NABOKV-L post 0024068, Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:48:10 -0700

Re: [ TRIVIA] Colt, Coates,
Oates and Starov in PF and RLSK. Thimbles and daedalian plans
To Jansy and the List,

And exactly what kind of physician was Dr Colt, do you suppose? andisn't it
interesting that he lived so near to the Shade residence? I find it so.
Somewhere where he could keep an eye on a certain young man, whose other nearby
and next door neighbor was also probably keeping an eye out for the young


and don't let's forget the astronomer, Starover Blue, also keeping an eye in the
sky out for young John. They certainly hadhim covered!

For those who haven't the foggiest idea what I'm talking about, I have long had
a theory that John Shade is the young miscreant that was judged by Judge
whatsisname (next-door neighbor) with the alphabetic daughters, for having offed
his parents when he was but a wee bairn. And then complained he was a poor
orpheling that had to be watched over by wicked wicked aunt Maud, who perverted
him and .... oh go look it up. It's all in the archives. And there's
nothingtrivial (or quadrivial either of that matter) about it.

From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Fri, April 26, 2013 1:12:01 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] [ TRIVIA] Colt, Coates, Oates and Starov in PF and RLSK.
Thimbles and daedalian plans

Let's start with similar sounding names in PF and RLSK:

PF John Shade: "The article was by Jim Coates" [ ] "And though old doctor
Colt pronounced me cured..."

Kinbote: "some of my most desperate queries, such as the real name of "Jim
Coates" etc., " [ ] "I saw a couple, later identified for me as Mr. Colt, a
local lawyer, and his wife," [ ] " like Ben Kaplun and DickColt with
whom we went to school [ ]
RLSK - "Coates (the doctor) is right when he says that my heart is too
small for my size. [ ] "famous heart-specialist, Dr Oates, advised Sebastian
to spend a month at Blauberg"

Amid the name transformations that are taking place (intentionally meaningful?
or did I beging to wax Kinbotean?), the name of Shade's friend, Dick Colt, and
his neighbor's daughter Mrs. Starr are mentioned in the same breath "Oh, I saw
them all. I saw ancient Dr. Sutton, a snowy-headed, perfectly oval little
gentleman arrive in a tottering Ford with his tall daughter, Mrs. Starr, a war
widow. I saw a couple, later identified for me as Mr. Colt, a local lawyer, and
his wife.."
that I'll set aside to RLSK's doctors: "he refused to take to his bed as Doctor
Oates prescribed....Lately I have been seeing a good deal of old Dr Starov, who
treated maman [ ]" *


Now onto two little items from RLSK (mostly wild associations):
(a) A prophetic reference to squirrels and racing cars: 'Once upon a time,'
Uncle Black was saying, 'there was a racing motorist who had a little squirrel;
and one day...'

(b) A special place for thimbles:

" 'I could take your rook now if I wished,' said Black darkly, 'but I have a
much better move.'
He lifted his queen and delicately crammed it into a cluster of yellowish pawns
— one of which was represented by a thimble"

"'I am at your service,' said Pahl Pahlich (he had lost, I saw, and Black was
putting the pieces back into an old card-board box — all except the thimble). I
said what ..."

My mother came back for a moment to fetch the thimble she had forgotten and
quickly went away, for the men were in a hurry.

Cp. with Shade's PF: "Then you turned and offered me/ 260 A thimbleful of
bright metallic tea."

and to CK's notes: "What satisfaction to see him take, like reins from between
his fingers, the long ribbon of man’s life and trace it through the mystifying
maze of all the wonderful adventure.... The crooked made straight. The
Daedalian plan simplified by a look from above — smeared out as it were by the
splotch of some master thumb that made the whole involuted, boggling thing one
beautiful straight line." because, when Daedalus and his labirynth is
mentioned close to a simplifier's thumb, I think of thimbles ("dedal" in
Portuguese, here related to "finger") and about the similarity bt. its
labyrithine irregularities and the maze of fingerprints ( I once posted about
it in the VN-L). ]**
* Lest we forget J.Shade's lines: "My fingernails and vaguely am aware / Of
certain flinching likenesses: the thumb,/ Our grocer’s son; the index, lean and
glum/ College astronomerStarover Blue .." and CK's notes to line 627:
"Presumably, permission from Prof. Blue was obtained but even so the plunging
of a real person, no matter how sportive and willing, into an invented milieu
where he is made to perform in accordance with the invention, strikes one as a
singularly tasteless device, especially since other real-life characters,
except members of the family, of course, are pseudonymized in the poem./ This
name, no doubt, is most tempting. The star over the blue eminently suits an
astronomer though actually neither his first nor second name bears any relation
to the celestial vault: the first was given him in memory of his grandfather, a
Russian starover (accented, incidentally, on the ultima), that is, Old Believer
(member of a schismatic sect), named Sinyavin, from siniy, Russ. "blue." This
Sinyavin migrated from Saratov to Seattle and begot a son who eventually changed
his name to Blue and married Stella Lazurchik, an Americanized Kashube. So it
goes. Honest Starover Blue will probably be surprised by the epithet bestowed
upon him by a jesting Shade. The writer feels moved to pay here a small tribute
to the amiable old freak, adored by everybody on the campus and nicknamed by the
students Colonel Starbottle, evidently because of his exceptionally convivial
habits. After all, there were other great men in our poet’s entourage — For
example, that distinguished Zemblan scholar Oscar Nattochdag."(there are VN-L
postings on Starov)
** View Message ...
Returning to "logodaedaly," not only etymologically, but also analogically,
there are innumerous related links to the labyrinthine sworls in human
digits, thumbs and thimbles, Daedalus and "daedal" [ daedal: 1580s, "skillful,
cunning," from L. daedalus , from Gk. daidalos "skillful, cunningly wrought."
Also an Anglicized form of the name Daedalus from Gk. mythology
(1610s). ...There's also daedal/ dedal: derived from the Latin word digitus
(finger; digit, interlocked by finger-like processes; finger; finger; toe;
finger's breadth) and from the Proto-Indo-European root *deik- (to show, to
pronounce solemnly; to throw).
"...Were it not for the Greek mythological figure Daedalus, skillful creator of
the Cretan labyrinth, we never would have this word. It appears in the OED in
both the capitalized (Daedal) and lower-case (daedal) form. The former is the
Anglicized form of Daedalus, but it can also be a noun which means a labyrinth.
But the far more prevalent appearance of the term is as an adjective, meaning
"skillful, cunning to invent or fashion." Edmund Spenser's Fairie Queene (first
three books published in 1590) holds pride of place for its first usage. "All
were it Zeuxis or Praxiteles, His daedale hand would fail and greatly faynt."
The language approximates epic, particularly slow-going for an era that has
lost its oral and aural capacity for epic literature. Reference has been made
to the "daedale hare," the "daedal harp" of Blind Harry the Harper, or the
"daedal hand of Titan." Anything skillfully made can also be called something
"daedal," as, for example, the "daedal nets" or the "daedal fancies" in the
"quaint mazes of the crisped roof." There is another meaning of daedal, derived
from the phrase "natura daedala rerum" of the 1st Century BCE Epicurean
poet/philosopher Lucretius, and in this usage it means the varied or variously
adorned nature of things. As Wordsworth could say, "For whose free range the
daedal earth/ Was filled with animated toys." ... the OED lists seven other
words derived from daedal, such as daedaleous, daedalian, daedalous and, my
favorite, daedalize, to bring more precision to the word. Space only allows a
reference to the verb daedalize, meaning "to make intricate or maze-like." From
1618: "Wee Lawyers then, who dedalizing Law, And deading Conscience, like the
Horse-leach drawe." Just as I like the phrase "the ordinary dactylology of
lovers" from above, I am drawn to a phrase describing lawyers, "who daedalize
law and deaden conscience." That is, lawyers tend to make things so intricate
that the gentle voice of conscience is completely swallowed up. And, to think
that someone could have made that observation in 1618..." - 27 Nov 2006 ... -

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