A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

That Davenport
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Irma - Buenos Aires - 2013


sofá

Del fr. sofa, este del persa offe, y este del ár. clás. uffah.

1. m. Asiento cómodo para dos o más personas, que tiene respaldo y brazos.


Artist through the ages have been fascinated by the unclothed female (I am sure that there are also of males, too but my interest in that direction is limited) languidly reclining on a sofa.

Out of curiousity I looked up the word sofa in Spanish (sofá) in my on line RAE (Real Academia Española) dictionary. I found it pleasant to see that the word came from expert recliners of antiquity, the Persians. Perhaps the Greeks, during the wars with the Persians adopted the reclining sofa which was then copied by the Romans.

While in Mexico in the 70s, I knew a very upper-crust sounding American woman who was married to a Welshman. She was named Vivien Worsdall. She was in her 60s and she always said, “Let’s have luncheon,” and she never called a sofa that but a davenport.

Many years ago I especially remembered Vivien when I went to a American Hosta Society convention in Iowa and our buses went past a flooded Davenport. As to why Davenport, Iowa is called that my Wikipedia has the following citation:

Davenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226, making it the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk War stationed at nearby Fort Armstrong.

As to why some uppity Americans call a sofa a Davenport my Wikipedia further illuminated me with this:

Davenport was the name of a series of sofas made by the Massachusetts furniture manufacturer A. H. Davenport and Company, now defunct. Due to the popularity of the furniture at the time, the name davenport became a genericized trademark.

While I may be no artist I have taken many photographs of undraped women on a sofa. I am enclosing one of Argentine Irma. I photographed her in 2013 in Nora Patrich’s home in Bellavista, Buenos Aires.

The psychiatric couch finds a home





     

Previous Posts
El Otro - Un mate de plata con pie de serpientes

Inez Barber O'Reilly de Kuker - First Cousin - God...

Frente al mar - Alfonsina Storni

La Guitarra

The Hands that Talk

Brodie, brodi, brodo

La señora mayor - The Elderly Lady - Borges

Juan Manuel Sánchez - The Essence of a Woman

The Wright Stuff - A Sackfull of Laughs

Subject to Interpretation



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