Monday, 6 February 2006

Neologism needed

Matisse called this rather hectic painting Luxe, calme et volupté, a line in Baudelaire’s mystical poem L’Invitation au Voyage.

How regrettable it is that we have no euphonious equivalent to volupté! The double-hissing voluptuousness is unpleasant to the ear, so we have to say, clumsily, voluptuous pleasure, or sensual delight.
But our language constantly changes, and English words are infinitely transmutable. Those of us who care about such things might by a determined effort be able to remedy this deficiency, and I shall stop writing now and give some thought to how we could do so: there is a log fire tonight and a comfy armchair awaits: while I think, I am going to have a nice bit of volupt.


Minerva said...

You did bring back memories of a romantic teenager who learnt L'invitation au voyage off by heart to whisper to some future lover. That hasn't happened yet...

Tony said...