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From the utterly common to the utterly uncommon first name: Coppetta’s Renaissance burlesque poem about the man obsessed with his name Martino, and the Italian scholars Abdelkader Salza who discussed that poem in 1900, and the older Abd-El-Kader Modena

Publicația: Magistri et alumni, amore scribendi. Studia. In Honorem Professoris Nicolae Felecan, Secțiunea Onomastică, p. 497-547
Editori:Oliviu Felecan, Daiana Felecan
Editura:Editura Mega, Editura Argonaut
Rezumat:The Italian poet Francesco Beccuti, known as Coppetta (1509–1553), authored (among other genres) humorous poems, and of these, one has as protagonist a man who speaks in the first person to a friend, about his obsession with his too common first name, Martino. We provide a facing translation of that poem, which in 1900 was included in a study by an Italian scholar bearing a very uncommon name for an Italian: Abd-El-Kader (or Abdelkader) Salza, a Piedmontese born in 1875. Why that first name? Another scholar, Abd-El-Kader or Abdelkader Modena, was born in 1841 and was from Rovigo, a city in southwestern Venetia. We try to show subtle differences between the naming motivation of those two men born in the 19th century, based on the region of birth, the Jewish background of Abdelkader Modena, and especially the respective year of birth in relation to international events which happened at the time: the Algerian emir Abd-El-Kader fought against the French conquest, then had to surrender, and had to sign the Treaty of Tafna, which still held when Modena was born. Soon afterwards, the war in Algeria resumed, Abd-El-Kader lost the war, was imprisoned in France, became reconciled to French rule in his country, and was later freed; then while living in Damascus, during the Druze–Maronite war in Lebanon, Abd-El-Kader gave sanctuary to Christian refu- gees, and was hailed as a benefactor in western Europe, including in a painting cast- ing him as a noble hero. Abd-El-Kader had gradually acquired a halo of a noble foe, and a Romantic hero, thus fit for babies to be named after him just like after some character from an opera. In Abd-El-Kader Modena’s case, we argue, as he was born in 1841, there was the added factor of the Damascus Affair of 1840, a blood libel concerning an elderly Capuchin who was missing and who was a Sardinian, thus a Piedmontese subject, and in 1841, Piedmont’s king Charles Albert had honoured with a knighthood the French consul in Damascus, Ratti-Menton, a sadist who had supervised the torture there of Jews, both adults and dozens of starved children, in order to obtain a confession. Austria’s consul in Damascus, Merlato, after a Jewish man with Austrian citizenship had managed to reach his consulate, had revealed to the West the behaviour of Ratti-Menton, and there was an international outcry, but France stood by her consul (Thiers, the premier, believed the blood libel), and the King of Piedmont (not yet the liberal reformer he became in 1848) sided with France’s version of the events. Rovigo, where Modena was born, was under Austrian rule, and we suggest that their naming their child after the Algerian emir may have been motivated by animosity towards France because of the ongoing international scandal, which through Capuchin propaganda in Rome had brought about a climate of fear for Jews in Italy. Whereas the emir Abd-El-Kader inspired the Romantic imagination, in France the conquest of Algiers inspired comic vaudeville and the protagonist, the outrageously boorish soldier Chauvin, gave rise to the term chauvinism.
Cuvinte-cheie:naming motivation, first name, unusual name
Limba: engleză

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