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Montresor

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

So, maybe we all read 'the Cask of Amontillado' in school, eh? Edgar Allen Poe's short story about a guy luring his drunk buddy into the catacombs beneath his castle with promises of a wine-tasting whereupon he chains the poor fool to a wall in an alcove and bricks it up leaving him to rot behind the fresh new wall? Pretty basic Poe, human meanness amplified into intrigue and murder. The victim's name is Fortunato, and of course high school English class likes to dwell on that, ironic cuz he ain't very lucky now is he...

And even though I used to be a smarty pants English major, I admit I never took much time to wonder about the other character's name, the murderer, Montresor. Simple enough, Mon Tresor is 'My Treasure' and is a sweet thing to call someone dear to you, but apparently there's a region in France called Montresor and there the name is usually taken to mean the 'Mountain of Treasure' cuz of a fairy tale wherein a little lizard runs into a fissure in the mountain and comes out all shiny w gold dust enabling a poor nobleman to build his dream castle, and get the girl, of course.

However a much more likely derivation of this Montresor predates the gold-dust fable, in the 9th century the treasurer of the cathedral at Tours owned the fiefdom and so it was the 'mountain of the treasurer' ~ Mons Thesauri, and so yeah, that's a neat little tidbit: a Thesaurus is a 'treasury' of words. Nice.

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