This website is an interactive academic
tool for CEA-UNH course:
Gay Paris:
Culture, Society, & Urban Sexual Identity

CEA GlobalCampus | Spring 2009
UNH Course Code: GEN230
Credits: 3 | Location: Paris, France

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nightwood Reading Guide | Chapter 1 Bow Down

House of Hapsburg (p. 1): the ruling Houses of Austria (and the Austrian Empire and its successors) where the dynasty reigned for over six centuries.

Then walking in the Prater...” (p. 2): The Prater is a large public park in Vienna's 2nd district Leopoldstadt

"Then walking in the Prater he had been seen carrying in a conspicuously clenched fist the exquisite handkerchief of yellow and black linen that cried aloud of the ordinance of 1468, issued by one Pietro Barbo..." (p. 4): Pope Paul II, born Pietro Barbo, was Pope from 1464 until his death in 1471. "He decreed that Jews were to walk around the Roman Corso with a rope around their necks in order to amuse the Christian population" (taken fromThe Practice of Cultural Analysis Bal, Gonzales p. 153). This event highlights the historical persecution of the Jews. Felix is "heavy with impermissible blood" (p. 2)

Genuflexion (p. 2): the act of bending the knees in worship or reverence.

"Over the fireplace hung impressive copies of the Medici shield and, beside them the Austrian bird." (p. 5) The Medicis were a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century.

The Medici shield

Heraldry (p. 5): Heraldry in its most general sense encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms. To most, though, heraldry is the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges.

Circumulocution (p.8 ): Using many words to describe something simple.

Loquacity (p. 8): the quality of being very talkative; garrulous.

"His rooms were taken because a Bourbon had been carried from them to death." (p. 9) The House of Bourbon was an important European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century.

Madame de Sévigné (p. 9) was a French aristocrat, remembered for her letter-writing. Most of her letters, celebrated for their wit and vividness, were addressed to her daughter.

Goethe (p. 9) was a German writer (1800s).

Loyola (p. 9): Ignatius of Loyola was the principal founder and first Superior General of the Society of Jesus (16th century).

Brantôme (p. 9) was a French historian during the 16th century.

Ribaldry (p. 9): a genre of sexual entertainment.

Goy (p. 9): A Hebrew word for "nation" or "people".

Unexpurgated (p. 14): (of a piece of writing) not censored by having allegedly offensive passages removed.

Ameublement (p. 14): furnishings.

Jansenism (p. 15): The theological principles of Cornelis Jansen, which emphasize predestination, deny free will, and maintain that human nature is incapable of good. They were condemned as heretical by the Roman Catholic Church.

Prince Arthur Tudor (p. 15) was the first son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and therefore, heir to the throne of England and Wales.

King Henry VII (p. 15), King of England, Lord of Ireland, born Henry Tudor (Welsh Harri Tudur), was the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Chamberlain (p. 15) is the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure.

Rutebeuf (p. 17) was a 13th century French writer.

Mountebank (p.17) is any charlatan or quack.

"...nor yet a thirteenth-century Salome dancing arse..." (p. 17): Salome was an icon of dangerous female seductiveness. Salome dancing before Herod or with the head of the Baptist on a charger have provided inspiration for Christian artists.

Leo X (p. 19), born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici (December 11, 1475 – December 1, 1521) was Pope from 1513 to his death.

Gymnosophist (p. 20): any of a sect of ascetics in ancient India who went naked and practiced meditation.

Breton (p. 20) refers to Brittany.

Ponte Vecchio (p.23) is a Medieval bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common.

The Arno (p. 23) is a river in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Norse Vessel (p. 24) is a Viking ship.

The Wittelsbach (p. 24) family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.

1 comment:

  1. I found this text a little hard to read and it took me some time to sort things out. Ultimately the first 13 pages of Chapter 1 seemed to be about the Volkbein's family struggle to conform to a Christian way of life in order to avoid racial discrimination. It's sad to see how much effort went into hiding the families Jewish beliefs and status in society. From fake paintings of ancestors as an "alibi for the blood" (6) to Felix's constant obsession with fitting into societal norms shows how much the Volkbein family has had to pay attention to their every move in order to fit it. Overall I think this was a good intro and I think it will get more interesting as we read more about the different characters in the book.