An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Wednesday, February 12, 2003  

Two friends

Some of my friends are slightly eccentric, others downright dysfunctional, but here are two interesting titbits from that source.

First, take a look at Darren's blog to see his work on airbrushing my family photos.

Then check out Hugh's recommendation for a good book "Zuleika Dobson" by Max Beerbohm. Here's a note to a later edition which solved a lunchtime quandry on how to pronounce the eponymous heroine's name.

"I was in Italy when this book was first published. A year later (1912) I visited London, and I found that most of my friends and acquaintances spoke to me of Zu-like-a -- a name which I hardly recognised and thoroughly disapproved. I had always thought of the lady as Zu-leek-a. Surely it was thus that Joseph thought of his Wife, and Selim of his Bride? And I do hope that it is thus that any reader of these pages will think of Miss Dobson."

This meant I won the argument, although Hugh points out (pedantically he confesses), that Beerbohm is wrong in one regard: Zuleika was not Joseph's bride, but the wife of Potiphar, Joseph's master when he was sold into slavery in Egypt.

Hugh, who is over-educated, was also able to tell me that the name Zuleika became popular "among a certain class" due to a poem "The Bride of Abydos," by Byron. The text of the poem may be found here.

We know one person named Zuleika. Are there any more? And must one search the work of Byron in order to find interesting names?

And guess what? I played the part of Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (school production). The wife does play a crucial part as her flirtation with Joseph results in his incarceration from whence he is rescued in order to interpret the Pharaoh's dreams. BUT, in the text, she is merely called "Potiphar's wife" and thus I only found out today her actual name. Another example of the attempt to write women out of history. Good job there's a Skibbereen Eagle like me on the prowl.

posted by Sarah | 16:00 0 comments
Comments: Post a Comment
Previous Popular Posts
Other Blogs