From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU]On Behalf Of jansymello
Sent: 09 December 2006 14:43
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] zesty, bot, formulae, dichten
3 ...“Koestler once remarked that German dichten, to compose poetry, means ‘to compress, thicken, concentrate’. [However] The verb presumably really means merely to speak, cf Latin dictare, dicere. Or does ‘dight’ connote ‘tight’?” Frankly, I think Koestler was mistaken in his etymology, and that the resemblance of “dichten” to “thicken” is accidental. Besides which, it only applies in modern German. Swedish “dikta”, compose, bears little resemblance to Swedish “tjock”, thick or fat.JM:There's no German dictionary by me now, but I'm certain that Dichter means poet, Gedicht, a poem and Verdichten the process that encompasses primitive confabulation and abstract creation of "metaphors" ( British James Strachey, who translated Freud from the German, chose "condensation" to express "Verdichten" and I don't imagine he would have been the first one there).
My trivial use of "condensation" as a thickening process, due to the convergence of unrelated images and sensations creating fables and meanings, was intended both as a condensation and a metaphor, i.e, VN's memorable effectiveness through which words can express more than a dictionary thing...
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