NABOKV-L post 0014284, Tue, 5 Dec 2006 14:13:30 -0200

Meddling with Links and Bobolinks
Jerry Friedman to DBJ: ..." Americans have miscalled some trees "cedars", notably junipers.... See Brian Boyd's book, or my post of April 26, 1998 entitled "Cedars and waxwings in PALE FIRE ." Taxonomic trivia: I was brought up to believe that the Atlas Cedar and the Lebanon Cedar were separate species, but as your quote noted, some authorities consider them conspecific.
JM to JF and DBJ: VN might probably have had two things up his sleeve: (a) In his text (not included in "Dar") on "Father's Butteflies" his character ridiculed taxonomic procedures.He might have mentioned various Cedars, with their different weeping atlantic indications to puzzle his readers; (b) Living in South America I'm more acquainted with tropical forests (in which thousands of plants elbow away one another) than with conifers. Pine-trees grow in orderly fashion and the acidness of their needles is deterrent to biodiversity.They are "totalitarian"?

JF to JM: ..."the matter of cardinal importance I had in mind is Russia and nostalgia ("ex Ponto").
JM: Imho, the subject Russia (= childhood, not only cultura or language) and nostalgia are more than of "cardinal importance", they are part of VN's "symptom" ( sould, style)

JF to Charles: [ Is Richard Brodie a computer?] I doubt it, but he uses a free computer program called Anagram Artist. Maybe someone should suggest that someone try to anagram a long passage of Bloodmark.
JM to the List: Why not anagram certain lines in "PF"? I tried line 1 (and 1000?) to find special hints ending with "pain". I got words like "swing","hand","fox","wind" but didn't get very far. Perhaps if I knew hout to use this "Anagram Artist" I might come up with a new proposition for line 1000...

JF to Carolyn [How about with an example of a parallel coincidence (combined with venting one of my minor idees fixes)?] " There are very few other novels that contain an index. The most notable, I think, is /The Lord of the Rings/....Isildur refers to the One /weregild/ for his father. Tolkien,as an Anglo-Saxon scholar, of course knew "kinbote" as another way to say that.We also find dwarves, elves,(alfear), a versipel...and a lot of rhymed poetry of doubtful quality...
I admit that I have no idea whether VN read /The Lord of the Rings/...I would bet that for every link to J&H you can come up with, one could find a link to LOTR--or to many other books...So I have no trouble believing in such coincidences.

JM to JF: From African folclore to Brazil came a kingly figure as a "bot" ( ambassator, sometimes representative of converted African Kings, such as Afonso I - - and probably not the Alphonse I mentioned in Ada), associated with what in other cultures is "weregild". In his retinue we find a wizard ( with powers to ressurect fallen warriors) named "Quimboto".
Bobolinks and Googlelinks: JSTOR: Gourds and Castanets: The African Finger in Modern Spain ...-The foreman fetched the necromancer, Quimboto, who deployed all his wizardy and incantations to revive the stricken;
Musica dei Popoli: Il mameto, che muore nel combattimento, viene poi risuscitato dal quimboto (stregone)... Like JF, I have no trouble believing in such coincidences, but I still think VN didn't choose "Kinbote" at random.

Arne H. Petersen to the List: in...August 12, 2003 the subject of VN's use of "Danish" came up, and a list poster wrote: I wonder what kind of Danish Nabokov spoke... To this I would add that "Danish" is imprecise of VN..."Joekel", Old Norse and modern Icelandic, definitely means "glacier".There are mountains in Iceland incorporating the word. There are no mountains or glaciers of any sort in Denmark. R.L.Stevenson might have had Hyde's hairiness in mind. Dr Jekyll was perhaps a rather glacial sort of fellow....
JM: Both Kinbote and Shade were kind of hairy and, who knows, might have a heart of ice...

Charles to the List: "Bodkin" ..."etymologically speaking, a uniquely English word, deriving its sense from "little body".If you search hard and long, you will eventually find English dictionary definitions for it... These would in part appear to be influenced by Shakepeare's use of the word....Shakespeare's employment of "bodkin", in Hamlet's "bare bodkin", is to exploit its distinctive difference object which would more properly belong in a woman's sewing-basket. Hamlet is dwelling on its insignifance, even feebleness... The "bot(e)" in "Kinbote" primarily means "remedy". Specifically, it could mean "cure", eg of an illness; or "penance/penalty"; eg a fine for some breach of the law...

JM to CK: As Charles pointed out, words are not as docile as we want them to be. They often they mean more than we originally intended them to mean... VN could not foresee the significance that would be attached to his choice of the name "Kinbote."
JM: I mean "significance" ( pointing to a "signifier")

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