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October 4, 2010

The copy-editor’s dilemma #5

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Valtat is not the first author to be interested in séances

Valtat is not the first author to be interested in séances

Once again we introduce you to the delightful and arcane vocabulary of Aurorarama that frequently baffled our poor copy-editor.

Today’s word is apport: the production of objects by apparently supernatural means at a spiritualists’ seance.

Author Jean-Christophe Valtat describes how he came across the term:

I encountered the word for the first time in Marina Warner‘s great book, Phantasmagoria. It is used in Aurorarama figuratively for the memories of a dream, but literally, in the spiritists’  jargon, an “apport” is an object made from concentrated fluid and materialized by the medium: flowers, cast limbs etc… In Allan Kardec‘s Book of Mediums, a spirit, “Eraste,” avows good-naturedly that these mystical objects are rather “boring and tiring” to make.

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