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More help with German, please
#1  AlexBell 12-23-2017, 11:21 PM
I'm preparing A Sportsman's Sketches by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Constance Garnett, for the MR library and have come across this poem or saying by Schiller:

Gefährlich ist's den Leu zu wecken

Und schrecklich ist des Tigers Zahn,

Doch das schrecklichste der Schrecken

Das ist der Mensch in seinem Wahn!


The next line in the text is:

He didn't mean that, I can assure you; he meant to say: 'Das ist ein' circle 'in der Stadt Moskau!'

Can anyone translate it for me please? Is the main text part of a poem? Should any of the lines be indented? Do I have the diacritics right?
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#2  Doitsu 12-24-2017, 02:20 AM
It's a quote from Schiller's well-known poem Das Lied von der Glocke (= Song of the Bell).
(The verse refers to the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution.)

The 1917 Margarete Münsterberg translation is:

A lion wakened is ferocious,
Destructive is the tiger’s bite;
But of all horrors most atrocious
Is man at his own madness’ height.

Quote AlexBell
He didn't mean that, I can assure you; he meant to say: 'Das ist ein' circle 'in der Stadt Moskau!'
The line is also in German in the Russian original:

Quote
Das ist ein «кружок»... in der Stadt Moskau!
I.e., the translator kept the German text and only translated кружок (=circle as in a group of persons sharing a common interest). The translation of the German text is: That's a "circle" in the city of Moscow.
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#3  AlexBell 12-24-2017, 06:09 AM
Thanks again.
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