Sunday, February 26, 2017


Upright Saints

Stavros Deligiorgis, "Boccaccio and the Greek Romances," Comparative Literature 19.2 (Spring, 1967) 97-113 (at 108), discussing Boccaccio's "San Cresci-in-Valcava" (Decameron 2.7):
...a form derived from the Latin crisco...
There is a Latin verb cresco, but not crisco. Is this a Freudian slip, unconsciously recalling the use of Crisco vegetable shortening as a lubricant?

On Boccaccio's two saints "San Cresci-in-Mano" and "San Cresci-in-Valcava," both mentioned in Decameron 2.7, see the definitions in John Florio (1553?-1625), A Worlde of Wordes. A Critical Edition with an Introduction by Hermann W. Haller (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), p. 594 (p. 342, col. 3, of the 1598 edition; p. 462, col. 2, of the 1611 edition):
SAN CRESCI IN MANO, used for a mans pricke, bicause it growes in ones hand.

SANCRESCI IN VALLE, used for a mans prick bicause it riseth in a hollow cave.

From Eric Thomson:
I think these two saints are the object of universal vener(y)ation.

They have certainly risen in stature in my estimation after reading Florio's gloss. San Crisco in Mano is obviously a saint of last resort for horny-handed sons of toil but not to be despised.

Spiritually akin to these two saints in Boccaccio is Rabelais' Saint Andouille (1.17). See Jacques E. Merceron, "Saints, Imaginary," The Rabelais Encyclopedia, ed. Elizabeth Chesney Zegura (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004), pp. 218-219 (at 218).

Dear Mike,

I attach portions of a couple of relevant pages from Valter Boggione & Giovanni Casalegno's Dizionario letterario del lessico amoroso: metafore, eufemismi, trivialismi (Turin, UTET, 2000). References:

Belo = F. Belo: El Beco (Rome, 1538)
G. Gozzi = G. Gozzi: Rime burlesche inedite, ed. E. Falqui (Florence, 1938)
Bevilaqua = A. Bevilaqua: L'Eros (Milan, 1994)
Benigni = R. Benigni: E l'alluce fu (Turin, 1996)

You'll note from p. 500 that there is a Beato Crisco, which is perhaps the source of the error. There are many references to him in Google Books.

As ever,

Ian [Jackson]

Boggione & Casalegno, p. 142:

Boggione & Casalegno, pp. 500-501:


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