-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Jansy on Sh's religion per VN
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 05:12:25 -0700
From: Mike Marcus <mmkcm@COMCAST.NET>
CC: Mike Marcus <mmkcm@COMCAST.NET>

You're right. Bill Fraser was the actor who played a soldier in a 1960s tv show in the UK called 'The Army Game', so he'd fit in a similar role in Ada. But he transforms into Broken-Arm Bill, who as you intuited, means Shakespeare, because in Bend Sinister Nabokov alludes to the First Folio engraving/portrait with two left arms, and of course for the left arm to substitute for the right, it would
need to be broken.
"In March 1911, the "portrait" was submitted to the editor of 'The Tailor and the Cutter' and 'The Gentleman's Tailor Magazine'. Both these trade journals agreed that the figure was clothed in a coat composed of the back and the front of the same left arm. This was proved by cutting out the two halves of the coat and showing them shoulder to shoulder." (from http://www.sirbacon.org/overlap.htm).

The "Roman deity" is the Catholic version of God. In Love's Labour's Lost, Shakespeare uses the same device when he's speaking of a matter concerning Catholics; Armado is lamenting the absence of decent clothing, and that he's wearing rough wool against his skin; Boyet remarks:
"True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen.."
Shakespeare's religion is indeed a vexed subject. I personally enjoyed the 1848 book by W. J. Birch that has WS as an atheist.

"... while Broken-Arm Bill prayed his Roman deity in a frenzy of fear for the Tartar to finish his job and go. But, of course, an invaluable detail in that strip of thought would have been — perhaps, next to the pitcher peri — a glint, a shadow, a stab of Ardis.)" Why would Broken-Arm Bill pray to a Roman deity?

Jansy Mello (again): Nabokov may have tried to mislead the reader into thinking about Roman mythology, instead of perceiving that the "Roman deity" is the Virgin Mary.

In this way, should Bill Fraser and Percy de Prey be related to the Shakespeare controversies, Bill (Shakespeare?) would be seen as a Catholic and not a Protestant, by our author.

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