4.0068 Collage; Sneaking into Bedrooms (145)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 17 May 90 17:51:24 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0068. Thursday, 17 May 1990.

(1) Date: Wed, 16 May 90 15:07:35-020 (129 lines)
From: onomata@bengus (nissan ephraim)
Subject: Pastiche, Renaiss., AI

(2) Date: Thu, 17 May 90 11:58:45 EST (16 lines)
From: Naama Zahavi-Ely <ELINZE@YALEVM>
Subject: Biblical sneaking into bedrooms

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 16 May 90 15:07:35-020
From: onomata@bengus (nissan ephraim)
Subject: Pastiche, Renaiss., AI

I am responding to:
> Subject: 4.0012 Query: Collage (28)
> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0012. Tuesday, 8 May 1990.
> (1) Date: Tue, 8 May 1990
> From: Marc Bregman <HPUBM@HUJIVM1>

On linguistic pastiche in particular:

My favorite is the Renaissance historian from Candia, Eliah Capsali
(Hebrew spelling: qof, pe, sin, aleph, lamed, yod). He wrote, in
Hebrew, a history of Spain, Venice, and Turkey. The Magnes Press of the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem has published it in three volumes. I
first browsed the first volume, I am referring to in particular, at
Ambrosiana in Milan (they got a complimentary copy, as one of their
manuscripts had been used).

Capsali was particularly fond of pasting quotations from the Bible and,
occasionally, the Hebrew Tannaitic literature, sometimes "as is", and
sometimes with small adaptations. His text abounds, of course, given
his theme, of loanwords or adapted loanwords.

Consider, in particular, the story of Djem or Djim, called Zizim by
Westerners (as spelt by Larousse; I would have believed the spelling to
be, rather, Zizyme, patterned after Didymus...). Djem (1459-1495) was
son of Sultan Mehmet II, and fought against his brother, Sultan Bayazid
II, who won him, but afterwards remained a very suspicious king, and an
inclement one. Capsali calls Djem "Zamzummi" (Hebrew spelling:
zmzwmy and occasionally zwmzwmy, if I recall properly, and with a
dpouble quote inserted before the penultimate letter, as traditional for
loanwords or foreign names in Hebrew texts up to Modern Hebrew excluded).
Now, Zamzummi(m) was a name the Pentateuch ascribes to an ethnic group
of Transjordan (extinguished by Moses' times), the name itself is related
as having been in use in the language of another Transjordanian group.

Djem fled to the coast, where he first tried to embark on a Venetian
vessel. However, the captain refused to take him on, with the pretext
"I have not [got] the commission". Capsali thus calls him "the stupid
Venetian", as he feared the reaction of the authorities of Venice,
whereas had he seized the opportunity, he would have enabled Venice to
chant the Sultan and get back "Coron, Modon," etc. Capsali spells the
name of the captain as pyrw dydw. I read PYRW as Piero (a usual
Venetian variant of Pietro) rather than as Pirro. As to SYSW, as far as
I know both Dido` (Di Donato? Di Domenico?) abd Diedo are Venetian last
names. Please let me know, if I err.

When the Cavaliers of Rhodes learnt about the whereabouts of Djem, they
sent a vessel and merrily welcomed him in their island, and even had a
woman conceive a child from him. Afterwards, Djem moved to France, and
ultimately met with a sorry end (as Capsali stated without specifying).

When Capsali relates about what Zamzummi told PYRW DYDW, he uses the
same utterance that Sarah maid Hagar used in addressing the angel, after
her first evasion: "From Sarah, my lady, I am fleeing way." The point
is, that Hebrew for "my lady" and "I am fleeing away" are in the
morphological form selected for a female speaker! And by Capsali
account, there is no doubt about Djem's maleness, given what happened in

Not only: there is the story of Ahmed Pasha, killed by the Sultan.
Machiavelli, in historical considerations in verses, called him
"Acomatto Baiscia`" and states he was strangled (if I recall properly),
whereas Capsali has the Sultan walk with his military commander in a
garden, with the intention of killing him. Capsali has the Sultan ask
the unaware victim: What should be done to the man who [commits evil
deeds towards his King]? Which reuses Ahasuerus question to Haman, from
the Book of Esther. And Ahmed Pasha replies with a Hebrew Midrash, a
Jewish exegesis! "He shall died and shall not live: he shall die in
this world, and shall not live in the next world." Then, the Sultan
kills him.

The whole of Capsaly history is a mosaic of such quotations, which
the Jerusalemite editor (in the 1970: I have not here the exact
reference) punctiliously trace back to the sources.

Now, let us consider pastiche in Italian novels in the post-WW2 period.
The most obvious novelist to mention is Carlo Emilio Gadda, which ranges
-- from Roman-oriented pastiche (but with such lexical coins as
"tanganicoreverenziale", that is, "Tanganikan-wise reverential"),
in "Quer pasticciaccio brutto de Via Merulana",
-- to Northern-Italian-cum-South-American in, if I am not mistaking it
for another novel, "La cognizione del dolore".

During the 1970s, another Italian novelist has written a pastiche novel,
"Horcynus Orca". I can trace his name back at home, perhaps, by just now
I am unable to do that.

I, too, have employed a kind of Hebrew pastiche, including an
Eblaite-like conjugation, and, Latin-wise, a new gerundive and a future
participle, along with heavy alliteration and linguistic collage, in a
recent literary essay:

"`Whenever I measure:' The Lycian Key, the Immigration Key,
and the Individual's Development Key." ( = "Midde' Muddi':
The Lycian Key, the Key of the Loft, and the Opener of the
Self-Opening of the Particular." Hebrew: mdy mdy: hmptH
hlyqy, mptH h&lyh, wmptH htptHwt hprT.)

Sections: 1. Introduction; 2. The poem; 3. The Lycian key;
4. The immigration key; 5. The dance of ordinal letters;
6. From the River Oft, our vicissitudes come; 7. The
individual's development key; 8. Concealment and its

I am still completing it. From the content viewpoint, there is a kind
of Baroque Conceptism, and indeed, for a reason explained in the last
chapter, it is proposed as a kind of Israeli Baroque. There is also a
relation to artificial intelligence: the concepts are organized as if
along an associative network, a data structure from AI. As I state at
the end, some smattering of matroid theory could also be made use of.
The Lycian key refers to embedded references to lexical items drawn from
recent attempts to decipher the Lycian language of Anatolia. However,
the most clear key of the work commented about, is immigrants'
experiences in Israel.

Ephraim Nissan
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science,
Ben Gurion University of the Negev,
P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel.
BITNET address: onomata@bengus.bitnet

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------23----
Date: Thu, 17 May 90 11:58:45 EST
From: Naama Zahavi-Ely <ELINZE@YALEVM>
Subject: Biblical sneaking into bedrooms


I can't believe nobody mentioned Jacob and Lea yet. Jacob worked for
seven years for Laban, who was Lea and Rivka's father, for the hand of
Rivka. On the wedding night, Laban substituted Lea (who was older) for
Rivka. If I remember right, Jacob expressed some surprise and
disappointment when he got up the next morning and found the wrong woman
in his bed. I don't have the bible with me at work, but you can check
Genesis, in the later part of the book.

Best wishes,