13:21:09 GMT)
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Re. intended meanings as not defined by dictionaries:

In English too, "carnation" means "a fleshy pink colour" or "flesh tints (in a painting)". The Latin origin means "fleshiness".

Enfin, cette stratification de signes se duplique une ultime fois, puisqu’elle est d’abord offerte à l’œil du Maître avant de l’être à celui de l’amant : une vertigineuse dialectique du simulacre et de l’INCARNATION se joue à la surface de ce visage, qui se DÉRÉALISE POUR MIEUX SE RÉALISER. La présence du troisième œil vient fonder et clôturer le dispositif permettant la transformation du corps en image : articulant autour de lui un espace de représentation, il transforme l’échange des corps en théâtre de cet échange, offrant à M. M une « double incarnation, L’ACTEUR DONNANT SA CHAIR, ET LA SCÈNE LA MAINTENANT AU TITRE DE CHAIR IMAGÉE », et la scène décrite, comme la scène de théâtre, « NE NOUS PRÉSENTE PAS DES IMAGES DE CORPS RÉELS mais plutôt des CORPS DONT LA CHAIR IRRÉALISÉE VIVIFIE LE SUBSTRAT DE L’IMAGE et contribue à sa CARNATION devant le regard du spectateur »
http://www.revue-textimage.com/06_image_recit/frances3.html

Seems to me this is more about giving "body" to what isn't there than about colouring what isn't there. The former being a prerequisite to the latter in any case! As with the definition with respect to paintings, carnation is the surface finish to something that isn't there but which acquires flesh and body by virtue of that carnation.

More English:
The carnations of the painting had withered, but the eyes were still wonderful in their depth and brilliancy of colour. (112-13, je souligne)
[13] Ce sont les « CARNATIONS » QUI SONT FLÉTRIS, MAIS ON ENTEND BIEN QUE C'EST DE LA CHAIR QU'IL S'AGIT.
http://www.oscholars.com/RBA/twenty-five/25.7/Articles.htm

Here it's not the colour of the skin that matters, surely, but the skin as the representation of the flesh and carnality within:

Il déboutonne puis reboutonne, feignant dans son souffle, des variations de température, un bouton de sa chemise, comme POUR ME DÉVOILER UN PEU PLUS DE SA CARNATION, comme pour jouer tout doucement avec mon désir.",
http://www.buzz-litteraire.com/index.php?2009/06/10/1663-le-...

Read lines 3 to 6 on page 7 here:
http://www.archipel.uqam.ca/2461/1/D1837.pdf


xxxBourth
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 110

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helen Shiner: Something along these lines - maybe physicality?
2 hrs

agree  Gallagy: yes, I think your reading is spot on and Helen's "physicality" would also work
3 hrs

agree  Alison Sabedoria: Physicality is good too.
4 hrs

neutral  Frank Foley: stretching it a bit, mefinks. How about "Flesh and blood reality", to keep a link with with the ety. of "carnation"? "Physicality" sounds good, too.
6 hrs

neutral  Just Opera: In painting 'la carnation' is the representation of the human skin / flesh, and notoriously difficult for painters to do, hence the reference... This also relates to "teinte chair".
8 hrs

neutral  Agnes T-H: Sorry but I think Clain is right, carnation=complexion & there is nothing else to see in that. Besides it is a normal word in basic French.
12 hrs
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
PRO (3): Richard Nice, SJLD, Gilla Evans


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Changes made by editors
Sep 8, 2011 - Changes made by Gilla Evans:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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