Wednesday 16 January 2013


A sottisier is a collection of foolish or stupid remarks. I may need to rename this blog.

The word comes from the French, but was imported into the English language like good brie by Ezra Pound in a letter of 1929. Pound advised Charles Henri Ford to include a sottisier in his new poetry magazine (everybody Pound knew seemed to run magazines). Here's the relevant moment:

You shd. look at all the other poetry reviews and attack idiocy when it appears in them. The simplest and briefest form of attack is by a sottisier. As has been done by Mercure de France, New Age, Egoist and Am. Mercury. The only thing is that instead of Mencken's 'Americana' you shd. run sottisier confined to literary criticism. It is no longer my place to point out the idiocies that appear in Poetry, for example. The older boy shd. not stick pins into the younger. It is courageous of the young to stick pins into 
the pompous. 

Make your sottisier from Poetry and the main literary reviews, Sunday supplements, etc. 

These sottisiers are often the first parts of a live mag that people read. Let everyone collect 'em. 

There are very few (deliberate) sottisiers today. Private Eye has a few of them in Colemanballs and Pseuds Corner. However, the comments section of most political websites keep the tradition well and alive.

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1 comment:

  1. It's speled without an apostrophe: Pseuds Corner (cf. Private Eye no. 1331, p 28)