NABOKV-L post 0018312, Sun, 10 May 2009 18:28:44 -0300

[NABOKOV-L] Images and quotes about Assyrian beards,
Persian blues, Ada and Tartars...
Images related to "Assyrian Beards":
1. Bull with wings and human face
2. Sphynx at the Taçara (Winter Palace, Persepolis)
3. Assyrian King and High Priest
4. Persian warriors ("the immortals")

In VN we find references to "Assyrian beards" ( The Defense, Lolita), also to historical and geographical items concerning Assyria, Babylon, and ancient cities in Asia and North Africa. Here are excerpts from ADA*:

Soon after his arrival at Ardis, Van met Lucette sitting under Persian lilacs;
Lady Erminin, "through the bothersome afterhaze of suicide" watched the Ada's picnic "from the Persian blue of her abode of bliss".
Mlle Larivière expressed her displeasure with the English "whom she said she disliked even more than the Tartars, or the, well, Assyrians" and, according to Marina, 'Mesopotamian history was taught practically in the nursery'.
Lucette wondered if they were Mesopotamians (Van quipped that, actually, they were "Hippopotamians")
Persian poems are oft recited ("Gardeners paraphrased iridescent Persian poems about irrigation and the Four Arrows of Love.") There's a lepidopterist called Professor Nabonidus of Babylon College, Nebraska.

Besides there are Babylonian willows in Ada, Pale Fire, Bend Sinister...

* For people who enjoyed cross-words, Ada is a familiar name in connection to Caria and to the Achaemenids.
Wiki information: Ada is the sister and wife of Idrieus, after his death satrap of Caria between 344 and 340, member of the Hecatomnid 340, Ada was expelled from her capital Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum)...The dynasty was discredited, and when Pixodarus died in 334, the Achaemenid king Darius III Codomannus appointed a Persian named Orontobates as satrap. Ada seems to have remained satrap of Caria until 326. Turkish archaeologists claim to have discovered her tomb, and her bones have been transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Bodrum, which is situated on the site of the citadel of Halicarnassus that Alexander had been unable to capture.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: