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#135963 12/13/04 07:07 PM
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About three years ago during the first incarnation of AWAD we had this discussion self-same, remember?
Oh well, fogetfullness is oft times a blessing because now you old folks get to hear my story again...

Twenty years ago I had a drinking buddy named Richard Morgan, He was affable, intellegent, tender-hearted, and Manic Depressive by clinical certfication. One night as we sat drinking whiskey in a car in the woods he had an attack and described it thusly..."All of sudden everything appears strange and foreign without a single reference point to facilitate comprehension. It is like being dead - no! - it is worse than being dead - every atom of your being yearns for a void.
I really shouldn't be taking my medication and drinking this whiskey, my psychiatrist said that combining the two would make me more psychotic."

"Damn Richard, that's terrible" I said, "Can't those incompetent quacks do something other than keep you doped up and sober?"

"No." He said. "They know almost nothing about the disorder but like good shamans they have given the condition a name.
They call it deja va the direct opposite of deja ju."

Two years later Richard died. He was hospitalised for a minor heart attack and simply lost his will to live. He was thirty-five.

Some twenty years later the jolly folks of Awad were batting about words and began a discussion (deja vu all over again ) about the apporiate word for the opposite of deja vu. So I told them the Richard Morgan story ( deja vu all over again ) and told them (You all) that the correct term was deje va. Oh no! said the not-so-merry band of word pundits, the term has no such inverse meaning when retranslated from the French.

They were right. I looked it up. But damnit Richard had said it and I had heard it so the rest of the world can go to hell.

Then three years later (deje vu all over again ) when tsuwm posted the below above...

jarmis vu Fr. never seen.

...I was vindicated. Although I know that you are never so wrong than when you are dead sure you are right - this time I was dead sure I was right and I was. You see Richard had not va-ed the vu. Richard had jarmis-ed when in my drunken state I thought he had deje-ed and I had later disremembered it.

And I'll tell you one thing - it feels good to be proven right.




#135964 12/13/04 09:59 PM
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If deja vu is a feeling that you've already seen something that you've never seen before, then what would be the opposite? The normal answer seems to be the feeling that something you should be familiar with is totally unfamiliar.

Normal, schmormal! Surely the opposite should be: a lack of feeling that you haven’t already seen something that you have seen before…

Ah, hope that helps to clarify this important quirk of the human condition, my fine Fong. Or should it be "haven't already seen nothing..."? Think I’ll go and lie down now.



#135965 12/13/04 10:50 PM
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Mav!! Welcome home!!

Yeah, it's always hard to say what is meant be the opposite of something like this, but your proposal sounds like the zero-grade version. Whatever the term is I feel it every spring when I am going to a minor league baseball game along a route that I haven't been on since last summer.


#135966 12/13/04 11:00 PM
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I really shouldn't be taking my medication and drinking this whiskey, my psychiatrist said

Have you ever been somewhere brand new
Where you experienced a sense deja vu
You ordered a beer
And instead got a sneer
And a bar tab thrust upon you.

Have you ever been avant verrai
Where you ended in complete disarray
At home in your bed
With searing pain in your head
And you didn't know that you'd been away.



#135967 12/14/04 06:06 AM
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I agree with Mav. Jamais vu is not exactly an opposite - it is more like a corollary of Deja vu. Both are classified under paramnesias

#135968 12/14/04 07:20 AM
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Mav!??! I'd heard rumours of your existence, but figured you were some sort of cyber-gryphon, invented to scare delinquent netizenettes. Great to see ya, and a wonderfully apt thread for you to surface in, na?


#135969 12/14/04 11:39 AM
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a wonderfully apt thread for you to surface in, na?

Aye, if he be a drinkin' man himself [returned from an avant verrais?]

We are always appreciated more in our absence, Mav.

Trust me, I know.

One thing I've noticed in your absence, Mav. The only sure way to get noticed around here is to be insulting. Or to tell the truth. Some confuse the one with the other.

I say, if anyone takes insult from the truth, they are taking succour from deceit. [Oft-times, self-deceit.]

Those who seek a broader, deeper, more truthful "understanding of reality" -- the guiding impulse of all intelligence if, as themilum would say, intelligence has any true meaning or purpose -- cannot give comfort to those are discomforted by that impulse, without becoming worse than they are: a hypocrite.

All knowledge, including self-knowledge, can never move in any direction, with integrity, except forward. It can stand still, but it can never go back.

Those who argue "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise", have an incontrovertible argument. But if they seek the shelter of ignorance, they must shelter themselves alone.

Even AWADtalk is no safe harbor from reality.

#135970 12/15/04 12:54 AM
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Tsuwm, I’ve never heard of "avant verrais."

It’s a rather confusion structure of words.

Avant means previous or before.
Verrais is in the “Conditionnel present” form – which means it says “I would see if…”

Are you sure there was an “s” at the end of verrais? If it was simply avant verrai, though ungainly, it would mean "before seeing."



#135971 12/15/04 12:55 AM
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Mav - allo. Happy birthday!!


#135972 12/15/04 06:39 AM
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Verrais is in the “Conditionnel present” form – which means it says “I would see if…”

Aha, someone who can read French more competently than perhaps 99% of the people who have read the novel from which Tsuwm was quoting. [And, incidentally, I would be amongst them if I had read the novel.]

You seem to have pierced the veil here, belMarduk.

In the novel, someone asks some else to come up with the opposite of "deja vu". That person's answer is a guess, "I don't know -- avant verrais", a guess by someone quite possibly as incompetent in French as someone like myself.

The author can be excused for the flawed French because it's just a novel and the truth the author is representing is the truth of the character who answers the question, not the truth of the answer itself.

Perhaps "avant verrais" is a more 'truthful' answer in this sense, coming from someone who is guessing with only a rudimentary knowledge of French, than a properly translated stab at the opposite of "deja vu".

Now, here's the best part:

The person who asked the question says "That's it" to "avant verrais". That is exactly what that person would say even if they were fluent in French because, in French, "avant verrais" sounds exactly the same as "avant verrai".

In the result, the author has been true to both characters.
And BelMaruk has come up with the correct French and the correct explanation. Congratulations, BelMarduk.

It seems all our speculations about "avant verrais" were much adieu about nothing.


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