NABOKV-L post 0014387, Thu, 14 Dec 2006 12:50:43 EST

Re: Hamlet

Jansy wrote
Hamlet and Danish verbal instruments abound in B.S, since "As with all
decadent democracies, everybody in the Denmark of the play suffers from a
plethora of words". [The words are mainly Nabokov's, quoted from Bend Sinister.]
From the "plethora of words" we reach "an Englishman whose domed head had
been a hive of words; a man who had only to breathe on any particle of his
sutendous vocabulary to have that particle live and expand..." and to another
man, three centuries later, in another country "trying to render these rhythms
and metaphors in a different tongue".
Now I will have to read BS again, since I'd forgotten it. There is quite a
long discussion of Hamlet in James Joyce also, but I can't remember if it's in
Ulysses or Portrait of the Artist.
Would one describe VN as having a domed head?
Would one describe the Court at Elsinore as a "decadent democracy"? Sounds
rather like Oscar Wilde, talking about quite another country.

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