NABOKV-L post 0020869, Tue, 12 Oct 2010 19:47:18 EDT

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Botkin again and several queries
In a message dated 10/12/2010 1:32:31 PM Central Daylight Time,
jansy@AETERN.US writes:
> One of the references to Botkin, by Kinbote, is when he includes it in a
> list of surnames that indicate a profession*.
> Botkin emerges, as a surname, in a commentary related to Shade's parents,
> his mother in particular, while we wade through the typical
> self-referential passage that leads from Shade's family onto King Charles's own. Is this
> suggestive of Shade/Kinbote's blenda into one?
> btw: (1) Hamlet's bare Danish stiletto here not only refers to Kinbote,
> but is part of assorted links with Denmark, things danish and, even, Gradus'
> first landing spot after he left Onhava to cross over to the States); (2)
> What kind of blood-relation is there between faithful Odon, treacherous
> Nodo and Oleg, through G.Rahl and Sylvia O'Donnell?
> Cf. Note to lines 71/72
> "The poet's mother, nee Caroline Lukin, assisted him in his work and drew
> the admirable figures of his Birds of Mexico, which I remember having seen
> in my friend's house. What the obituarist does not know is that Lukin comes
> from Luke, as also do Locock and Luxon and Lukashevich. It represents one
> of the many instances when the amorphous-looking but live and personal
> hereditary patronymic grows, sometimes in fantastic shapes, around the common
> pebble of a Christian name. The Lukins are an old Essex family. Other names
> derive from professions such as Rymer, Scrivener, Limner (one who
> illuminates parchments), Botkin (one who makes bottekins, fancy footwear) and
> thousands of others. My tutor, a Scotsman, used to call any old tumble-down
> building "a hurley-house." But enough of this."
> The Botkin Index entry ackowledges this reference:
> Botkin, V., American scholar of Russian descent, 894; king-bot, maggot of
> extinct fly that once bred in mammoths and is thought to have hastened
> their phylogenetic end, 247; bottekin-maker, 71; bot, plop, and botelïy,
> big-bellied (Russ.); botkin or bodkin, a Danish stiletto.
> * Any link to the Spanish Inquisition and the New Christians who altered
> their names?
Luke, of course, is always going to be linked to "the physician." But the
name itself, which probably derives from a region of Italy, is also linked
to the Latin word for "wolf." This is a name, unlike the surnames that CK
mentions, that did not derive from a profession.

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