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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » David Devant (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Hushai
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Elite user
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
433 Posts

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I humbly ask again: does anyone know for sure how to pronounce the surname of David Devant? I like to read about him; now I'd like to be able to TALK about him without sounding foolish. Smile
prospero
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Elsewhere
572 Posts

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Emphasis on the second syllable, I believe.
Clay Shevlin
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497 Posts

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Hushai: if memory is correct, Devant named his stage name after the French word "devant," which roughly means "in front of" or "before." After the inevitable "Englishizing" of the French pronounciation of this word, I would guess that Prospero is correct.
Hushai
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
433 Posts

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Thank you. Bill Hallahan opines that it is "DEE-vont," emphasis on the first syllable, and that sounds persuasive to me because, while I have read that Devant took that as his stage name after seeing a French painting of a Biblical subject entitled "David Devant Goliath" ("David Before Goliath"), and thus the name is from a French word, still the English seem to dislike using good French pronounciations, and emphasizing the second syllable sounds more French to me. Might the "Englishizing" of the word more likely lead to emphasizing the first syllable? I know this issue is not of Earth-shattering importance, but I have recently read Jim Steinmeyer's fine book "Hiding the Elephant," and have been wondering about this pronounciation ever since.
Magicbarry
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Toronto
276 Posts

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I've always heard it pronounced "de-VONT", and I don't think you can go wrong with that pronounciation. No one will look sideways at you.
Bill Hallahan
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New Hampshire
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In my previous post I made a mistake. I do put the accent on the second syllable. I pronounce the word "Devant" with the same rhythm as the French word “savant.”

It appears I pronounce it the same way as Prospero, but described it incorrectly.

I was much more concerned with the sounds of the vowels and subsequently made a mistake about the rhythm. Sorry about that.

I have gone back and added an update to that post.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
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