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    #1

    Smile riding out his[our] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être

    Hello again. Would you please explain the underlined part?
    I understand the writer thinks the french lone rider is her alter ego.
    I don't know exactly what the underlined part means in the context below. Thank you.

    ----from Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift
    (The writer saw a lone rider, zooms up and down the rue de Couesnon, riding his motorbike into the empty night. And she says "I know the feeling.)
    Dragging Main, we called it in 1973, up and down Virginia Street, under the arch with the town motto: Reno: The Biggest Little City in the World, a little city so full of so many Lone Riders.
    My husband was more of an Easy Rider back then, in the early '70s, in New Orleans on his Honda 450cc, and to hear him tell it, Saturday nights were full of pretty girls and parties in the French Quarter.
    What would he knew about being this French kid, my Norman alter ego, dragging his heart up and down his lonely street, riding out his[our] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être.

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    #2

    Re: riding out his[our] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être

    Do you know what the French term "raison d'etre" means?

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: riding out his[our] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle2 View Post
    Hello again. Would you please explain the underlined part?
    I understand the writer thinks the French lone rider is her alter ego.
    I don't know exactly what the underlined part means in the context below. Thank you.

    ----from Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift
    (The writer saw a lone rider zooming up and down the rue de Couesnon, riding his motorbike into the empty night. And she says "I know the feeling.")
    Dragging Main, we called it in 1973, up and down Virginia Street, under the arch with the town motto: Reno: The Biggest Little City in the World, a little city so full of so many Lone Riders.
    My husband was more of an Easy Rider back then, in the early '70s, in New Orleans on his Honda 450cc, and to hear him tell it, Saturday nights were full of pretty girls and parties in the French Quarter.
    What would he know about being this French kid, my Norman alter ego, dragging his heart up and down his lonely street, riding out his [space] [our] [Why do you have [our] there? Is it part of the text?] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être?
    The lone rider (she calls them Lone Riders) is not her alter ego. It's a kid she sees on a motorcycle.

    Your underlined text is word play:

    - The phrase "once-and-future" became popularized by a book called The Once and Future King.
    - "Future perfect" is a play on tenses implying that her husband's life [or their life] has been wonderful.
    - A "raison d'être" is a reason to exist, a purpose in life.

    She means that her husband was meant to travel. [Or that he and she were meant to travel together. Again, I don't get the brackets.]

    You might already know this, but in case you don't:

    - "Easy Rider" is the name of an American movie about a pair of outlaw bikers.
    - The French Quarter is a section of New Orleans.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #4

    Re: riding out his[our] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être

    What would he know about being this French kid, my Norman alter ego, dragging his heart up and down his lonely street, riding out his [space] [our] [Why do you have [our] there? Is it part of the text?] once-and-future-perfect raison d'être?

    -> Thank you very much. Yes, [our] is part of the text. I think here [our] means [the French kid and the writer herself]. Because she thinks the French kid is her alter ego.

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