NABOKV-L post 0024061, Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:25:44 -0300

[ TRIVIA] Colt, Coates,
Oates and Starov in PF and RLSK. Thimbles and daedalian plans
Let's start with similar sounding names in PF and RLSK:

PF John Shade: "The article was by Jim Coates" [ ] "And though old doctor Colt pronounced me cured..."

Kinbote: "some of my most desperate queries, such as the real name of "Jim Coates" etc., " [ ] "I saw a couple, later identified for me as Mr. Colt, a local lawyer, and his wife," [ ] " like Ben Kaplun and Dick Colt with whom we went to school [ ]
RLSK - "Coates (the doctor) is right when he says that my heart is too small for my size. [ ] "famous heart-specialist, Dr Oates, advised Sebastian to spend a month at Blauberg"

Amid the name transformations that are taking place (intentionally meaningful? or did I beging to wax Kinbotean?), the name of Shade's friend, Dick Colt, and his neighbor's daughter Mrs. Starr are mentioned in the same breath "Oh, I saw them all. I saw ancient Dr. Sutton, a snowy-headed, perfectly oval little gentleman arrive in a tottering Ford with his tall daughter, Mrs. Starr, a war widow. I saw a couple, later identified for me as Mr. Colt, a local lawyer, and his wife.."
that I'll set aside to RLSK's doctors: "he refused to take to his bed as Doctor Oates prescribed....Lately I have been seeing a good deal of old Dr Starov, who treated maman [ ] " *


Now onto two little items from RLSK (mostly wild associations):

(a) A prophetic reference to squirrels and racing cars: 'Once upon a time,' Uncle Black was saying, 'there was a racing motorist who had a little squirrel; and one day...'

(b) A special place for thimbles:

" 'I could take your rook now if I wished,' said Black darkly, 'but I have a much better move.'
He lifted his queen and delicately crammed it into a cluster of yellowish pawns - one of which was represented by a thimble"

"'I am at your service,' said Pahl Pahlich (he had lost, I saw, and Black was putting the pieces back into an old card-board box - all except the thimble). I said what ..."

My mother came back for a moment to fetch the thimble she had forgotten and quickly went away, for the men were in a hurry.

Cp. with Shade's PF: "Then you turned and offered me/ 260 A thimbleful of bright metallic tea."

and to CK's notes: "What satisfaction to see him take, like reins from between his fingers, the long ribbon of man's life and trace it through the mystifying maze of all the wonderful adventure.... The crooked made straight. The Daedalian plan simplified by a look from above - smeared out as it were by the splotch of some master thumb that made the whole involuted, boggling thing one beautiful straight line." because, when Daedalus and his labirynth is mentioned close to a simplifier's thumb, I think of thimbles ("dedal" in Portuguese, here related to "finger") and about the similarity bt. its labyrithine irregularities and the maze of fingerprints ( I once posted about it in the VN-L). ]**


* Lest we forget J.Shade's lines: " My fingernails and vaguely am aware / Of certain flinching likenesses: the thumb,/ Our grocer's son; the index, lean and glum/ College astronomer Starover Blue .." and CK's notes to line 627: "Presumably, permission from Prof. Blue was obtained but even so the plunging of a real person, no matter how sportive and willing, into an invented milieu where he is made to perform in accordance with the invention, strikes one as a singularly tasteless device, especially since other real-life characters, except members of the family, of course, are pseudonymized in the poem./ This name, no doubt, is most tempting. The star over the blue eminently suits an astronomer though actually neither his first nor second name bears any relation to the celestial vault: the first was given him in memory of his grandfather, a Russian starover (accented, incidentally, on the ultima), that is, Old Believer (member of a schismatic sect), named Sinyavin, from siniy, Russ. "blue." This Sinyavin migrated from Saratov to Seattle and begot a son who eventually changed his name to Blue and married Stella Lazurchik, an Americanized Kashube. So it goes. Honest Starover Blue will probably be surprised by the epithet bestowed upon him by a jesting Shade. The writer feels moved to pay here a small tribute to the amiable old freak, adored by everybody on the campus and nicknamed by the students Colonel Starbottle, evidently because of his exceptionally convivial habits. After all, there were other great men in our poet's entourage - For example, that distinguished Zemblan scholar Oscar Nattochdag."

(there are VN-L postings on Starov)

** View Message ...
Returning to "logodaedaly," not only etymologically, but also analogically, there are innumerous related links to the labyrinthine sworls in human digits, thumbs and thimbles, Daedalus and "daedal" [ daedal: 1580s, "skillful, cunning," from L. daedalus , from Gk. daidalos "skillful, cunningly wrought." Also an Anglicized form of the name Daedalus from Gk. mythology (1610s). ...There's also daedal/ dedal: derived from the Latin word digitus (finger; digit, interlocked by finger-like processes; finger; finger; toe; finger's breadth) and from the Proto-Indo-European root *deik- (to show, to pronounce solemnly; to throw).
"...Were it not for the Greek mythological figure Daedalus, skillful creator of the Cretan labyrinth, we never would have this word. It appears in the OED in both the capitalized (Daedal) and lower-case (daedal) form. The former is the Anglicized form of Daedalus, but it can also be a noun which means a labyrinth. But the far more prevalent appearance of the term is as an adjective, meaning "skillful, cunning to invent or fashion." Edmund Spenser's Fairie Queene (first three books published in 1590) holds pride of place for its first usage. "All were it Zeuxis or Praxiteles, His daedale hand would fail and greatly faynt." The language approximates epic, particularly slow-going for an era that has lost its oral and aural capacity for epic literature. Reference has been made to the "daedale hare," the "daedal harp" of Blind Harry the Harper, or the "daedal hand of Titan." Anything skillfully made can also be called something "daedal," as, for example, the "daedal nets" or the "daedal fancies" in the "quaint mazes of the crisped roof." There is another meaning of daedal, derived from the phrase "natura daedala rerum" of the 1st Century BCE Epicurean poet/philosopher Lucretius, and in this usage it means the varied or variously adorned nature of things. As Wordsworth could say, "For whose free range the daedal earth/ Was filled with animated toys." ... the OED lists seven other words derived from daedal, such as daedaleous, daedalian, daedalous and, my favorite, daedalize, to bring more precision to the word. Space only allows a reference to the verb daedalize, meaning "to make intricate or maze-like." From 1618: "Wee Lawyers then, who dedalizing Law, And deading Conscience, like the Horse-leach drawe." Just as I like the phrase "the ordinary dactylology of lovers" from above, I am drawn to a phrase describing lawyers, "who daedalize law and deaden conscience." That is, lawyers tend to make things so intricate that the gentle voice of conscience is completely swallowed up. And, to think that someone could have made that observation in 1618..." - 27 Nov 2006 ... -

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