Wined vs Winned
tweaver at imbolc.ucc.ie
Fri Jul 14 05:58:10 EDT 2000
Philip Belben, querying my assertion about "Goe, and catch a falling star":
+ > It's definitely the sort of "wind" pronounced "wined" and a device,
+ > rather than wind. But making the "winned" sort of wind a device
+ > is *so* DWJ!
+ Perhaps I ought to go and read the whole poem before jumping in, but:
+ Why is it a device (I take it you mean "some sort of pulley" like Michael)?
+ Or rather, why is it "definitely" a device?
Hang on, I said that DWJ's "wind" was a device: I don't mean a pulley!
Deep reading in Donne pushes me to this conclusion. He works in terms of
devices, hermetica, alchemical systems. I am *not* claiming that it's a pulley,
more the sort of metaphysical device that would leap to mind if you had read
Donne rather than the DWJ spell. Perhaps Jonson was right, "That Done, for not
keeping of an accent, deserved hanging" but the metaphysical usage of learning
and allusion does often set us guessing.
I think it parses "find what peculiar technique would actually bring forward
honesty". I argue that this fits with the direction and composition of the
original poem. It certainly fits with the invocations of other mental changes
(hearing mermaids, rejecting the burn of jealousy, why not finding out how to
The "impossible tasks" cast of the poem (after Petrarch) also suggest devices
to my mind. Um, something like the "Who that can count the candles of the sky/
...number numerless small atomies... how many hours are since the world began/
Let him, none else, pass judgement on my grief" [Sonnet 30]
Michael tries to act out the poem as a spell: as a set of actions which don't
seem so impossible in the land of Ingary. Alas, he's a bit of a literalist,
like our world's Neil. (pulleys, submarines... at least they didn't decide it
was about nuclear war)
+ Wind pronounced Wined, but still meaning that which blows, was a common
+ _literary_ device, up until ? the early 17th century, (when pronunciation was
+ still fairly in flux) and again in the 19th century (romantic movement and
+ nostalgia for an earlier age).
I know, I know, I just don't happen to think that it's a blowy wind bringing
honesty here, perhaps because it never occured to me before reading _Howl's
Moving Castle_, which book caused me to puzzle over the lines again, before
concluding that DWJ was playing with language.
Why would it be a blowy wind bringing honesty? I think that's DWJ's genius
+ Anyway, could you venture a few lines of explanation, please?
Sorry, everyone, I did.
+ (I liked the way Howl's nephew (Neil?) made the connection, through "finned",
+ with submarines. I'm not sure why Sophie and Michael accepted it so readily,
Yeah - another piece of linguistic gaming, and one which *might* be used to
argue that DWJ is pushing us to think about the pronounciation as "wined".
Maybe the poem means "in vino veritas" <giggle>
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