Results 1 to 10 of 10
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #1

    idiom?

    Hello,
    could someone please explain to me the following sentence?

    The friend, who is but the fane of fortune, fawns and grovels at the feet of wealth.

    Namely, what does the fane of fortune mean in this context because a person can't be a temple, obviously.
    thank you

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanveen View Post
    Hello,
    could someone please explain to me the following sentence?

    The friend, who is but the fane of fortune, fawns and grovels at the feet of wealth.

    Namely, what does the fane of fortune mean in this context because a person can't be a temple, obviously.
    thank you
    A person can be a temple. "The body is the temple of the soul".
    And here's another opinion:
    1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
    (Not that I'd trust St Paul as an authority on English usage).

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #3

    Re: idiom?

    I don't think it works here because if this be so, the phrase should be interpreted like this: "the friend, who is only a temple of fortune, etc". I don't get the sense of this clause, sorry, because it just doesn't sound logically correct to me. the author contrasts hypocrisy and sincerity, why then would he call a friend a temple of fortune emphasising the solitariness of this definition by this "but"?. And I don't understand the use of the definite article, to be honest, perhaps because the whole sentence is obscure to me.
    So I would be very thankful to you if you could make it clearer to me.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #4

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanveen View Post
    I don't think it works here because if this be so, the phrase should be interpreted like this: "the friend, who is only a temple of fortune, etc". I don't get the sense of this clause, sorry, because it just doesn't sound logically correct to me. the author contrasts hypocrisy and sincerity, why then would he call a friend a temple of fortune emphasising the solitariness of this definition by this "but"?. And I don't understand the use of the definite article, to be honest, perhaps because the whole sentence is obscure to me.
    So I would be very thankful to you if you could make it clearer to me.
    I don't understand it either, sorry. I was only pointing out that it isn't obvious that a person can't be a temple.
    Where did you find the sentence?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #5

    Re: idiom?

    In one of James Joyce's articles, so there is no doubt it means something.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #6

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I don't understand it either, sorry. I was only pointing out that it isn't obvious that a person can't be a temple.
    Where did you find the sentence?
    by the way, I though may be it was a misprint and it should be "a vane of fortune" implying that he fully relies on it without acting on his own? because the term fane of fortune actually exists and means, ostensibly, a real pagan temple, so at first I suspected a cultural allusion or something, but it would have been highlighted in the annotation, plus joyce wrote the essay when he was very young, so I don't know.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #7

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanveen View Post
    by the way, I though may be it was a misprint and it should be "a vane of fortune" implying that he fully relies on it without acting on his own? because the term fane of fortune actually exists and means, ostensibly, a real pagan temple, so at first I suspected a cultural allusion or something, but it would have been highlighted in the annotation, plus joyce wrote the essay when he was very young, so I don't know.
    If "fane of fortune" is a real term meaning a pagan temple, there's no need to assume it is a misprint for 'vane'.
    If the person "fawns and grovels at the feet of wealth", he worships money. This makes him a pagan by virtue of having a false god. There is a connection there. But if we're assuming that the quotation might not be right, it's probably not worth trying to interpret it any further.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #8

    Re: idiom?

    The problem is that I need to translate this article into my tongue, and i don't know how to conquer this particular peculiarity of Joyce's imagery, if we agree that the pagan interpretation is correct. The editors of the book didn't find it useful to interpret the image, so I concluded it should be perfectly clear to a native speaker what this expression means.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #9

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanveen View Post
    The problem is that I need to translate this article into my tongue, and i don't know how to conquer this particular peculiarity of Joyce's imagery, if we agree that the pagan interpretation is correct. The editors of the book didn't find it useful to interpret the image, so I concluded it should be perfectly clear to a native speaker what this expression means.
    I think that's the wrong conclusion. Perhaps the editors of the book didn't understand it either.
    It's certainly not immediately and perfectly clear to this native speaker. Is the whole article available online?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • Aaland

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28
    #10

    Re: idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I think that's the wrong conclusion. Perhaps the editors of the book didn't understand it either.
    It's certainly not immediately and perfectly clear to this native speaker. Is the whole article available online?
    I don't know, I couldn't find it, but it's entitled "Trust not appearances", it's one of his earliest works, if you are interested.

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] The meaning of an idiom or is it not an idiom?
    By purpleblossom in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2010, 17:50
  2. [Idiom] idiom
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2008, 03:35
  3. Idiom?
    By free_seagull in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31-Jul-2007, 15:41
  4. Re:Idiom
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Jul-2007, 06:51
  5. REPLY TO THIS IDIOM(i want to know the idiom)
    By MOgnaraj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2006, 15:37

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •