phrase between asterisks

English translation: and another

22:02 Jan 29, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / philosophy, art history
German term or phrase: phrase between asterisks
I can't grasp the syntax of the last bit between asterisks. Are there any clairovoyants out there would can decipher this Delphic oracle?:
Es ist weniger eine Biographie, die Messner von sich entwirft, als einen Mythos. In den modernen mythischen Erzählungen finden sich genau die narrativen Struktur, mit denen die Futur II-Perspektive ausgedrückt werden kann: Sie streben aus der Zeitlichkeit hinaus; sie stellt sich auf einen Standpunkt, der jenseits des Todes des Heroen liegt. Dessen Leben und Taten werden sub specie aeternitatis gesehen, aus einer Position, in der der Tod schon überwunden ist. Der Blick aus dem Jenseits sichert sich die Macht über die Zeit; er hält das Verschwindende, Entfliehende des augenblicklichen Moments fest und bewahrt es vor dem Vergessen und Verlieren. Der Mythos wird gegen die Diskontinuität der Zeit und die Entwertung, die diese hervorruft, entworfen. Er ist geprägt vom Wunsch der Athleten, über dem Menschen zu stehen, von ihrem Willen zum Heroismus. Von Baudelaire ist eine solche Haltung in der Kunst entworfen worden, als eine Erfindung seiner selbst, die keine Suche nach sich selbst ist. Sie stellt für ihn so etwas wie ein Epos in der Moderne dar, "le côté épique de la vie moderne". Ein solches Erfinden war im 19. Jahrhundert Sache der Künstler – *** freilich wussten sie, dass sie ihre Haltung nur in der Ironie möglich war. ***
William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 10:30
English translation:and another
Explanation:
"In the 19th century, this project of 'inventing a self' was pursued exclusively by artists - who realized, however, that such a mission could only succeed if it were carried out in a spirit of irony."

Or...

"In the 19th century, only artists were interested in [re-]inventing themselves in this way - with the crucial difference that they knew such a posture could only be sustained in a spirit of irony."

("I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde)
Selected response from:

PaLa
Germany
Local time: 18:30
Grading comment
Thanks Pala, you really are clairvoyant! In fact, the text is contrasting the self-invention by dandies (ironic) with the self-invention practiced by athletes in "extreme sports", who take themselves deadly seriously.
Thanks to everybody else, too!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +3of course they knew, that their opinion was only possible in irony
Klaus Dorn (X)
4here it goes
ezbounty@aol.co
4whose realization, they certainly knew, was a matter of irony.
Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
4another suggestion
Johanna Timm, PhD
4my answer
Nicole Tata
4and another
PaLa


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
of course they knew, that their opinion was only possible in irony


Explanation:
I think your source sentence is incorrect - either the "sie" has to go or we have to put a comma between "sie" und "ihre", in which case it reads "dass sie, ihre Haltung, nur in der Ironie möglich war", that would then translate as "that it, their opinion, was only possibly in irony"...

Klaus Dorn (X)
Local time: 19:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 1514

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ino66 (X): I agree re: leaving out the "sie" but disagree as to placing a comma between "sie" and "ihre": the sentence would still be ungrammatical.
5 mins

agree  Endre Both: It's simply a "sie" too much.
11 mins

agree  Hermann: def. one sie too much - my translation would be: irony was the only vehicle (way) to carry it off/present themselves.
43 mins

agree  Steffen Walter: "freilich wussten sie, dass ***ihre Haltung nur in der Ironie möglich war." The second "sie" has to be deleted. Your comma option seems ***very*** unlikely.
46 mins
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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
my answer


Explanation:
The sentence, as it stands, is wrong, as Klaus has already pointed out.

either
Dass ihre Haltung nur in der Ironie möglich war
Dass sie ihre Haltung nur in der Ironie (zeigen konnten)

In any event, the meaning is the same. I would suggest something like:

Of course they were fully aware that they could only show their attitudes/opinions through the use of irony

Fully aware that only the use of irony would make their attitudes acceptable (to the public)

hope it helps



Nicole Tata
Local time: 17:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 1326
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
another suggestion


Explanation:
...all the while knowing that their perspective necessarily/inevitably had to be that of an ironic observer

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 09:30
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 7423
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
and another


Explanation:
"In the 19th century, this project of 'inventing a self' was pursued exclusively by artists - who realized, however, that such a mission could only succeed if it were carried out in a spirit of irony."

Or...

"In the 19th century, only artists were interested in [re-]inventing themselves in this way - with the crucial difference that they knew such a posture could only be sustained in a spirit of irony."

("I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde)



    Reference: http://hallbiographies.com/british/128.shtml
PaLa
Germany
Local time: 18:30
PRO pts in pair: 87
Grading comment
Thanks Pala, you really are clairvoyant! In fact, the text is contrasting the self-invention by dandies (ironic) with the self-invention practiced by athletes in "extreme sports", who take themselves deadly seriously.
Thanks to everybody else, too!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
whose realization, they certainly knew, was a matter of irony.


Explanation:
A different turn on "Haltung"

Will leave the commas to you.
(dass ihnen[?] ihre Haltung...]

Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
United States
Local time: 12:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 986
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
here it goes


Explanation:
of course they were fully aware, that their attitude was plausible only within the context of irony

ezbounty@aol.co
Local time: 10:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 287
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