Friday, December 04, 2015

Craft is dead.

One of them, anyway.

At Igor’s side (The Economist)

Robert Craft, conductor, musicologist and amanuensis of Stravinsky, died on November 10th, aged 92

Each issue of The Economist is post-graduate education. For instance, I love the word amanuensis.

An amanuensis (/əˌmænjuːˈɛnsɪs/) is a person employed to write or type what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another, and also refers to a person who signs a document on behalf of another under the latter's authority.

In Craft's letter to Stravinsky, he uses the word "ensorcelated." Dictionaries agree that it should be spelled ensorcelled or ensorceled, as deriving from the ensorcell/ensorcel: To enchant or bewitch, as a sorcerer would do. However, the Sorcerer's Apprentice is a poem by Goethe set to music by Paul Dukas, not Stravinsky.

A factotum is a jack of all trades -- a person or  employee who performs many different jobs. It's also the name of a novel by Charles Bukowski (and subsequent movie), who once was referred to by Time magazine as "laureate of American lowlife."

Then there's the term dogsbody, which in England is a synonym for lackey or grunt worker.

Finally, adscititious: "Forming an addition or supplement; not integral or intrinsic."

That's all. Nothing about beer, just words today.

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