[lit-ideas] Re: Geisha (Was: Sapir/Whorf Hypothesis)

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 23:30:19 EDT

In a message dated 8/22/2004 10:43:12 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
mccreery@xxxxxxx writes:
In any  case, real geisha, who (as a near-literal translation of 
"geisha," i.e.  "artist") implies are highly trained professional  

A next-literal translation seems to be "artiste" (from the OED below). I'm  
(slightly) amazed that the first quote in English for 'geisha' is dated 1891. I 
 would have thought that some English explorer would have imported such an  
interesting 'conception' before that, seeing that it is an ancient Japanese  
tradition, too (mediaeval). 
1891  E. ARNOLD in Contemp. Rev. Dec. 777 
All Kyôto's geishas will be there. 

"artiste" [Fr.: see 'artist'; a re-introduction  of the Fr. word in 
consequence of the modern tendency to restrict artist  to those engaged in the 
arts, and especially  painting.]  
Meaning: a public performer who appeals to the æsthetic  faculties, as a 
professional _singer_, _dancer_ [emphases mine. JLS] , etc.;  also, one who 
a â??fine artâ?? of his [sic] employment, as an artistic cook,  hairdresser, 
= "artist" 6, 8a,  b. 

1823 Drama, or Pocket Theatr. Mag. IV. 355  
He [sc. Charles  Vestris] is clearly the least distinguished artiste of the 
whole race of  Vestris.  
1832 Athenæum No. 237. 307  
The German  artistes who did such ample justice to the choruses of the 
1833 MACREADU Remin. I. 372  
Went to Drury Lane to  see Went to what an artiste!  
1843 _PRESCOTT_ 
  Mexico  IV. i. (1864) 206  
The Aztec  artistes..had penetrated deep into the mysteries of culinary 
1871 R. H. HORNE in Gentl. Mag. Sept. 473  
At his house were met  artists and artistes of various kinds, all â??on their 
promotionâ?? and  students in literature, poetry, and science.  
1909 WODEHOUSE Swoop II. viii. 101  
They stood talking and  blocking the gangway, as etiquette demands that a 
successful artiste shall.  
1955 Times 19 Aug. 4/1  
The The <NOBthey lose their e on notice  boards inside the reception  on 
no..were absent today.

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