Sunday, November 18, 2012


Meaning: I try not to borrow OED definitions too much, but sometimes they're too poetic to resist:
To become ‘sleepy,’ as an over-ripe pear, a special form of decay to which fleshy fruits are subject.
Some fruit - medlars, for example - are inedible until this process has completed.

Usefulness: 2 ("Despite reaching nominal adulthood at 18 or 21, most of us require several years of bletting before we reach full maturity. In some cases, decades.")

Logofascination: 2 (I always wonder who was the first to try that over-ripe fruit. The definitions and etymologies suggest that the French blet / blette / blettir which John Lindley referred to meant sleepy, but from what I can see it actually means over-ripe, or perhaps, originally, bruised.)

In the wild: There's an article about how you can do your own bletting over here.

Degrees: 2

Connections: Bletting - pear

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, XIII: How Pantagruel adviseth Panurge to try the future good or bad luck of his marriage by dreams.  In preparing for these dreams, Pantagruel tells Panurge:
You shall eat good Eusebian and Bergamot pears, one apple of the short-shank pippin kind, a parcel of the little plums of Tours, and some few cherries of the growth of my orchard. Nor shall you need to fear that thereupon will ensue doubtful dreams, fallacious, uncertain, and not to be trusted to, as by some peripatetic philosophers hath been related; for that, say they, men do more copiously in the season of harvest feed on fruitages than at any other time. The same is mystically taught us by the ancient prophets and poets, who allege that all vain and deceitful dreams lie hid and in covert under the leaves which are spread on the ground--by reason that the leaves fall from the trees in the autumnal quarter. For the natural fervour which, abounding in ripe, fresh, recent fruits, cometh by the quickness of its ebullition to be with ease evaporated into the animal parts of the dreaming person--the experiment is obvious in most--is a pretty while before it be expired, dissolved, and evanished.
If I'm reading that right, it means that the dreams brought on by summer fruit are more reliable than those induced by autumnal indulgence.

No comments:

Post a Comment