Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Naivety

From the wild and wonderful 71 year-old story A Night of Serious Drinking, by René Daumal and translated from the French by David Coward & E.A. Lovatt:

Professor Mumu upbraided me for my naivety and explained to me that the patient being questioned was, in intention at least, a dangerous criminal who if he had been less cowardly in his youth would have mutilated his father, outraged his mother, horrified his sister, and scandalized his uncle in the most appalling manner; he added that his veiled confessions would cure him of his wayward impulses, which would be transformed into charming artful objects, amongst which we would soon be making our way, for the converse of the proverb was true: Paradise is paved with bad intentions.

How honest, somehow, for the word to be translated into English without the French spelling.

Naivety does not appear in the Index.

Of course one might look at the word and think (in the undermind at the very least) of nativity. One does not think of myrmidon or caster sugar or the Jets and the Sharks, or the supposed war.

No comments: