NABOKV-L post 0022063, Tue, 4 Oct 2011 19:24:04 +0100

Re: Antidulcinist
Having just been declared an official Type 2 Diabetic, I was intrigued by
these references to sweets (candies) and anti-dulcinism.

Again we see a semantic spread that can impact different readers according
to their linguistic backgrounds. Both dulce and dolce are familiar to most
educated Anglophones via Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (Horace and
Wilfred Owen), La Dolce Vita (Fellini), and Dolce far niente (borrowed
idiom: the joy of idleness). Here the Latin root is dulcis = pleasant/cool,
with not a candy-wrapper in sight. The extension of dulcis to a sweet sugary
taste, the consumerist epitome of pleasantness and instant gob-comfort, is
rather unfortunate, especially for us diabetics. For us, sweet is now sour,
unless it¹s artificial.

The remarkable irony is that the Romans had a word for sugar that proved to
prophetic ... Drum-roll ...SACCHARON!

English is particularly rich in offering ways of nouning adjectives and
other non-noun categories. Our eight parts of speech can be juggled in
wondrous ways, witness the verb to noun!

VN had a wide choice going from adjective (sweet=dulce) to noun
(sweetness-dulc????). Any of ­dom, -ness, -ity, -ment, -ence, -ance, -hood,
-itude, etc., readily work semantically, however unfamiliar and ugly some of
these suffixed nouns may strike the unforgiving prescriptionist. It¹s
largely a quirk of fate that certain suffix combinations catch on, while
others fade and die.
Dulcitude is a pleasant choice, borrowing the natural Latin noun-suffix,
-itudo, as found in multitudo. I can hark back to the majesty of the King
James Version: more impressive having Jesus preach to the multitudes than to
mere mobs and crowds.

Stan Kelly-Bootle.

On 04/10/2011 09:05, "jansymello" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

> A. Sklyarenko: "...the famous writer Pyotr Nikolaevich...says that he is an
> antidulcinist, a person who doesn't like sweets ("The Event," Act Two).
> According to A. Babikov..."antidulcinist" hints at Dolce stil novo (the
> literary movement of the 13th century in Italy) and at Eugene Onegin ('Here
> was, to epigrams addicted / a gentleman cross with everything: / with the
> too-sweet tea of the hostess')..."
> JM: In Nabokov's EO, ch.6,XLIV, lines 5-6, we read: "Dreams, dreams! Where is
> your dulcitude?/ Where is (its stock rhyme) juventude?" and he dwells on his
> choice of the word "dulcitude" to translate "sweetness" (Pushkin's sládost'),
> to add an archaic touch to his translation, before he'll pair it with
> "juventude" (mládost').
> Nabokov recognizes that "the analogy is strained"*. Perhaps he is partially
> critical of his indulgence in verbal sweets! Would this make of him a
> stylistic "antidulcinist," too?
> ..............................................................................
> ....................................
> *"The noun mólodost' ('youth,' as a state or a period) has an archaic form,
> mládost', no longer in use even in poetry[...] there are passages where
> mladost' should be rendered by 'youthhood' or by an even more obsolete word.
> Thus, when ...Pushkin laments the passing of youth and mentions a twinning rof
> rhyme words that in our times would not come about, one twin being dead -
> Mecht,mecht! gde vásha sládost'?/ Gde, véchnaya h ney rífma, "mládost' "? -
> this translator has not been able to resit the temptation of Dreams, dreams!
> Where is your dulcitude?/ Where is (its stock rhyme) juventude?" It may be
> argued that in no age has dulcitude-juventude cropped up commonly in English
> poetry as sládost' - mládost' did in Pushknin's day and that therefore the
> analogy is strained. It might have been wiser to render the terminals as
> 'sweetness' and'youth' and explain the situation in a note."

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