Bred en bawn

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Darkwin-Alfa

Member
portuguese
Hello everyone. I'm in need of help again.

I'm studying a piece entitled "Why Bach Moves Us", by George B. Stauffer, in the New York Review of Books, and I came across a comparison that I’m not quite sure I got right.

While reviewing a recent book about Bach, by the British conductor John Eliot Gardiner, Stauffer refers the author’s assertions that Bach may have been a bit of a thug, in his infancy and youth, due to the negative and rather violent environment of the schools and colleges he attended as well as “the turf wars of the Lüneburg [the city where Bach lived after becoming orphan] prefects over serenading rights, creating gang clashes fought by ‘embryonic Jets and Sharks’”.

Given this context – the bullying and thuggish colleagues and the gang wars à la West Side Story –, Stauffer then states:

“Gardiner concludes that Bach was ‘bred en bawn in a brier-patch’ like Brer Rabbit, and that this thorny upbringing set the stage for a troubled professional life.”

Now, I’m familiar with Uncle Remus’ "The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story" and I know in which context Brer Rabbit shouts the quoted sentence – after narrowly escaping death by begging Brer Fox to do anything BUT throw him into the "brier-patch." I’m just not sure of the exact meaning of the expression “en bawn” and what does the author means by this comparison.

Could anyone help?

Thanks in advance.
ACabral
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It is "and born." "Born and bred" is a common phrase in English. This is a version of it in the dialect used in the stories.
    (The quote is not in the story about the tar baby.)
     

    Darkwin-Alfa

    Member
    portuguese
    Oh! Perhaps you could elucidate me, then, in which context the Brer Rabbit says it, please? I was mildly sure he said it to Brer Fox, as a way of crowing, after getting entangled in the black tar and having taunted the latter to throw him in the brier-patch, a measure through which he knew he would be able to avoid being eaten by the fox.

    By the way, I presume that the rabbit got free of the tar due to the thorny characteristics of the brier. Is that a correct assumption?

    Thank you.
    ACabral
     
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