Saturday, June 25, 2011

Swimming laps in the lake; everything-proof.

Sometimes I come across parts in this book where I am not sure whether the problem is that I just don't get it, or whether it's actually an editing oversight... For example, there's a part where Anouk, the protagonist's mother, sends a private eye after Philippe, her husband, to find out who his mistress is. The guy reports back to her, bringing news of what the mistress likes to eat for breakfast, what she plants in her front yard, that elle nage trente-quatre longeurs au crawl le samedi matin dans le lac Creux, and that she loves Philippe. That's all fine and good, but is she really swimming back and forth across the lake 34 times? Or is this a bit of a logistical error? I know that there are such things as built-in pools in natural settings, like this:
This one is close to Sydney, Australia, where you can swim laps right in the ocean. But somehow I doubt that there would be this kind of set-up in middle-of-nowhere Lac Creux, Quebec. Or she could be swimming the equivalent of 34 lengths of a 25-meter pool, which would be 850 meters... I get the feeling that this 34-length thing was added to provide detail, adding a sense of the banality of life as a married man's lover. But the two details (the lake and the number of lengths) just don't jive for me. Can anyone enlighten me?

Another question: what does  "à l'épreuve de tout" mean? I know that:
à l'épreuve du feu             =       fireproof
à l'épreuve des balles       =        bulletproof
So is the above expression "everything-proof"? and how would that be rendered idiomatically? "Ready for anything"? Any better ideas? Here's the context. Émile, the protagonist, has recently been invited to go en voyage with Liam, meaning that her main goal, to get the heck out of dodge, is soon going to be met. That night, her friend proposes that they go on a little vigilante-justice adventure, which may end up being dangerous. But Émile's like, "I don't really want to go, but I'll do it anyways... Finally, I'm going to Tangier. Je suis donc à l'épreuve de tout."

No comments:

Post a Comment