What is "encore" adding to the following passage? (The extract comes close to the beginning of a book review. There is nothing earlier in the review that pertains to the judgement made.)

… les textes regroupés dans ce second volume présentent des intérêts divers, le premier d’entre eux, et même le deuxième … étant encore bien trop emprunts à mon gout de termes utilisés par une grille d’analyse marxiste.

My guess is that it is intensifying the intensifier bien. If so, can anyone point to some material that discusses multiple intensifiers. Thank you.

[Edit] It seems as though I should have provided more context in my original post. After commending the publisher, the reviewer begins as follows:

Comme il en allait avec le premier recueil d'études littéraires de W. G. Sebald, les textes regroupés dans ce second volume présentent des intérêts divers, le premier d'entre eux, et même le deuxième à vrai dire, consacrés respectivement à Charles Sealsfield et à différentes figurations littéraires du ghetto, étant encore bien trop emprunts à mon goût de termes utilisés par une grille d'analyse marxiste.

(The full text can be seen by following the link provided by Papa Poule.)

  • Not sure... Can also mean encore de nos jours.
    – jcm69
    Mar 11, 2018 at 19:56
  • Can you write what comes right before? It could mean "even" in the sense of "even more so" (amplifier) or "still" (common meaning). Mar 11, 2018 at 20:24
  • As a French speaker, I understand this use to mark a limit, with an opinion that it's not correct. The marxist ideas were used too much up to the second text, implicitly meaning the next texts do not have this problem. Mar 12, 2018 at 0:05
  • @user99572 Additional context now provided
    – justerman
    Mar 13, 2018 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


I agree with N. Labrahmi that "encore" = "still" here, but I think that it is possible that the reviewer could be referring, not to the first two texts under review, but all the way back to W. G. Sebald’s first collection of essays (La description du malheur) to express his/her opinion that the collection currently being reviewed (Amère patrie) unnecessarily [still] contains essays that rely too heavily on Marxist concepts.

It’s interesting, perhaps even relevant, to note that whereas La description du malheur was published in 1985 (just as Mikhail Gorbachev began hinting in May of that year at the need to implement Glasnost and Perestroika in earnest and four years before the demolition of the Berlin Wall and ensuing German reunification), Amère patrie was published in 1991 (two years after the Wall’s fall and very near the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December of that year).
This could mean that “encore=still” was used here, not necessarily to express that the reviewer was personally against [reading about] communism or Marxist concepts in general, but rather to express, in light of what had transpired in the Soviet Bloc between 1985 and 1991, that “still” including [too many] essays from the Marxist point of view in a 1991 collection, was perhaps questionable and/or distracting.

(see the entire review from juanasenio.com for the respective dates of publication of the two essay collections and for the basis of my interpretation of what “encore” might mean in this case)

  • 1
    Thanks for doing some research on my behalf. The interpretation, that Sebald's second collection shares the characteristics of his first, seems convincing. Your reflection on the intervening changes in the standing of Marxism was interesting too.
    – justerman
    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:18

Very simply, encore has here the common meaning of still. Encore can have this particular usage where it shows that although a certain progress has been made on a particular concept, it is still not enough to be satisfactory.

(In the quoted example: Although these texts present diverse interests, they are still too influenced by marxist concepts)


Having seen the context provided by OP, I would rephrase the quoted example like the following: Although the second volume texts present diverse interests, the first and even the second ones are still too influenced by the marxist terminology.

  • Thanks for responding. So, having seen the additional context that I've provided, would you assume that the comparison is likely to be with the previous volume of essays?
    – justerman
    Mar 13, 2018 at 10:56
  • 1
    You're welcome. Having seen the context, I think the comparison resides on the level of the second volume of essays, between the first and second text of it one one hand, which are still too influenced by the Marxist terminology, and the other texts of the same second volume on the other hand. I have edited the suggested answer accordingly. Mar 13, 2018 at 12:31

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