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    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 2

    translation problem

    I am translating Treasure Island and have come across a sentence/possible idiom I don't quite know how to translate. I can see from previous translations that the translators have disagreed hugely - so no help there. The sentence in question is: There is no Black Dog here, except what you may have on your own back. What does the latter part of this sentence mean? I look forward to hearing from you - and can I ask again, if something crops up? The dictionaries are not well suited to Stevensons language.
    Thank you.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: translation problem

    I haven't read Treasure Island (shame on me!), but Black Dog, of course, is the name of one of the characters. The speaker is saying Black Dog himself isn't here, but there may be a metaphorical black dog that the other person is carrying around. This would be some dark side to the person, some negative characteristic.

    Winston Churchill suffered from depression, and this he called his "black dog", perhaps alluding to the Stevenson quote. Churchill's black dog was also referred to by the band The Manic Street Preachers, in Black Dog on my Shoulder, which is on their album This Is My Truth Now Tell Me Yours.

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 2

    Re: translation problem

    Thanks a lot! That absolutely answers my question - brilliant!

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