Fran Assa: "There are some real
Assyrian bearded men statues on the website of the British Museum, but I
couldn't copy them here!"
JM: Fran, thanks for helping me
Google-magic continues to deliver its goods (I
wonder how VN would have responded to this kind of omnivorous search-tool...).
Under "Assyrian beard" I found, besides the
habitual name of some rock-band, an enormous amount of information,
beginning with biblical references to a punishment inflicted by the
Lord toward Judea, "shaving the hair of the
king's head, beard and legs", to a curly beard fashion cultivated
in late XVIIthC France.
What I thought more interesting, qua Nabokov,
was a conjecture (not confirmed) that the Assyrians, like the Egyptians,
might have favored false beards.
There are lots of false beards in Pale
Fire used by loyal followers of Charles II to deceive his
pursuers. Shade's mane of hair seems to be real, but I read that Samuel
Johnsons' was a wig. False and True,
Fiction and Deceit...interesting themes to accompany a