Napist Identification Clues

Th​is is a partial list, a subset of this section in the book.

Aside from making a direct inquiry, there are ways of identifying Napists among your circle of family and friends. Their use of the Napist lingo, Napist terms, and references to Napist culture is usually a good clue; below is a partial list:

Using the proper descriptive name for various kinds of naps

Amateurs and dabblers in the art will say “I think I’ll take a little nap”; Napists will say, “Y’know, I think this is the perfect setting for a ‘Cowboy Nap.’” They’ll claim a “Nothing-Else-To-Do-While-You’re-Cooking-Dinner Nap” or a “Proper-Preparation-For-Cocktail-Hour Nap.” They’ll say “Man, was that ever a Runaway Nap!”, or “When should I schedule my ‘Holiday Nap?’”, or “Y’know, I think it’s a bit too humid for a Hat-Over-The-Face Nap”, etc., etc., ad infinitum (or, as some critics have been known to say, ad nauseum.)

Using euphemisms, for the benefit of those with weak Nap-fu, to explain naps

Example: “No, Dear, my sweet, delicate prairie flower. Despite appearances I am NOT about to nap: I am actively engaged in a ’planning session’. I soon shall be in a period of such intense meditation, such intense intellectual activity that all of my highly-focused and productive energy will be concentrated in my brain thereby rendering my body motionless, almost paralyzed. So, stand clear! Don’t bother me; go away.”

Unusually thorough knowledge of classical lullabies

There have been some notable creative works created or inspired by Napists, often taking the form of the berceuse, which is in triple metre or in a compound metre such as 6/8. There’s Chopin’s Opus 57, British composer Nicholas Maw’s orchestral nocturne The World in the Evening, and American composer Michael Glenn Williams’ Berceuse for Solo Piano (recorded by pianist Roberto Prosseda) which uses an ostinato similar to Chopin’s but in a 21st century harmonic context. And let’s not forget George Gershwin’s Lullabye for a String Quartet!

Music is widely considered the universal language, and the Napist influence surfaces in virtually all of the world’s cultures. From the Sudanese Cing cang keeling; to the Japanese Edo, Itsuki, Takeda, and Shimabara ; to the famous French Frère Jacques and the fabulous Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn; to the Italian Nana Bobo (with Balkan and Byzantine influences evident in the structure of the song) and Fai la Nanna, Mio Simone (which has an initial exuberant tone followed by the sweeter pace of a calm cradle song): the presence, strength, and human culture underpinnings of Napism cannot be denied.