NABOKV-L post 0015525, Tue, 2 Oct 2007 13:18:20 -0400

Re: THOUGHTS: Hazel Shade & Catskin/Catkins
--- Matthew Roth <MRoth@MESSIAH.EDU> wrote:

> As some of you know, I am working on a (wildly unpopular) argument which
> posits an incestuous relationship between John Shade and his daughter
> Hazel. I can't get into all of the premises here (contact me off-list if
> you are interested) except to say that there is a network of allusions
> to cannibalism which are inextricably intertwined with notions of
> incest.

A lot to think about here, especially Cat-skin *shudder*. I'm just
going to comment on a matter of fact.


> a. Boyd sees this as a foreshadowing image of Hazel's
> transformation from Toothwort White into Red Admirable. (Btw, has anyone
> ever pointed out that Toothwort--the plant--specifically feeds on Hazel
> roots? I have not found this noted anywhere in Boyd or elsewhere).

That's a different Toothwort. The (larval) butterfly, being a
relative of the cabbage butterflies, must feed on plants of the
genus /Cardamine/, in the cabbage family, some of which are
called toothworts. Those plants are found around the world.
The parasitic toothworts, found only in temperate Eurasia, are
members of the genus /Lathraea/ in the broomrape (that word!)
family. Also, the Common Toothwort parasitize the alder as well
as the hazel. (Information from Wikipedia.)

Maybe some reference to the European-versus-American-names
theme, though.

By the way, thanks for the off-list correction that "unicursal
bicircular quartic" is in Webster's Second. What were they
thinking? But VN must have been delighted to find it.

Jerry Friedman

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