That VN was familiar with Rabelais is amply attested by Pale Fire, we read about Rabelais and his "big potato".
found an interesting mention to a Rabelaisian library visited by Pantragruel, in an essay written by Umberto Eco, where the words "chimera bombinans in vacuo" called my attention ( I selected only part of the entire title of the mysterious book on "Quaestio subtilissima utrum chimera bombinans in vacuo possit comedere secundas intentiones".
I wonder if anyone has already called attention to this animated "chimera" that bombinates in Bend Sinister's last lines to twang and trick proofreaders into substituting "mothing" for "nothing" and the whimsical mirage of a library and its titles in Rabelais.
( as also to sound of "bombycina" with Shade's waxwing "Bombycilla")
would like to thank Sandor
Pongor for providing the relevant
excerpt from Montaigne's essay concerning VN's disparaging comments on Apuleius,
as also John Mella, for the disquietingly beautiful lines
115-124 of Shade's poem in association to the rocking cradle balancing over two