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Reading the fourth volume of 白銀のソードブレイカー I found again this structure, and I'm not sure what does it mean:

手元にある巻物や古文書をこれでもかと広げ、書かれている文字を食い入るように読む

On Jisho I found something similar as これでもかと言うほど, I found this answer where it's said to mean something on the line of "Isn't this enough?", and this answer on HiNative seems to concur.

This thread on WordReference is interesting because it uses this form, but with a verb different from 言う(ほど) after it, and there too it's said これでもか=いやというほど; here the と is missing, but I guess that when used it just implies an unwritten 言う(ほど).

Jisho gives "as if it weren't already enough" as meaning, which doesn't really seem to fit in the sentence, but reading これでもかと(言うほど) as いやというほど I'd understand it as something like "To the point where it's unpleasant", meaning there is too much of something (or someone did too much of something); under this assumption I'd read the initial sentence as something like "She had far too many scrolls and old books opened before her, and she was intently reading what whas written on them", これでもかと being an intensifier stressing that she had a lot of reading material before her, so many it'd be almost impossible to read them all or anyway too many for the matter at hand.

Did I understand well this construction?

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Practically you can interpret これでもかと as a lot, many, much. Although there may be some things lost in translation, she had a(n awful) lot of scrolls and ancient books at hand, and... is fine.

There is a connotation of excess, but literally, as you mentioned in the question, it is これでもかと(言わんばかりに)=as if saying 'isn't this enough? (then I do more)'.

Accordingly, it sounds like doing the thing further and further; in this case, un-rolling scrolls one after another to the point where it looks too many from the viewer's perspective (but not from the doer's - I feel this is why she had too many scrolls does not sound completely right to me. The English version seems to blur from whose perspective it is too many.)


いやというほど more commonly appears with verbs meaning some experience/sensation than action. E.g., いやというほど食べた/飲んだ etc.

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I think これでもか not equals いやというほど. As you said これでもか is from "Isn't this enough?" and it's neutral or a little bit positive expression. And いやというほど is negative expression and is used in the situation subject persion don't want to see it.

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  • What does これでもかと means in the sentence in question?
    – Mauro
    Oct 30, 2022 at 16:17
  • Simply たくさんの in this sentence. 彼が自分自身に「これで十分か?」と問いかけるくらい(実際に言ったわけではない)にたくさんの巻物や古文書を広げたという意味です。
    – hiroki
    Oct 31, 2022 at 1:24

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