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Please, could you help me translating some sentences from a novel ?


May 25, 2015
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Hello everyone, this is my first thread. Usually i don't like bothering people with requests but this time i really need some help, please bear with me. I'm translating a novel by Yoko Ogawa called the tears-seller and while things are going slowly yet smoothly i kind of got stuck with some sentences. First let me say i am not an english native so please bear with me; should you find some errors in my english writing please don't hesitate to correct them.
Back in topic, i'll add some background to help you understand some more about the story. The novel is about a girl who works as a "tears-seller". That is exactly what the term's implying: she sells her tears, mainly to musicians. When her tears are rubbed on a musical instrument's surface, its tone color gets better. At some time in her life she joins a human body orchestra (that is a group which is made up of people who play music by using their human body parts) and falls in love with one of them whom she names "Joints Castanets", after the way he gets his body to play music, that is making all his joints squeak by twisting and turning them in the most weird ways. Now it comes the difficul part and that's what the sentence is about. He tells her that his body joints can produce those weird sounds by means of his lymph fluid (リンパ液). The phrase between brackets is just for reference so you can hopefully grasp the whole meaning of the sentence. Furthermore for those of you who may have some time to spare i will attach the whole novel in pdf format. Don't worry i won't ask you to read it from the beginning to the end (maybe some of you can find it a stimulating reading),but just to allow you to have a look at it just in case my hints aren't still enough to grasp the whole context of the phrase. Anyway if you can get to a satisfying translation without it so much the better. The indicted phrase is on page 11 ( in previous pages you can find some useful hint if you'd need). Then back to our phrase:

( バイオリンやピアノが技巧を凝らして弦をこすり、鍵盤をたたき、これでもか、と華麗な音をまき散らしているのに比べ、) 関節カスタネットは身体の奥にひっそりと隠れたまま姿さえ見せず、ほんのわずか、そう、涙が溜まったほどのわずかなリンパ液にさざ波を起こしているだけなのです。

As i said the phrase between brackets is just for reference and it just makes a comparison between different instruments (violin and piano) and Joint castanets ( i retain this form because it sounds like a real name e.g. John Castanets). It roughly goes like this (just to get the gist of it, not a literal translation nor literary so please elaborate):
"関節カスタネットは身体の奥にひっそりと隠れたまま姿さえ見せず = could this just be rendered as "he just didn't needed to show his innermost (hidden) part" ?? Can "sugata" mean interior appearance ?? Or it is just saying that he's just hiding himself (i don't think so)
ほんのわずか = That is too simple but i don't know how it can fit with the rest "a bit of what??"
そう、涙が溜まったほどのわずかなリンパ液にさざ波を起こしているだけなのです。 = that's the hardest part; could it be that she gets to the point of crying and that her tears produce a kind of ripple in a small quantity of his lymph (that's bit convoluted, how do you render it in a literary way??)

Sorry for the bothering guys, but please don't desert me.
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Feb 22, 2008
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I deleted the link of the PDF file due to the copyright issue. Thanks for your understanding.

関節カスタネット doesn't refer to the person there. It's musical instruments / the joint(s) as castanets. Similarly, 涙 doesn't refer to her tears there. It's tear drops in general.

涙が溜まったほどのわずか is a paraphrase of ほんのわずか.