Popping open my first bottle of pear juice
While I track my copy of The Recognitions across the vast red space of Jesusland, I feel I need to give a little to the ongoing discussion. In what will probably become known as the SoT formula--one that readers of my site know all too well--I scoop the bottom of the Internet barrel to give you something that matters little but could help untie some of your drunken tongues as you read the pages aloud to your pet or significant other(s). A confused reader asked Google Answers, I am reading "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis. What is the correct pronunciation of the name Gwyon?
For $5, this is the answer that Confused Reader received:
Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting question.
Interestingly enough is this, purportedly from Gaddis himself, as quoted by A READER'S GUIDE TO WILLIAM GADDIS'S ‘THE RECOGNITIONS’:
“Asked once how to pronounce “Gwyon”, Gaddis said he didn't know; he had never said it aloud. It probably should be pronounced as one syllable, like "Gwynne," its modern form.”
A READER'S GUIDE TO WILLIAM GADDIS'S ‘THE RECOGNITIONS’ http://www.williamgaddis.org/recognitions/I1anno1.shtml
This appears to be confirmed by numerous mentions about the original name GWION, which sounds very similar to Gwynne and could very well have become Gwynne over the years.
The name Gwyon is a very, very old name and appears in THE MERIONETH LAY SUBSIDY ROLL for the years 1292-1293, many centuries before Gaddis was born. This was a tax roll of Welsh people living in northwestern Wales. A SIMPLE GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTING 13TH CENTURY WELSH NAMES, relying on the information in this historical tax role, indicates that the name GWYON is a variation of the original name GWION, both of which appear to be pronounced: “GWEE-ON” (in the Welsh languages of the time “GWI-” and “GWY-” were typically pronounced “GWEE-“)
So as you can see, the name GWION/GWYON in it’s early form would have been ‘GWEE-ON’, but the assumption made by A READER'S GUIDE TO WILLIAM GADDIS'S ‘THE RECOGNITIONS’ that the pronunciation of the name is ‘GWEN’ (similar to the way the name ‘GWYNNE’ sounds) as Gaddis surmised is logically correct.
Below you will find that I have carefully defined my search strategy for you in the event that you need to search for more information. By following the same type of searches that I did you may be able to enhance the research I have provided even further....
Tutuzdad – Google Answers Researcher
SHIRE OF WINTERMIST
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTING 13TH CENTURY WELSH NAMES
(see item #10 on this page)
Of course, now it would be nice to know how to pronounce Tutuzdad.