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June 8, 2019


John Ballard

What a delightful romp!

I kept waiting for castor oil to appear so when I didn't curiosity sent me to Wikipedia. The first sentence explained: "Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans.[1] The name probably comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum.[2]"

Castoreum has a separate article with a raft of information (likely known only by a very small number of people) including "The government of Ontario pays trappers to harvest beaver castor sacs.[citation needed] The sacs brought CA$2.62–5.10 per ounce when auctioned at the May–June 2016 North American Fur Auction.[7]"

Thanks for this.
You have enriched my morning.

Wilhelm Petal

Dear Justin--A note: My Cohen-Solal biography reports that the le Castor nickname for Simone de Beauvoir originally came from one of Sartre's and de Beauvoir's pals from the École Normale, Maheu. Maheu named her so on account of her industry, yes. But (apparently) primarily because Beauvoir, when pronounced in English, or by an anglophone, sounds somewhat like beaver.

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