Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 8 01:49:43 UTC 2006

>>>From Henry Louis Gates, Jr., _Figures in Black_ (1987; rpt. N.Y.: Oxford
>>U. P., 1989), p. 191 ( The author is considering the appearance of
>>"gwine" in an old spiritual :
>>...It is basically untranslatable, yet, with a little reflection, we must see
>>that the full import of the word goes far beyond its referent 'I am going
>>to,' and implies far more. "Gwine" implies a filial devotion to a moral
>>order but also the completion, the restoration, of harmony in a universe
>>out of step somehow. "Gwine" asserts a reordering, again this restoration
>>rhythmic, its diphthong heightening its force on the heels on the
>>breathily spoken "gw" sound, the "w" tempering the hard "g." "Gwine"
>>connotes unshakeable determination, the act to come made certain to come
>>by the act of speech. "Gwine" leaves no room for doubt, for question, for
>>vacillation...."Gwine" contains a concept, a way of looking at the world,
>>not fully translated by "I am going to." With "gwine," people accept their
>>primal place in the bosom of God.
This explains a lot about the appeal of wine, which is  basically
just like "gwine" except without having that hard initial onset to
temper.  And a way of looking at the world and accepting one's primal
place in the bosom of God if there ever was one.


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