Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023663, Wed, 13 Feb 2013 15:54:17 +0000

THOUGHTS: PF & Symonds' Italian History
Back in 2008 I noted VN's refiguring, in PF, of a passage from Symonds' Renaissance in Italy: The Age of Despots:


1. PF: (End of note 171): "When the fallen tyrant is tied, naked and
howling, to a plank in the public square and killed piecemeal by the people
who cut slices out, and eat them, and distribute his living body among
themselves (as I read when young in a story about an Italian despot, which
made of me a vegetarian for life)."

2. From a footnote in "Renaissance in Italy: The Age of the Despots," by
John Addington Symonds (1898): "Dattiri was bound naked to a plank and
killed piecemeal by the people, who bit his flesh, cut slices out, and sold
and ate it--distributing his living body as a sort of infernal sacrament
among themselves."

I have now done some more reading in that very entertaining book, and I feel fairly certain that the following passages are connected also.

PF: (n. 62): "Everybody knows how given to regicide Zemblans are: two Queens, three Kings, and fourteen Pretenders died violent deaths, strangled, stabbed, poisoned, and drowned, in the course of only one century (1700-1800)" (95).

Symonds: "No one believed in the natural death of a prince: princes must be poisoned or poignarded. Out of thirteen of the Carrara family, in little more than a century (1318-1435) three were deposed or murdered by near relatives, one was expelled by a rival from his state, four were executed the Venetians. Out of five of the La Scala family, three were killed by their brothers, and a fourth was poisoned in exile (120)."

It should be noted that this passage occurs one page previous to the passage above concerning Dattiri.

Matt Roth

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/