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In Gabriel García Marquez's "Memorias de mis putas tristes", the following sentence is unknown in meaning to me, even the English translation, which I do not understand:

Spanish: Rosa Cabarcas, cómo no, estaba más allá de todo.

English translation (Grossman): Rosa Cabarcas, of course, was above everything.

Does "más allá de todo" convey a certain idiomatic meaning in Spanish or is it just understood as is?

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  • No, I think your translation is just fine and the meaning is basically the same.
    – Gorpik
    Jun 30 '16 at 7:06
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Through Google Books I could find the book and read this sentence in its context. I am copying here a little excerpt for the benefit of anyone reading this:

Fui el perdedor absoluto en una sola jugada: me quedé sin Delgadina, sin Rosa Cabarcas y sin mis últimos ahorros. Sin embargo, oí el timbre del teléfono una vez, dos veces, tres, y por fin ella: ¿A ver? No me salió la voz. Colgué. Me eché en la hamaca, tratando de serenarme con la lírica ascética de Satie, y sudé tanto que el lienzo quedó empapado. Hasta el día siguiente no tuve el valor de llamar.

- Bueno, mujer -dije con voz firme-. Hoy sí.

Rosa Cabarcas, cómo no, estaba más allá de todo. Ay, mi sabio triste, suspiró con su ánimo invencible, te pierdes dos meses y sólo vuelves para pedir ilusiones. Me contó que no había visto a Delgadina desde hacía más de un mes (...)

From what I see, here "estaba más allá de todo" has the meaning that this woman has a deeper understanding of the situation than the person telling the story.

To my understanding, the main character was back then a young man who had some pretensions towards Delgadina; however, his hesitations made it impossible for him to get any further. And Rosa Cabarcas, the kind-of-celestina (matchmaker) is perfectly conscious of the situation and addresses him with a mix of condescension and affection.

I have found some references of the sentence estar más allá de todo in some religious books, referring God as being beyond everything. So the sentence in terms of construction can be taken from there.

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Your translation seems perfect to me. In fact, another way of saying the same is estar por encima de todo, which is the literal translation of your English version. This expression is included in the DRAE:

por encima de todo

  1. loc. adv. A pesar de cualquier obstáculo.

The meaning could be that no opinion from others, no laws, no events and no obstacles can affect you (or your decisions) in any way.

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