Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cabellian Anagram Decoded

Cabellian Anagram Decoded

Recently I reread James Branch Cabell's “Jurgen”. He is fond of anagrams, and I decided to anagram the name of Jurgen’s wife, Adelais. (Though by ordinary the people called her Dame Lisa.)

There are many possibilities. These two stand out:
As ideal
As I deal
I think those summarize the themes of “Jurgen”.

Note also that “Dame Lisa” is almost an anagram, with an extra M. Without it, the closest anagram is
          Dea Lisa
Goddess Lisa! This also fits with “Jurgen”, for the title character, in the midst of a domestic quarrel with Anaitis (a nature spirit connected to the Moon) accidentally called her “Lisa”.

Perhaps Jurgen himself, the former poet, came up with these anagrams, while waiting quietly in his pawnbroker’s shop. 

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