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Le Mat

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This reminds me of one of the philosophical classics of this ....err... last century, W. V. O. Quine's Word and Object (which someone, by the way, played on with New York Jewish accent by writing another titled Void and Object).

The opening of St John's ('In the beginning was the Word'), with that translation of 'Word' in the English and 'Verbe' in the French, gives such different sense of the text, from beholding the completed product with the nominalisation (noun) sense of the Word, as opposed to the very activity of the creative act of the Verbe (verb).

Another aspect of the translations is that, though both in the past tense, the 'was' of the English does not seem as gone-and-no-more than the 'étais' of the French, implying, it seems, even more of a process of change occuring...

It seems that, if one was to apply either sense of the text to the Mat, it would be the act implicit in the activity of the Verbe - the Word as sacred active and creative principle.
Top   #21
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In the Portuguese language, that's exactly the translation: "O Louco"_ "The Crazy".

As far as meanings, I haven't seen in my language anything that is akin to the interpretations of "The Fool" that I have come accross recently.

O Louco: someone who doesn't know where he comes from, or where he's going. A dilectant. A homeless King. A non-conformist. Somenoe who doesn't adhere to the status quo. What keeps my attention the most is a sense of "isolation from society". O Louco "does not belong".

I'm only mentioning it becase Portuguese is a Latin language, as French. I have no idea where the early texts came from, and what party, if any, Portugal played in the early times of the Tarot.

Cheers

Alex.

Quote:
Originally posted by jmd

The Fou, on the other hand, is truely crazy - though not necessarily in just its negative connotation, but in its sense of absolute self-abandonement to passion, and hence Love.
Top   #22
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Le Mat would have no connection to Maat, the Egyptian representation, then, would it? She's shown with an ostrich feather in a head band and Maat also stood for the feather of truth, that a person's heart was weighted against after death to determine if the person was good enough to enter heaven (their version of it) or to have their heart thrown to the crocodile/lion/hippo beast that would end their existence right there on the spot.
Top   #23
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A question about Le Mat


In reproductions of the Conver Marseilles and the Dodal, Le Mat is depicted with his "flesh" color hose falling (or being ripped by the creature) off to reveal another, darker color underneath. This is maintained in the Camoin but the Grimaud deck shows the more expected dark color hose falling to reveal pale flesh underneath. (Thank you to JMD and others for posting all those scans in the threads, it is a real resource)

I have read that the "flesh" color in Marseilles decks indicates humanity. So is this picture showing Le Mat shedding his humanity to become something else? Maybe this is part of how the card depicts enlightenment, worldy concerns falling away and no longer being a concern.

If this is part of what the card means why was it changed in the Grimaud deck? Maybe there are decks earlier than the Conver that show dark hose and pale flesh?

Any thoughts?

--Myrrha
Top   #24
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Re: Question…


Quote:
Originally posted by Umbrae
What is the most accurate, direct translation of “Le Mat” and “Il Matto”

The words first, then the historical concept of those words in their contextual usage.
From my understanding Matto is Italian for 'mad, crazy' idiomatic usage 'fool' eg 'fare il matto' to act the fool [lit. Act mad]. The English word 'mad' is old english which goes back pre-teutonic to Sanskrit Mat or Hindu/Urdu Matto meaning 'insane'.

Etymologically Italian Matto 'may' also have the same roots as the latin 'Mutus', meaning 'dumb' [as in silent, mute]. As speech is considered a sign of intelligence so being 'speechless' was considered a sign of a lack of intelligence [as in 'dumb' - foolish]. A Mutus Liber is a book in pictures, without words, and on Italian web sites you will often see the Tarot described as 'Mutus Liber Tarocchi'. The Goddess 'Mutus' was struck dumb by Jupiter for spilling the beans on one of his liasons, one of her other names is MANIA. It is connected to the concepts of Fool, Madman and Silence. We have also the concept of a 'mute' [silent] letter.

Some notes from Etymological dictionary:

MUTA id+ | CHANGE | sug> MUTATION
^u opp is IMMUTABLE
lat MUTIS for SILENCE
MUTUS MUTE
maxim> NON MOTTUM FACERE
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT
fr MOT WORD
myth> ROMAN GODDESS FOR SILENCE
DAUGHTER OF THE RIVER GOD ALMO
note ALMS ALMA ALMANAC
DEPRIVED OF HER TONGUE BY JUPITER TO
BE VOICELESS BECAUSE SHE BETRAYED HIS LOVE
FOR THE NYMPH JUTURNA
MERCURY FELL IN LOVE WITH MUTA AND SAVED HER
MUTA WAS ALSO KNOWN AS MANIA or MANES or
GODDESS OF THE DEAD also known as
LARA or LARUNDA or see> LAR LARA LARES
MUTA THE DUMB or see> FOOL IGNORANCE
MUTA GENITA or MOTHER OF THE GOOD LARES or
MOTHER OF EVIL LARES or LARVAE
note following {unconfirmed}
MUTA in TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY WAS RELATED TO
DARK FATE THE INCESTUOUS PRODUCT OF
CHAOS and NOXA or NIX or NIGHT
~ MUTE SPEECHLESS note drift toward DUMB
IDIOTIC MORONIC
med> SPEECH IS A MAJOR SIGN OF
MENTAL COMPETENCE
MOTOR COORDINATION needed to
ARTICULATE SPEECH which is VERY COMPLEX
as noted in MUTATED PRONUNCIATION

--Eng. MAD, "angry, insane" : OE. GEMAED (pre-1000), which changes to
ME. MEDDE / MADDE (circa 1300). Akin to OS. GIMED, "foolish" and
Goth. GAMAITHS, "crippled". OED mentions theoretical root *GAMAIDO-
and pre-Teutonic *MOITO- : Indogermanic root *MEI-, "to change". OED
also mentions the related AMAD (1200) : OE., GEMAEDAN, "to madden",
akin to the idea of "bruised, crazed, to maim".
: the further one goes back in time from about 1200-1300, the less
that words resemble Eng. MAD in spelling or meaning. After about 1200-
1300, definitions occur which further resemble Skt. MAD, "rejoice,
exhilarate, intoxicate", which has such verb forms as AMA'DISHUH and AMATTA. It is akin to Skt. MATTA, "excited, intoxicated, angry, mad, insane" (Cf. Hindi-Urdu MATT, mad; MATTA, intoxicated woman; It. MATTA, crazy woman; akin to MATTO, "insane").

Kwaw
Top   #25
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Just for the sake of cross-reference, you may also be interested in looking through the thread Major Arcana titles: le Mat... which discusses some similar important points.
Top   #26
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Quote:
Umbrae wrote:
What is the most accurate, direct translation of "Le Mat" and "Il Matto"
Quote:
Diana wrote:
Umbrae: I have looked this up in so many different books. Some authors seem pretty certain of the meanings (but then they all seem to disagree!)
The best books to consult would be French and Italian dictionaries, where these words are readily found:

Il Matto is Italian for "madman, lunatic, fool."

Le Mat is French for "dull, unpolished", implying to my mind a euphanism for 'dullard' and that the cardmaker had chosen a French word closest to the familiar Italian title, even if not the closest literal translation. At the same time, given the variations in title found on certain French decks (such as the Conver Marseilles), there is room here to speculate on alternate meanings which may have been intended by later French cardmakers.

Quote:
Diana wrote:
I think the ambiguity of his name is very appropriate. It fits in so beautifully, that one would like to suspect that it was done on purpose.
I do think there is ambiguity in the titles of certain French decks, such as the Conver Marseilles; I don't see Italian cardmakers playing word games like this in their titles. At the same time, we need to be careful not to assume ambiguity where there is only French archaism or misspelling.

Quote:
Originally posted by Umbrae
My point here, it to attempt to find the roots of the word ? for the original meaning of the card.
But the original trump meanings are unlikely to be gotten by reference to their titles, since the trumps bore no titles during the first several decades of their existence. In other words, their original meaning is not necessarily indicated by titles which were later applied. The variations of title found in early decks helps make the case that later cardmakers misunderstood the intention of certain earlier designs.

Thanks,
- Mark
Top   #27
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...finally, it's nice to be in a position to begin to present a pretty incredible compilation of various images so close to those of the Tarot that one has to seriously begin to question how Mediaeval Cathedrals, especially the Notre Dames from Chartres, Paris, and especially Amiens, may have influenced the Tarot.

As I'll post (slowly - as I either obtain e.versions, or scan - which will take longer) each card for which I have at least one image, I'll also make some brief comments.

Here attached is an image of Cowardice, on the Cathedrals located below that of bravery. Above each of these, on both the Paris and the Amiens cathedral, is a knight seated in full armor and holding aloft a sword.

Cowardice is represented as a person having dropped his sword (which may be seen in each of these). He sorts-of runs away from what appears to be either small dog or other small creature at his heels, his head turned back.

The Amiens depiction (in the quadrefoil) didn't seem as a 'clean' fit, but when I had finally found the Paris one (in a book and clearer than the depiction here attached), the connection was unequivocal.

Attached Images
 
Top   #28
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PS. the animal may in fact be a hare!
Top   #29
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I can't see the connection with the fool. It's too small.

Cowardice, eh? Is this the first time the idea of cowardice has come up in connection with the fool?
Top   #30




 


 


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