arrampicarsi sugli specchi

English translation: negotiating a hall of mirrors

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:arrampicarsi sugli specchi
English translation:negotiating a hall of mirrors
Entered by: Fiona Grace Peterson

16:19 Jun 17, 2006
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Cinema, Film, TV, Drama / psychology
Italian term or phrase: arrampicarsi sugli specchi
I've always translated this term as "clutching at straws". However for this text I need to keep the reference to the mirror. I've found a couple of hits on Google for "climbing on mirrors" to render this concept - can anyone back this up?

"Antonioni mette al centro del suo cinema l’uomo mostrato e interpretato in una chiave “ freudiana “ liberato da maschere e alibi di comodo. La cinepresa lo mostra “ nudo “ mentre cerca di ***arrampicarsi sugli specchi*** nei quali scopre la propria immagine deformata, ma veritiera. Questa “ deformazione “ è il modo più sincero di mostrare le sue più intime verità."
Fiona Grace Peterson
Italy
Local time: 08:06
negotiating a hall of mirrors
Explanation:
clutching at straws would be the perfect equivalent, but here maybe one might think of a hall of mirrors in which the main character is sort of trapped...
Selected response from:

Antonio Caselli
Italy
Local time: 08:06
Grading comment
I really liked this solution because it managed to express the sense of futility and the deformed image, while keeping the reference to the mirror. Thanks so much, and to everyone who helped out.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +1climbing mirrors
Rosanna Palermo
3 +1climbing over a barbed wire fence
Pnina
4climbing glass walls
Kimmy
4tries to save himself by climbing on the mirrors
Claire Titchmarsh (X)
4negotiating a hall of mirrors
Antonio Caselli
3through the looking glass
Daniela Zambrini
3walking on water
potra


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
climbing mirrors


Explanation:
"run up a wall " climbing mirrors"..many ways of saying it

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Note added at 24 mins (2006-06-17 16:44:26 GMT)
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doing something that is unusual , sometimes futile and requires lots of personal effort

www.adventure16.com/footprints_86.html

Rosanna Palermo
Local time: 03:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  P.L.F.Persio: brava!
3 mins
  -> Thanks sofiablu,,Have a Great week-end!
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
walking on water


Explanation:
Maybe this could work as a metaphor, trying to accomplish an impossible task, while being able to reflect one's image onto the water.

potra
United States
Local time: 03:06
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Kimmy: This to me conveys a great achievement (think BIBLE). Not what the phrase is trying to convey
15 mins
  -> Not necessarily, it could be adapted to indicate someone trying to accomplish an impossible task. Sort of like a modern Icarus.
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
climbing glass walls


Explanation:
I have always used the term "climbing walls" so to add glass could give you the reflection angle you need!
The idea you are trying to convey is climbing a surface and sliding back down as it's slippery and shiny, while at the same time reflecting a distorted image of the protagonist!


Kimmy
Local time: 17:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
through the looking glass


Explanation:
I don't know how you could fit this exactly in your text..something along these lines
"intent at unveiling a distorted albeit truthful image through the looking glass"

in this case I think "arrampicarsi sugli specchi" could just be rendered as striving to do do somthing, being intent at...

then if you need to keep the reference to mirrors, the closest thing I can think of is a looking glass

just an idea... :-)

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Note added at 14 hrs (2006-06-18 07:07:10 GMT)
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looking glass = mirror

you would usually be looking AT and not THROUGH, but this could convey the idea of something impossible (arrampicarsi sugli specchi) which might lead to other discoveries

think of Lewis Carrol's book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Through_the_Looking-Glass

Daniela Zambrini
Italy
Local time: 08:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 day 18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
climbing over a barbed wire fence


Explanation:
Struggling to climb over a barbed wire fence.

"Climbing mirrors" means trying to do something strand or dangerous that seems to be futile. I adding a quotation:
"What are you doing... in Italy we call it "climbing mirrors".
www.aurdaya-fellowship.com/forums/spiritual-discussions/334...

Pnina
Israel
Local time: 09:06
Native speaker of: Native in HebrewHebrew
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  verbis
2 days 6 hrs
  -> Grazie, carissima.
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1 day 21 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
negotiating a hall of mirrors


Explanation:
clutching at straws would be the perfect equivalent, but here maybe one might think of a hall of mirrors in which the main character is sort of trapped...

Antonio Caselli
Italy
Local time: 08:06
Native speaker of: Italian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
I really liked this solution because it managed to express the sense of futility and the deformed image, while keeping the reference to the mirror. Thanks so much, and to everyone who helped out.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 21 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
tries to save himself by climbing on the mirrors


Explanation:
Since the Italian has a double meaning here which is lost in English I think you need more than just climbing on mirrors. The other meaning of arrampicarsi sugli specchi is, trying to justify your existence, save your skin. My interpretation of this excerpt is that the man is stripped of all his pretences and has nowhere left to hide.

Claire Titchmarsh (X)
Local time: 08:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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