I believe I have a PF ‘find’ here:
Kinbote in his commentary to 922 quotes one of Shade’s discards:
England where poets flew the highest, now
Wants them to plod and Pegasus to plough;
This wonderful image of creative sell-out most likely refers to a poem by Friedrich Schiller, “Pegasus in the Yoke” about a poor poet who sells Pegasus to a boorish peasant who puts it to the plough, but finds the fabulous horse untamable. Finally a deserving youth un-yokes him and they soar into the skies. The first lines are:
INTO a public fair—a cattle-fair, in short,
Where other things are bought and sold—ah, sad to tell!
A hungry poet one day brought
The Muse’s Pegasus, to sell.
In looking through the archives, I found these two statements about VN and Schiller:
>From Alexey Sklyarenko, NABOKV-L POST 0007664
In my opinion, Nabokov's knowledge of German 19th century and contemporary authors (especially in his mature years) was deeper than it is usually thought to be. In his youth, he would read Goethe, Schiller, Uhland in Zhukovski's wonderful translations (which he even preferred to the originals)
>From Mathew Roth, NABOKV-L POST 0015214
I should also note that VN was very familiar with Schiller. He mentions him many times in his EO commentary
What I also found out is that Schiller was influenced by mystical Christian theosophy. This puts him in company with most (all?) PF poets associated with various esoteric societies. Christian Theosophy originated with the famous alchemist Jakob Boehme. I have mentioned in previous posts PF's pervasive references to alchemy. I wonder whether Jakob Boehme, who was called “the Shoemaker” might ultimately be behind the character of Botkin.
That is, if Botkin is actually the alchemist/conjurer/author behind PF.