Colby, Nathalie Sedgwick. Green Forest. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1927.
Click on items in contrasting print for more information.
p. 6: "...fairy palaces with an Alhambra dream..." - reference to Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Andalusia, Spain
photo: Thirrouard via Wikipedia
p. 7: "...a boy going by with a Thorley box..." - refers to a New York City florist
p. 11: "...in the equinoctial..." - celestial equator: the projection into space of the earth's equator; an imaginary circle equidistant from the celestial poles.
p. 13: "Barclay held out a radio to Suzette on a silver salver." - refers to a message sent by means of radio waves instead of through wires or cables.
A silver salver - photo: R. de Salis
p. 16: "...the reasons had no de quoi..." - literally, whereof or what, herein essentially meaning no substance
p. 16: "Just flané-ing about..." - from flâner: to stroll or saunter
p. 21: "...turned Suzette into a bacchante, flaming." - from Dictionary.com:
..." - From Dictionary.com: lorgnette [lawrn-yet] (noun) 1. a pair of eyeglasses mounted on a handle; 2. a pair of opera glasses mounted on a handle.
Also note, from Dictionary.com: lorgnon [French lawr-nyawn] (noun, plural lorgnons) 1. an eyeglass or a pair of eyeglasses; 2. opera glasses.
p. 90: "...Suzette's mind sagged, and she went back to read The Green Hat." - As described at Google Books: First published in 1924 and a massive best-seller, this is ostensibly the story of a wild young widow with a shady past and a taste for fast cars and adultery, set mostly in Mayfair just as the Twenties began to roar. As well, Arlen muses on the English upper classes, still dazed by the First World War, and regales the reader with philosophical asides and reflections on the nature of women, drunkenness, doctors who specialize in diseases of the rich, the management of nightclubs, and much more: finally delivering a shattering ending to this quest for the true nature of his heroine.
p. 97: "...the fertile earth and the stars God and Pan, the great diapason." - From Dictionary.com: diapason [dahy-uh-pey-zuh n, -suh n] (noun, Music): 1. a full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.
p. 97: "My wife is giving me the basilisk eye..." - From Dictionary.com: basilisk [bas-uh-lisk, baz-] (noun) 1. Classical Mythology. a creature, variously described as a serpent, lizard, or dragon, said to kill by its breath or look.
p. 176: "At a dinner, put one next to a plenipotentiary and there might be a butler in the offing so much nearer." - From Dictionary.com: plenipotentiary [plen-uh-puh-ten-shee-er-ee, -shuh-ree] (noun) 1. a person, especially a diplomatic agent, invested with full power or authority to transact business on behalf of another.
p. 179: "Arambaru picked out a marron for her from the ice cream." - From Dictionary.com: marron [mar-uh n, muh-rohn; French ma-rawn] (noun) 1. a large European chestnut, especially as used in cookery: candied or preserved in syrup.
p. 181: "...it didn't need Mr. Piggott to tell one, "It's Tosti's 'Good-bye Summer' my wife sings best.""
Falling leaf and fading tree,
Lines of white in a sullen sea,
Shadows rising on you and me;
Shadows rising on you and me;
The swallows are making them ready to fly,
Wheeling out on a windy sky, Good-bye,
Summer! Good-bye, Good-bye, Summer Good-bye!
Hush! A voice from the faraway!
Listen and learn, it seems to say,
All tomorrows shall be as today.
All tomorrows shall be as today.
The chord is frayed, the cruse is dry,
The link must break, the lamp must die.
Good-bye to Hope! Good-bye, good-bye!
Good-bye to Hope! Good-bye, good-bye!
What are we waiting for? Oh! My heart!
Kiss me straight on the brows!
And part! Again! Again! My heart!
What are we waiting for, you and I?
A pleading look, a stifled cry,
Good-bye, forever! Good-bye, forever!
Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye!
p. 187: "...she had Dr. Watkins' banting list before her..." - From Good Housekeeping: Banting is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, named after William Banting. The idea is that this way of eating makes your body switch from burning carbs for energy to burning fat.
p. 191: "...those cabmen who called one cochon and other names so foul..." - French: pig
p. 196: "The furniture too was a delirium: Louis Quatorze scampering its legs and garlands..." See Louis XIV for a short description and history of this furniture style.
p. 197: "Garlands were furbelows..." - From Dictionary.com: furbelow [fur-buh-loh] (noun) 1. a ruffle or flounce, as on a woman's skirt or petticoat; 2. any bit of showy trimming or finery.
p. 198: "...the child was really using Arambaru as a quack panacea; a huge dose of the anodyne." - From Dictionary.com: anodyne [an-uh-dahyn] (noun) 1. a medicine that relieves or allays pain; 2. anything that relieves distress or pain.
p. 199: "...his wife....was ensorceling Mr. Atwater with "Good-by, summer."" - From Dictionary.com: ensorcell or ensorcel [en-sawr-suh l] (verb) to bewitch.
p. 200: "...he looked like the children in the book that Mother had bought--Propreté et Politesse." - French: cleanliness and politeness.
p. 201: "...must keep on showing her letters to Clemenceau and Lloyd George, asking her advice about what he should do about those old fellows." - Georges Benjamin Clemenceau was a French politician, physician, and journalist who served as Prime Minister of France during the First World War. A leader of the Radical Party, he played a central role in the politics of the French Third Republic. Wikipedia
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman. Wikipedia
Clemenceau (left) - Lloyd George (right)
p. 205: "...Bach....Beethoven....Shakespeare. They passed supernal food across the footlights; these great masters who gave the efflorescence of the reinterated dust back to men." - From Dictionary.com: supernal [soo-pur-nl] (adjective) 1. being in or belonging to the heaven of divine beings; heavenly, celestial, or divine; 2. lofty; of more than earthly or human excellence, powers, etc.; 3. being on high or in the sky or visible heavens.
p. 205: "Synge had caught the women clear in his mind..." - Edmund John Millington Synge was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, travel writer and collector of folklore. He was a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival and was one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre. Wikipedia
From Ask About Ireland - Synge: Four Plays: Riders To The Sea deals with the routine tragedies suffered by fishing families on the Aran Islands who regularly lost sons at sea. Maurya, the main character has lost her husband, father-in-law, and five sons drowned. News arrives that the remains of one of her sons were washed up in Donegal. Her final son Bartley leaves to sail for Connemara to sell a horse only to fall from his horse into the sea and also perish. The play faithfully portrays the grim fatalism of the Irish peasantry struggling to survive in a harsh environment.
p. 206: "...this Mr. Punderson did them like a Bougereau." - William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. Wikipedia
Click here to see Bougereau's works. There doesn't seem to be a painting of fishermen's wives specifically, but I've linked to one called Daughter of Fisherman 1872, and I assume the reference is to his general portrayal of women, not to one particular painting.
p. 207: "...Queenie, reproachful, in the doorway of the saloon, looking like Mother's picture of the Cenci." - Beatrice Cenci was an Italian noblewoman. She is famous as the protagonist in events leading to a lurid murder trial in Rome that gave rise to an enduring legend about her. Wikipedia
The portrait of Beatrice Cenci below on the left is probably the one referenced. However, on the right is one titled Damenportrait (große Ähnlichkeit zu Beatrice Cenci), which Google translates as Ladies portrait (great similarity to Beatrice Cenci). I think she looks a lot more reproachful, no?
p. 210-211: "No good to laugh it away as a gentleman with a white beard (a Murillo nursery complex)..." - Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children. Wikipedia
Sorry, reader, I wasn't able to find any additional information to help me understand this reference.
p. 211: "...the fairy tale of a child who ate a cherry-pit, finding himself later all bosked with a tree..." - From Dictionary.com: bosk (noun) a small wood or thicket, especially of bushes.
A little grammatical liberty seems to have been taken here, as I do not find bosk listed as a verb (or anything else!) anywhere.
p. 233: "...there was a Velasquez....that hung in Peru. "I might have stepped out of the canvas," he said." - Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV, and one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age. Wikipedia
I was not able to locate any information on which Velasquez painting is referenced here, but Arambaru has a bit of an ego, and I suspect he would like to think of himself stepping out of this one, The Infante Don Carlos.
p. 234: "...there wasn't a dash of Inca about Aunt Serena, in her black bombazine dress and small bonnet..." - Bombazine, or bombasine, is a fabric originally made of silk or silk and wool, and now also made of cotton and wool or of wool alone. Quality bombazine is made with a silk warp and a worsted weft. It is twilled or corded and used for dress-material. Black bombazine was once used largely for mourning wear, but the material had gone out of fashion by the beginning of the 20th century. Wikipedia
One hopes Aunt Serena's bombazine dress was more in tune with the 1920s than this one:
p. 252: "Suzette moved slowly about the cabin, not turning on the light... Making misty little Tanagras all over the room, Shirley thought, watching....the child slip off her shoes. When she reached for her wrapper her arms were stems on which she swung, a white blossom for Shirley in a soft indecision of light." - The Tanagra figurines were a mold-cast type of Greek terracotta figurines produced from the later fourth century BC, primarily in the Boeotian town of Tanagra. Wikipedia
A Tanagra at Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
p. 283: "C'est la vie, il faut savoir s'y prendre..." - French: "That's life, you have to go about it..."
p. 295: "No wonder this woman comforted old Mr. Atwater, reassuring him in a Shulamite way." - The Shulamite Woman was the heroine of Song of Solomon and the epitome of real love for Right Man.