NABOKV-L post 0018311, Sun, 10 May 2009 11:16:05 -0300

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Conjectures on Assyrian black and blue beards
Fran Assa: "There are some real Assyrian bearded men statues on the website of the British Museum, but I couldn't copy them here!"

JM: Fran, thanks for helping me on!

Google-magic continues to deliver its goods (I wonder how VN would have responded to this kind of omnivorous search-tool...).
Under "Assyrian beard" I found, besides the habitual name of some rock-band, an enormous amount of information, beginning with biblical references to a punishment inflicted by the Lord toward Judea, "shaving the hair of the king's head, beard and legs", to a curly beard fashion cultivated in late XVIIthC France.
What I thought more interesting, qua Nabokov, was a conjecture (not confirmed) that the Assyrians, like the Egyptians, might have favored false beards.

There are lots of false beards in Pale Fire used by loyal followers of Charles II to deceive his pursuers. Shade's mane of hair seems to be real, but I read that Samuel Johnsons' was a wig. False and True, Fiction and Deceit...interesting themes to accompany a tub-shave.

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