NABOKV-L post 0026727, Wed, 23 Dec 2015 07:55:11 -0800

Hamlet in Lolita
Lolita's husband Dick Schiller has a friend called Bill. This friend is not from Stratford-upon-Avon, but let's say that he is:
"Somewhere beyond Bill's shack an afterwork radio had begun singing of folly and fate ..."
Unusually for him, Nabokov made it relatively simple to identify Will Shacksper (one contemporary spelling of his name) with Bill's shack. Folly and fate evoke Hamlet, but why the "afterwork radio"? Because that was Nabokov's crossword puzzle clue for "ham" radio. Ham, Hamlet.

Would it be too much to hope for? -- from "Ham Radio's Technical Culture" by Kristen Haring, page 84:
"Later GE joined a long list of companies—Kodak, RCA, AT&T, CBS, Eastern Air Lines, and Lockheed, to name a few—that supported employee groups that met during lunch breaks or AFTER WORK to talk about HAM RADIO."

Even before Dick and Bill enter in person, we are told that "Sounds of hammering came from behind the house" which is the sound of the roof of Bill's shack being fixed. Even the word "hammering" is an verbal adumbration of Hamlet.

In Ben Jonson's "Every Man In His Humour" (1598) the phrase uttered by Cob -- "hammering, hammering revenge" is an allusion to Hamlet.

The phrase "Hamlet, revenge" was already part of the lingua franca of the theatrical community. In 1596 Thomas Lodge had written about
"the vizard [mask] of the ghost who cried so miserably at the Theatre like an oyster-wife, "Hamlet, revenge!"" -- Wit's Miserie.

The wordplay transcends generations. Ham, Hamlet, hammering.

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