JF: ... "the worst parts of James Joyce", and quoting  McDiarmid's "incremental exorbitance" and "antecendently token of the venitseason"...
MR: I'd be interested to see if N&Q says "venitseason" (as VN does) or "venit season"...
 
VN: ( quoted by BB, p.893,"from draft notes in Nabokov's archive"): " The 'little language' used by Jonathan Swift in his letter to Stella and the 'incoherent transactions' of Angus M'Diarmid the author of 'A description of the Beauties of Edinample and Lochearnhead' 1841 are heard through the worst parts of James Joyce like the 'incremental exorbitance' of a cataract 'which is antecedently token of the venitseason.' "
DZ: VN could have found various references to Angus MacDiarmid in Southey's letter. The latter's bizarre prose may have roused his curiosity, but the few short phrases Southey quotes at different loci would probably not have been sufficient to make the connection to 'Finnegans Wake'..
JM: Perhaps future www-searches after "Edswitch" will also provide a rote to hunt Joyce, M'Diarmid and Swift...I remember VN related the "worst parts of James Joyce" not only to incremental exorbitances, but also to "excremental inorbitances", probably a taste  both JJ and Swift shared, not Southey and Kinbote. 
In Joris-Karl Huysmans's Rebours ("Against Nature"), Des Esseintes surrounds himself with orchids and, if still I recollect his adventures, he also experimented with rats, like Southey. Being an omnivorous reader VN would certainly smell many anti-natural rats: did he ever mention decadent Huysmans through Kinbote?
 
btw: Interesing. We have Angus M'Diarmid describing the surface beauties of Lochearnhead, while Hazel experimented with the depths of Lochanhead. Actually only Hazel's locus allows for the inellegant pun: "Loch:hole in German; head"...   

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