August 13, 2010


We must neither become petrified in our primitial tastes, nor sway in the breeze of others’ tastes.
The two commandments of taste.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 279


  1. The original Spanish is:

    Ni petrificarnos en nuestros gustos primiciales, ni oscilar al soplo de gustos ajenos.
    Los dos mandamientos del gusto.

  2. "Primitial" is certainly not a word one encounters every day. Here it translates the Spanish cognate primicial. Both words are derived from the Latin primitiae.

    Primicial can have two meanings. The first meaning is simply "first" or "primordial." I believe it is this first meaning which Gómez Dávila had in mind here.

    The second, more technical meaning of primicial is "having to do with the first fruits" or "first-portion." In New Testament times this was the Jewish term for anything set apart to God before the remainder could be used. The term (Greek απαρχή) occurs several times in the New Testament, e.g., 1 Cor. 15:20, where St. Paul calls Christ "the first fruits of those who have died."