edited tags; edited title
Stéphane Gimenez
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what What did Proust mean by fanfaronne?

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what did Proust mean by fanfaronne?

I've been reading Proust, in French and in the two translations of Moncrieff and Grieve (yes, the volume is "A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs"). I found a phrase which I feel both translators found difficult: "une timidité honteuse et fanfaronne".

I can't bring to mind an image of either "blustering timidity" (Moncrieff) or "bare-face bashfulness" (Grieve), and I wonder if anyone could suggest an improvement.

Here's a longer extract:

au grand amusement des autres jeunes filles, surtout de deux yeux verts dans une figure poupine qui exprimèrent pour cet acte une admiration et une gaieté où je crus discerner un peu de timidité, d'une timidité honteuse et fanfaronne, qui n'existait pas chez les autres

Here's Moncrieff's translation:

I seemed to discern a trace of timidity, a shamefaced and blustering timidity

And here's Grieve's

a pair of green eyes in a chubby face full of admiration, merriment and possibly also some slight shyness, or rather a sort of bare-faced bashfulness