NABOKV-L post 0014602, Mon, 8 Jan 2007 15:09:18 -0800

from ck to Jansy - mandorla & rose
Dear Jansy,

Recently you brought up two subjects that I happen to be interested in - -
musical instruments and roses. I may misremember, but I think along with
other stringed instruments you mentioned a mandorla. The word sounded
familiar, and I thought it might be a type of mandolin, but was unable to
find a reference to it in my music reference books.

By coincidence, I came across the word again today, and it turns out that it
is related not to mandolins, but mandeln, almonds. The mandorla turns out to
be the almond shaped halo surrounding images of holy personages in Christian
iconography. I hope this makes sense to you, since I did not save the post
in which you mentioned it.

More recently you wrote:

In "ADA", we find that Van/Voltemand´s geography was often bound to rosacean
rooms and bodies ( and many buildings, such as PF's Wordsmith library are
shaped as a circle):

“seen from above the large island of the bed

Now, as an amateur rosarian, I must protest the equation of any circular
shape with a rose - - or, as in your Ada quote, an island - - unless of
course you detect a reference to the isle of Rhodes.*

I would suggest that without petals &/or thorns or at minimum a rose color
(russet is quite different), a circle is either a sun or a wheel or just a
circle, but it is not a rose. The compass rose, by the way, originally
consisted of interspersed petals & thorns, from which the petals have fallen
away leaving the circular pattern of points. I suppose there could be some
Christian iconography here too.


*If the bed indeed turns out to be the isle of roses, the reader might try
to discover what was going on under it, i.e. sub rosa.

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