----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: reply to DM

----- Original Message -----
From: Dmitri Nabokov
To: 'Don Barton Johnson' <mailto:chtodel@cox.net>  
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 9:19 AM
Subject: reply to Jane Morrison & Carolyn Kunin

Glass press  : “a large (usually shelved) cupboard, esp. one placed in a recess in the wall, for holding clothes, books, etc….” (Oxford, vol. VIII, p. 1314, def. IV. 14). Sometimes simple is best.

Best regards,


Dear DN,

I found the definition you quote above under Press, not Glass press. Could our dictionaries differ?

Under Glass in the OED I found glass-press: "1875 Knight's Mech. Dict.: 'a device to apply pressure to glass in a mold while in a plastic state." A search of the internet shows "glass press" and "glass-press" used interchangeably.

So which did Stevenson intend? He does not use a hyphen, and there is no mention of any oven or heating device, so  he probably means "glass cupboards," which probably  refers to  cupboards in which he kept his glass chemical paraphernalia.

So I withdraw my glassworks claim. But glass and mirror and metamorphosis are all certainly present in the doctor's cabinet.