Did Johann Fischart knew Tarocchi cards or not? Dummett and McLeod state ...
Depaulis in his article to German Tarot cards says ...
Well, it's true, a word like Tarau doesn't appear in the game list of Fischart. But I ask ... Did Johann Fischart knew Tarocchi cards or not? That's another question.
I think, he did.
But first, a biography of Fischart:
A longer biography in German ...
... where he gets admiring comment without end for his outstanding intellect, his superior abilities in different languages, his many different intellectual topics, his many journeys, his detailed knowledge and his clear view also at the low customs (especially drinking, especially gambling), his genius ways to express himself etc. etc.
In short, Fischart is a man of the rank of Rabelais or Merlinus Coccai. But history has it ... soon he was forgotten.
But nonetheless: Fischart is a sort of German-16th-century-James-Joyce and James James isn't easy to understand for English reader and less understandable for German readers and the same - only vice versa - is true for Fischart and French and English readers and also German readers. I'll attempt to translate him ... this is not an easy task. But I only translate a few sentences.
This is the French Rabelais text, the famous chapter 22, which includes the word Tarau:
according http://sami.is.free.fr/Oeuvres/rabelais_gargantua.htmPuis, tout lordement grignotant d'un transon de graces, se lavoit les mains de vin frais , s'escuroit les dens avec un pied de porc et devisoit joyeusement avec ses gens. Puis, le verd estendu, l'on desployoit force chartes, force dez, et renfort de tabliers. Là jouoyt :
[it follows the list of Rabelais. Then:]
Après avoir bien joué, sessé, passé et beluté temps, convenoit boire quelque peu, - c'estoient unze peguadz pour homme, - et, soubdain après bancqueter, c'estoit sus un beau banc ou en beau plein lict s'estendre et dormir deux ou troys heures, sans mal penser ny mal dire.
Luy esveillé, secouoit un peu les aureilles. Ce pendent estoit apporté vin frais; là beuvoyt mieulx que jamais.
Ponocrates luy remonstroit que c'estoit mauvaise diete ainsi boyre apres dormir.
« C'est (respondist Gargantua) la vraye vie des Peres, car de ma nature je dors sallé, et le dormir m'a valu autant de jambon. »
Puis commençoit estudier quelque peu, et patenostres en avant, pour lesquelles mieulx en forme expedier montoit sus une vieille mulle, laquelle avoit servy neuf Roys. Ainsi marmotant de la bouche et dodelinant de la teste, alloit veoir prendre quelque connil aux filletz.
Au retour se transportoit en la cuysine pour sçavoir quel roust estoit en broche.
Et souppoit très bien, par ma conscience ! et voluntiers convioit quelques beuveurs de ses voisins, avec lesquelz, beuvant d'autant, comptoient des vieux jusques es nouveaulx. Entre aultres avoit pour domesticques les seigneurs du Fou, de Gourville, de Grignault et de Marigny .
Après soupper venoient en place les beaux Evangiles de boys, c'est à dire force tabliers, ou le beau flux. Un, deux, troys, ou A toutes restes pour abreger, ou bien alloient voit les garses d'entour, et petitz bancquetz parmy, collations et arriere collations. Puis dormoit sans desbrider jusques au lendemain huict heures.
For Fischart you have:
Affentheurliche, naupengeheurliche geschichtklitterung:
von thaten vnd rahten der vor kurtzen, langen vnd jeweilen vollenwolbeschreyten helden vnd herzn
François Rabelais (translation by Fischart c. 1575)
B. Jobin, 1631, 541 pages
http://books.google.de/books?id=IGXQAAA ... en&f=false
That's the second page of the chapter, and it includes the words "Welsch Karten" and this means "italienische Karten (Italian cards). If anywhere, here we should find something about Tarocchi ... if Fischart knew something about Tarot.
Fischart's translation of Rabelais is NOT a translation. It's Fischart modified Gargantua and roughly estimated it's 2/3 Fischart and 1/3 Rabelais.
Fischart has ...
- 2 pages before the list ... Rabelais has 2 sentences.
- ... then the list on 7 pages and Fischart has c. 600 games, where Rabelais has 220
- 3 pages after the list ... and Rabelais is here a little longer than before, but Fischart's content has not much to do with Rabelais content.
Where the both texts really meet is here:
"force chartes, force dez, et renfort de tabliers", that means Rabelas has card, dice and table games and Fischart has Italian ("Welsch") cards, dice of Paris and tables.
From the whole text of Rabelais chapter 22, which is chapter 25 for Fischart I need only the first two pages, and from the first page I need only a specific passage.
The first two pages ... I only care for the 2 red passages. I don't care for a longer passage, which includes some philosophy about objects, which might serve Gargantua as a toothpick.
Fischart studied in Siena for some time (as his interest for games was clearly given, he should have noted Tarot cards). He had diplomatic missions to Switzerland, he knew about inner conflicts there, and Strassburg is not far from Switzerland.Nach endung des Nachtimbiß (und bißweilen auch zum Mittagmal) kauet er
etlich büschlin Spanischer Gratias, welche vermögen, das under dem man bitt,
so sicht man sich umb wo etwas zustälen ist, oder vor verzuckter andacht das
Bettbuch mit den vier Königen erwischt.
[After finishing his night meal (and occasionally the midday meal) he chewed some bunch of Spanish Gratias [Gratias is a religious term, likely it indicates a prayer after the meal], which give the chance, during one prays, that one takes a look, if there is anything to steal, or, in ecstatic devotion, one nabs the prayer book of the 4 kings [the "prayer book of the 4 Kings" is naturally a playing card deck]
Darnach wescht er sein Händ mit
frischem Wein, steuret und grübelt in zänen mit eim kalten Kalbsfuß, mit
Schweinen Kloen auß der Fischgalrey inn Essig gedunckt, auch mit eim
Rechschenckel, der auß einer kalten Pasteten sich wie der Papst seinen
Ellendskloen zuküssen darff bieten. Disen Zansteurer befand er besser, dann
die so heut die Italiäner auß Mastixholtz spitzen, oder die Niderländer auß
Wackholder und Lorberholtz, oder mein Löblich Handwerck die Schreiber auß
Federkeilen. Doch bißweilen braucht er auch stockfischschwentz, und auff
hohe Fest, den schnabel und die kloen von Rortrummen, oder RorReigeln,
oder Moßküen, oder MurRindern, oder Erdbüchssen. Item schwentz von
Heyen unnd Rochen: Darvon die heutig form der Güldenen unnd Silbern
Zansteurer, so man anhencket, herkommet.
Jedoch gribelt er nicht in Zänen wie der Amiral, dessen Zansteuren Gwyse
sehr forcht, unnd es hat ihm nit gefehlt.
[that's the toothpick scene]
Aber unser Stockfischschwantzsteurer
war mechtig lustig, war über neun Lauten und neuntzig Affen mit seim Volck.
[but our stockfish tail navigator was mighty funny, and reigned with 9 lutes and 90 monkeys with his folk. ]
Folgends ward der Tisch entdeckt, unnd ein Tapet auffgelegt, da bracht man
alsbald ein hauffen Welscher wolgepepter, wolgeferbter glatter Karten,
Pariser Würffel [or Partser ... other editions come up with Prager Würffel] , und die Schantzen von Prettspiel.
Then the table was detected, and a tapestry was laid upon, and soon was brought a pile of Welsch [Italian] wolgepepter [unknown word, which likely expresses elegance], well colored smooth playing cards [I think, he indicates Tarocchi cards], Parisian dice [or dice of Prague] and stones of the table game [or just table games].
Dann er mußt gespilt haben: Kart war sein Morgengab, wie den Augspurgischen Weiber: wan es
ihm mit eim Buch der König nicht wolt glücken, Oho ein andere her, die
wöllen wir zum Fenster außschicken, und solts dem Predicanten umb den
[Cause he must have played: the cards were his morning gift (Morgengabe is actually a terminus connected to the wedding rituals, a present from the man to the wife after the wedding night), as for the women in Augsburg [Augsburg was a very rich city in Fischart's time, and Augsburg knew luxury decks]: if the King didn't work with one book [the "King" is possibly the penis, cause "Morgengabe" also associates the morning erection of the genital; "King" could also refer to "book of the 4 kings" mentioned above], Oho, get another one, we throw it (the cards? the woman ?) out of the window and it (or they) shall fly around the head of the predicant (preacher? teacher? )
Was fragen wir nach dem Genfftischen (other edition "Genffischen") Tonneau, der kein Sternen in der Karten will zulassen:
[(Well, here it becomes "very interesting") What do we care about the Tonneau of Geneve (Tonneau might be a title ... but a Tonneau is a wine barrel, and as Fischarts text is full of drinking associations it's just a Wine barrel of Geneve, but as Fischarts text is full of mockery, the "wine barrel of Geneve" might address a specific person known for some love to alcohol), who doesn't allow "Stars" in the cards:
This is from the Belgian Tarot about 200 years later, but the motif, as I've read in IPCS texts, was in use on playing decks at least in Fischart's time, though with no confirmation for its use on Tarot cards.
Now Geneve is very special in its 16th century history (a strong protestantic story with wars and fights about religious questions) and very special in its Tarocchi behavior: It prohibited them as the first Swiss city in 1609 (as far it is known) ... in contrast to the very catholic Nidwalden (where the game became known in Switzerland 1572; likely the major home of the Swiss soldiers, which served the Pope), who never participated in the custom to replace pope and popess with other cards in their Tarot.
I worked on this recently:
... in the article focused on Swiss guards
Combined with this internal knowledge, the sentence "What do we care about the Tonneau of Geneve who doesn't allow "Stars" in the cards:" becomes "What do we care about the Bacchus of Geneve [which served as replacement for papal symbols], who doesn't allow Tarot cards: [Tarot cards have "Sternen" ... stars etc.]
sind doch schöne Farben drin, inn
welcher, wann einer gekleidet geht, glück hat unnd Schätz findet, wie D.
Thoman von Filtzbach im Planetenbuch schreibt:
there are nice colors in it [in the Tarot cards, I'ld assume], in which, if somebody is clothed [if he isn't clothed but half-naked as the Fool in the Tarot cards, I would assume], has luck and finds treasures, as it is written by D. Thoman von Filtzbach in the "Book of the planets":
Well, who is D. (likely for Doctor) Thoman von Filtzbach and what is his Planetenbuch? Both are unknown and Fischart was a man, who didn't resist a joke ... there's no reason to be fixed on the idea, that this book and man should have really existed.
As Filtzbach are known:
1. a small location in Switzerland high in the mountains with some distance (50-100 km) to Lucerne (and Lucerne is possibly the heart of all Tarot wandering to the North and foreign countries).
2. A small location near Mainz, and it is assumed, that at least the father of Fischart (or Fischart himself) were from Mainz originally. Fischart called himself a "Strasburger Mentzer", he felt connected to both cities, though he lived most time in Strasbourg.
If one assumes, that the Tonneau of Geneve addressed the inner-Swiss conflict between protestant and catholic cantons (and a specific Swiss Tarot problem), the region of Lucerne would have been very good to address this
conflict (cause it seems, that Norther Tarot started from here. Why just Filtzbach high in the mountains ... very much Swiss soldiers came "from high in the mountains", just cause the living conditions were hard there and the people were poor and had no money. Perhaps we have Thoman of Filtzbach best translated with "Thoman from the end of the world" and far behind all forests and mountains.
Naturally it's possible, that Fischart addresses somebody funny in the location Filtzbach in Mainz. It stay Fischart' mystery.
Now it seems (for a part of the rest of the text ), that the speaker is Thoman of Filtzbach (and Fischart only quotes; but that's not sure). The rest is not so interesting}.
So muß ich mir bei der
Heyligen Aeschen die neu Kart bekommen, von vier ausserlesenen Farben,
Roten Cardinalshüten, grauen Mönchskappen, blauen Cornutschlappen, und
schwartzen Predicantischen über Paretdellern.
Now I have to get the new cards from the "Heyligen Aeschen" [it seems clear, that Yggdrasil from the Nordic myths is addressed], of four selected suits, red cardinal hats, grey monk caps, blue "Cornutschlappen" (Corno ducalis is the hat of the doge of Venice, but Cornutschlappen might address a horned fool's hat, I guess), and black preacher hats (?). [actually card decks with similar symbols have been found]
Nun biß ichs bekomm so hört.
[Till I get them, hear this:]
Es war unserm Spiler wie dem grossen Alexander, der weint daß sein Vatter
viel gewan, dann er besorgt er möcht nichts zugewinnen haben: So weint diese
unsere Spilgurgel daß sein Vatter viel verlor, besorgt sein Vatter ließ ihm
nichts daß er auch zu verlieren hett.
[It was for our player as with the great Alexander, who wept, that his did win so much, and who was worried, that he himself couldn't win any more. Now weeps this Spilgurgel (Game-gurgel; a gambler, who likes to drink ?), that his father lost so much, and was worried, that the father would leave him nothing, that he himself might lose.
Warlich rechte Heldentugenden, wann
man das Gelt unter die Leut laßt kommen, den Schimmel davon treibt, unnd
des gelts ein Meister ist.
[Truely right virtues of an hero, if one sends the money between the people, and drives the fungi away (or the white horse), and if one is the master of money. ]
Jedoch hett er allerley Spiel inn allerley Wehren vor,
mit unnd ohn Frauen, ohn und mit Frauen, mit und ohn das gesind, bei Liecht
und bei keim Liecht: war gar kurtzweilig wie ein Floh im Ohr, lustig wie ein
Nasser Sontag, und dasselb spilender und gailender weiß, wie folget, als
nämlich spilt er ...
However, he has various in "allerley Wehren" (?), with and without women ((Queens ?), without or with women (again), with or without servants (Ober and Unter ?), with light or without light: was entertaining as a flea in the ear, funny as a wet Sunday, and this in gaming and horny manner, as it follows, as he plays ... [and then follows the long list]
I think, that this is the Fischart version of 1590, I don't know, what's inside the earlier.