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About a bow


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Editing the translation of a short story, and I'm coming across something I suspect the translator didn't translate correctly, but that I don't really understand either.

 

Young stewardess 章涵 is recruited by older man 邱先生 into a smuggling business that she doesn't understand the half of, but it's quite trilling and also confusing for her.

每次离开邱先生、离开长水机场的章涵,她的内部都像是一张被拉得溜圆但没有射出去的弓。这把膨胀但空虚的弓随即上了飞机,像行李一样被压扁了塞进小行李箱,和那两双样品鞋挤在一起,休眠、与世隔绝了。她的外部还是正常的,一抹脸子就进入了国标ISO9002式微笑:先生请打开遮光板,女士这是您要的毛毯。巴啦巴啦的肉质机器人。直到飞机降落到太平机场、进入华青的SUV,进入到那间封闭的郊区公寓,打开行李,赤裸的脚穿上细高的鞋——她内部的那具弓又重新丰满了、甚至带有更多被压抑被增值的积蓄。

 

Bolding the parts that puzzle me most. First line: her feelings are like a bow that is stretched but not shot, am I reading that correctly? The translator has 'a bow without an arrow', but I don't see an arrow in this line.

 

Last line: the bow inside her is 丰满 once again, it even has more repressed, increased savings inside it??? I don't understand this line at all. Googling for 弓 丰满 did not help me. The translator has 'then there was an arrow on the bow inside her again, then she could derive that special sense of importance that she had repressed inside her for so long', which I don't think is correct. (My bad English translation of the original Dutch translation.)

 

Can anyone help me make sense especially of the last sentence? Thanks in advance!

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Does seem a very strained metaphor (ho ho!). 

The 溜圆 is more shape than fullness I think, so first bit says her innards/inner self is like a bow pulled so taut it's fully round/bent, then all the yada yada about the plane and her outer appearance, then your second bold which really does seem odd - now the bow felt full again, perhaps even with a greater store of value accumulated through suppression.

I think your translator has introduced the arrow as that does seem to be the thing that would fill the emptiness mentioned after the first bold section, but you could probably avoid it. Wondered if catapult might make it slightly less odd in English but don't think so.

Would be interested to know if there's another way of seeing it I'm missing entirely!

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It's from a collection of short stories called "荷尔蒙夜谈" by 鲁敏. I haven't read it but some commentaries. 弓 in this story is a metaphor for 章涵's sexual desire, and the process of raising her sexual desire is similar to that of pulling a bow's drawstring back, or something shifting from 瘪 to 丰满.

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Of course I can't be sure without having read the whole story, but based on the information given I would guess that 章涵 is nervous/excited (tense like a drawn bow) when she parts with 邱先生, but without a way to vent or direct that nervous energy (thus the 虛空, which otherwise would be filled with an arrow); then when she gets on the plane, she temporarily puts it away, either because she's focused on being a professional or because the police can't come and arrest her while they're in the air; then when she arrives, the tension comes back, increased by having been temporarily suppressed. 积蓄 is referring to stored/accumulated energy.

 

tl;dr the bow is about tension; both the arrow and the "sense of importance" seems in the last sentence of the translation seem wrong.

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