French: Courcelle Boethius book

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, but she's not rural. Well, she was at some point, long before she became a grandmother, but she doesn't speak a particularly rural variety of French, as far as I know.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Here's a short one:

Quiconque, dit Proclus, par l'intelligence des oeuvres du Père, devient vénérable, échappe à l'aile fatale du sort.

Is this some idiomatic French expression? I'm unsure what he means by "aile" here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Is this some idiomatic French expression?
If it is, I'm not aware of it.
I'm unsure what he means by "aile" here.
Just a metaphor depicting fate as a huge, frightful bird of prey that will strike you down with or smother you under its wing or something like that. :D I guess it could be some mythological, religious, or other reference that I'm not familiar with. Maybe Google will turn up something.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Basically, though, it just means that such a person will escape fate's control.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Just a metaphor depicting fate as a huge, frightful bird of prey that will strike you down with or smother you under its wing or something like that. :D I guess it could be some mythological, religious, or other reference that I'm not familiar with. Maybe Google will turn up something.
Apparently it's from some sort of ancient Chaldean or Orphic oracle, so I suppose the strangeness is to be expected; I just wanted to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding the French.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Here's another thing:

L'identification du Bien avec le Démiurge...se retrouve aussi dans le commentaire de Proclus, où Boèce a pu en puiser l'idée.

Is en referring to the Proclus commentary? It seems redundant with ou.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
So the entire sentence would translate as "The identification of the Good with the Demiurge is also found in the commentary of Proclus, where Boethius was able to take the idea from it"? That still sounds strange.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Or, wait, "the idea of it"? That sounds less odd.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Another little thing:

Reste à savoir si le souverain Bien, ainsi défini, existe.

Shouldn't it be "Il reste à savoir..."?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's OK to omit il in that expression. I think it's even more common that way, though it doesn't sound wrong to me with il either.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Are there other expressions like that (where one can omit il), or is that the only one?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Another small thing:

Le rapprochement des deux passages n'en reste pas moins hasardeux...

I don't understand what function en is playing here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm sure there are others; let me think... There's mieux vaut and peu (m', t'...) importe. In these it would even be wrong to add il, though with a different word order, il vaut mieux and il (m', t'...) importe peu, il is pretty much compulsory, except in the former in colloquial speech, where you can say vaut mieux. Similarly, the il of il faut can be dropped in colloquial speech.

There must be more that I just don't have in mind right now.
 
Last edited:

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't understand what function en is playing here.
It's roughly "because of it". As in, just because such and such is the case doesn't make the comparison any less hazardous.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
It's roughly "because of it". As in, just because such and such is the case doesn't make the comparison any less hazardous.
Thanks; en is such a confusing word (yes, I know I've complained about it before...) ;)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It has many functions.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It might help to keep the basic meaning of its ancestor inde in mind and see it as conveying an idea of a source or origin or starting point but pretty much in the broadest way possible: whether a literal place from which a motion is made as in Le magasin ? J'en viens; or a partitive kind of source as in Voilà des pommes ! Prends-en une (= take one of them = take one from the whole bunch); or the source of a fact, i.e. a cause, like in your sentence above.
 
Top