Matt wrote that " While
looking into the passages in LATH! concerning VV's relationship with Bel
(including a stay at the Lupine Lodge) VV says she [ Bel] resembles
the girl in Serov's painting Five-petaled Lilac, who sits at a table
"manipulating a raceme of lilac in search of that lucky token." What,
pray tell, is the lucky token?
Don answered Matt that "Lilacs normally have four petals, but rarely five. If you find
a five petal one, you are supposed to eat it to bring
JM: Checking wikipedia's
"Lilacs" I found there are connections bt. the lepidoptera (
Copper Underwing, Scalloped Oak and Svensson's Copper
Underwing) which feed on it but that also favor the
hazel tree ( with its catkins).
There are lilacs that are designated as
"syringa wolfii" ( the wolf in Lupine
Lodge?) that grow in China, Korea and E.Russia. (an
internet- paperchase location of "Lupine Lodge" or... the residence
fail to acknowledge the malice present in VN's sentence
"manipulating a raceme...lucky token", i.e, botanically it
probably refers to the lilac's (rare!) fifth petal. And yet, it also
suggests ( by Freudian pollination) a lucky "member" added to the
normal four existing ones, one that Bel hopes to encounter during
her racemal manipulations.