Page 352. " The little dogs and all - Tray, Blanche and Sweetheart "

This is a quote from Act III, Scene VI of Shakespeare's play King Lear.

Page 352. " Toussaint "

Toussaint - on November 1st - is the Christian celebration of All Saints Day, or All Hallows.

Page 362. " La Motte Fouqué's Undine "

 Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué (1777 - 1843), was a German writer of romantic and fantasy stories. His most famous work is Undine, a tale based on that of Melusine, and also in part resembling The Little Mermaid. It has been called 'the most beautiful' of all fairytales. Compare the real-life name of 'la Motte' in connection with a Melusine-like tale to the fictional LaMotte in Possession.

Page 366. " huge teeth like Baba Yaga or the wolf in the English tale "

In Slavic folklore Baba Yaga is a witch or hag who kidnaps and eats small children. She flies through the air in a mortar, using a pestle to steer her way, and a silver birch broom to sweep away the tracks left behind her. She lives in a wooden cabin that stands on a giant pair of chicken legs. Her home is protected by magic, sharp teeth, and human bones. In some stories she helps people, guiding them in their quests, and in others she menaces and kidnaps. In all she is dangerous. Baba means 'grandmother' or 'old woman', and Yaga has several possible meanings: 'lazybones' or 'sluggard'; 'pain'; 'question', 'doubt' or 'quarrel'.

The wolf in question is a character from the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. A little girl - Red Riding Hood - sets out through the woods to take a basket of food to her grandmother. On the way she meets a wolf, who questions her as to her task, and suggests that she stop to pick some flowers. The wolf then gets to the grandmother's house first, eats her, and puts on her clothes and climbs into her bed. When Red Riding Hood arrives he pretends to be the grandmother, but Little Red exclaims "What big teeth you have!" at which the wolf replies "All the better to eat you with!" and swallows her whole. In most modern versions of the tale, Little Red and her grandmother are rescued by a passing hunter who cuts the wolf open and pulls them out.


Page 369. " Weep, Weep, the great god Pan is dead "

Pan teaching Daphnis to play the flute
Public DomainPan teaching Daphnis to play the flute - Credit: Haiduc
In Greek mythology, Pan is a rustic nature god, protector of flocks, forests, mountains, hunting and all wild things. His top half is human, but he has the hindquarters and legs of a goat, complete with hooves. He is bearded with goat horns on his head. He is a sexual figure, often depicted with a phallus, and is associated with fertility and spring. He is a lover of nymphs and delights in rustic music, as shown by his famous pan-pipes. There is a tale that Pan is one of the few gods to die, and the news of his death was delivered to a sailor, by a voice on the breeze calling out "The great god Pan is dead!"

Page 370. " Aesop's frozen serpent "

This is a reference to the moralistic tale of The Farmer and the Viper, one of Aesop's Fables. A farmer finds a viper frozen in the snow. Pitying it, he picks it up and places it inside his coat to warm it. The viper revives and bites the farmer, inflicting a fatal wound. In an alternate version, the farmer takes the viper home and warms it by the fire, where it awakes and threatens his family and has to be killed with an axe. The moral speaks of kindness betrayed by the ungrateful, and of the unchanging nature of evil.

Aesop's Fables

Page 373. " Ariosto "

 Ludovic Ariosto (1474 - 1533), was an Italian poet. He is the author of Orlando furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando, or Mad Orlando), a romantic epic that traverses history and geography, and is filled with fantastical creatures and magical elements. It is said to have been a major influence on Spenser's Faerie Queene.