[Vwoolf] "Conscience is trade-name of the firm" : What is this a reference to, in Dorian Gray?
coruscate818 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 18 01:15:47 EDT 2017
As a literature scholar cum trademark attorney, I would make a case for
taking Wilde at his word. From the OED entry on "trade name":
"*1.* A name by which a thing or person is called in the specialist
vocabulary (or jargon) of a particular trade or occupation.
1832 *Mechanics' Mag.* 11 Aug. 319/2 To be a good reader (which I need
not tell you, is the trade name for the corrector of the press), one must
be a very clever fellow.
1858 P. L. Simmonds *Dict. Trade Products* *Bosh*,..a trade name for
mixed or adulterated butter.
1905 *Dundee Advertiser* 15 July 6 The stem, to give the banana
its trade name."
*3.* The name assigned to a product or service by its manufacturer or
provider, typically having the status of a trademark; a brand name.
1890 *Atlantic Reporter* *18* 416/1 The firm sought to select and
establish a trade name for their coal.
The first UK Trademark Act was enacted in 1875. The first reported common
law trademark case, Southern v. How (1617), concerned clothiers. A case
from the 1800s contains the maxim: "The law has been settled, from the
yearbooks downwards, that a man has no right to trade under false colors,
and to sell his goods as another's." Knott v. Morgan,
48 Eng. Rep. 610, 612 (Rolls CL 1836).
See J.M. Treece, "Developments in the Law of Trademarks and Service Marks,"
58 Berkeley L.J. 4.
Wilde was keenly aware of and immersed in
he language of advertising
and commercial speech, as well as a brand in his own right. See David
Friedman, "Wilde in America" (2014).
On Jun 16, 2017 10:30 AM, "Mary Ellen Foley" <mefoleyuk at gmail.com> wrote:
I wonder whether 'the name of the firm' was a period way to convey what
we'd say today as 'the name of the game'? In the absence of any real data,
that's how I'd read it.
On Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Sunjoo Lee <abgrund at naver.com> wrote:
> Dear Woolfians,
> In Chapter 1 of *The Picture of Dorian Gray*, Lord Henry says this to
> "Conscience and cowardice are really the same thing, Basil. Conscience is
> the trade-name of the firm. That is all."
> In a French edition from folio, the line was translated as:
> "La conscience et la lâcheté sont une seule et même chose, Basil. La
> conscience est la raison sociale de la firme. C'est tout."
> This translation makes me thinking: Did Wilde really mean to say something
> like "Conscience is a name of a company"?
> Or, with the definite articles, "Conscience is that name of the company,
> which everybody used to know"? But, what could this mean?
> I had thought, with "firm," Wilde had qualities of one's character,
> something in the line of "headstrong," inflexible in moral judgments.
> I somehow really got curious to know about the (possible) reference of
> this line. Would someone let me know?
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