Arnon Grunberg


The monsters

The passé simple kills me.
In a novel by John Fowles, The Magus, I found this quotation by De Sade:

'Irrités à ce premier crime, les monstres ne s'en tinrent pas là; ils l'étendirent ensuite nue, à plat ventre sur une grande table, ils allumèrent des cierges, ils placèrent l'image de notre saveur à sa tête et osèrent consommer sur les reins de cette malheureuse le plus redoutable de nos mystères.'

My translation is:

'Irritated by this first crime, the monsters didn't stand by there, they turned her naked, on a plate in the stomach (??) on a huge table, they turned on the candles, they (???) the images of our wisdom inside outside, and they dared to consume complete with kidneys this unfortunate and most formidable of our mysteries.'

No need to say that this translation makes me so sad. How many more years of French lessons do I have to take before I can read De Sade in French?