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    • Join Date: Apr 2007
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    #1

    gratuitous treachery

    Again from Joseph Conrad's The Tale

    What is the meaning of the word gratuitous treachery below? (And, if you have time, also the meaning of a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake)


    ‘What he really expected to find there was the atmosphere, the atmosphere of gratuitous treachery, which in his view nothing could excuse; for he thought that even a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake could not excuse that.


    Does it mean treachery without any risk of being caught?

    And what about the second phrase, a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake ... I haven't got a clue about this one - for its own sake - hmm.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: gratuitous treachery

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    Again from Joseph Conrad's The Tale

    What is the meaning of the word gratuitous treachery below? (And, if you have time, also the meaning of a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake)


    ‘What he really expected to find there was the atmosphere, the atmosphere of gratuitous treachery, which in his view nothing could excuse; for he thought that even a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake could not excuse that.


    Does it mean treachery without any risk of being caught? No - uncalled for treachery, treachery that was not expected

    And what about the second phrase, a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake ... I haven't got a clue about this one - for its own sake - hmm. Oh, I do so love Conrad's phraseology! I think it means that the protagonists are criminal in their activities.
    ..


    • Join Date: Apr 2007
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    #3

    Re: gratuitous treachery

    Well, Anglika. I did love his phraseology as well, i.e. until I started my translation. That which works so well in English, is not as straightforward when translated.

    Uncalled for treachery fits the context very well. About the second one, I see your point, and agree. However, who has a passion of unrighteousness for its own sake, i.e. a passion for crime for its own sake? But then again, its being stated that not even something as base as that could excuse an uncalled for treachery, so ...


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: gratuitous treachery

    I think you have it!

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