Monday, March 28, 2005

No Link

Something struck me while looking up quotes for me "found poem." In "The Time Monster" the Doctor recalls his mentor bringing him out of his despair by showing him "the daisy-est daisy" he had ever seen. This is very like the famous remark that Dennis Potter mader in his legendary final interview with Melvin Bragg.

Below my window there’s an apple tree in blossom. It’s white. And looking at it — instead of saying, ‘Oh, that’s a nice blossom’ — now, looking at it through the window, I see the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be. The nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous.

Can anyone think of another use of that particular turn of phrase "blossomest blossom" "daisy-est daity"? Or is it possible that Dennis Potter was a closet Doctor Who fan? (His posthumous play was "science fiction", after all, and he did describe the BBC managers as a bunch of croak voiced Daleks.)

3 comments:

Dan Hemmens said...

At the risk of ruining a perfectly good bit of whimsy, I'm not convinced that anybody can claim to be the original source for the "nouney-est noun" construction. It's the sort of thing that multiple people are likely to hit on independantly.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Oh, sure. But the circumstances were sufficiently similar, and in both cases it was a "flowery flower" as to make me wonder if the one suggested the other.

Is there a literary term for "nouny-est noun", I wonder, or are there other examples of it?

Blackadder occassionally says that "you are as slippery as a slippery thing", which isn't quite the same.

I seem to think that an advert refers to something as "the chocolatiest chocolate". But "chocolatey" is already in use as an adjective.

Note that the construction I was referring to wasn't strictly the "nouney-est noun" but the "nounest noun" (the blossomest blossom; not the blossomey-est blossom.) But, come to think of it, the Doctor's version is probably suggested by the fact that the word "daisy" sounds as if it could be an adjective meaning "having the quality of dais."

Liz said...

Quiddity, isn’t it, suchness of suchness, everything being the best in this best of all possible worlds? Anyway, it reminds me of Louis McNeice’s Snow:

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink rose against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes --
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands--
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.