Does the underlined sentence mean "the act of using phrases in language is similar to the act of following a path in walking"?

Scan of described text

(Sound and Image in Western Art By Yael Kaduri)

  • I think the whole thing is trying to make a distinction between 'following' a path and 'making' your own path from the kits of parts of paths available to you. In the same way that you put together a phrase from the set of words available to you. – Spagirl Aug 1 '16 at 12:16
  • Look up "composing". You do not understand what it means. – Hot Licks Aug 1 '16 at 12:21
  • I know I say this on every one of your questions, but, again, his is just artcrit wordplay. It's not straightforward because the author does not want it to be straightforward. He wants to force you into an act of interpretation, and so forced you are: you'll have to come up with your own ideas for the parallels between walking a path and turning a phrase. Stop trying to find plain meaning in such passages. No one put any in for you to get out. – Dan Bron Aug 1 '16 at 12:47
  • Also, 'turning a phrase', isn't the same as 'using a phrase'. It denotes that you have crafted the phrase, creating something that did not exist before, and possibly has origins as a metaphor relating to turning wood on a lathe. The writer is talking about people constructing walks from elements of routes and phrases from words. Both are about creation, rather than use alone. – Spagirl Aug 1 '16 at 12:50

The text is obviously translated from French. In French, tourner has for first meaning to shape with a potter's wheel, and has a figurative meaning that is not preserved in English translations:

  1. Au fig. [Le compl. désigne des mots, un propos, un écrit] Arranger, présenter avec un certain style, disposer d'une manière adéquate au but recherché. Savoir tourner un compliment, les mots d'un billet, un vers; tourner une lettre dans le beau style.

(Trésor de la Langue Française)

That is, you can shape with style a beautiful sentence.

The word tourner is also employed for the way a stroller walks about, and the way and detours (one of the few words derived from French tour that keeps its exact meaning in English) they have taken can also, according to the author, express a personal style.

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