Another gender-tease, edging the reader towards the traditionally feminine side of the fence.
In Greek mythology, the goddess Psyche is most commonly represented by a butterfly, hence the association of the butterfly with the soul. The butterfly is also seen as a symbol of transformation, of good luck and of beauty.
The Red Admiral is a colourful butterfly, found in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Listen on Spotify: The Marriage of Figaro
Orthodox Judaism favours a strict interpretation of, and adherence to, the laws set out in the Talmud. Orthodox Jews are supposed to observe several core practices and are prohibited from certain sexual practices, amongst them adultery and homosexuality.
It has already been suggested that Elgin is a masochist, and we later find out that he uses prostitutes, thus committing adultery. Since we do not know the gender of the narrator we cannot tell whether or not his/her relationship with Louise is a homosexual one, and therefore whether Elgin's reaction to it is further affected by his religious beliefs.
Stamford Hill is an area of the London Borough of Hackney. It is home to a large Jewish community.
'Frum' is a Yiddish word, meaning devout, pious. The term 'Frummer' can be used in a derogatory sense, to mean someone who is overly concerned with the technicalities of their religious prescriptions and prohibitions. The word has the same negative connotations as 'holier-than-thou'.
By sending his Orthodox Jew parents a Christmas Card, Elgin is mocking them and their faith.
Viyella is a fabric made from a wool-cotton blend.
Invented in 1893, it was the first fabric to become a brand name.
Richard Wagner was a 19th century German composer, best known for his operas. Wagner's music was admired by Adolf Hitler, and appropriated by the Nazis to promote their own ideologies.
Listen on Spotify: The Mastersingers of Nuremberg
Edgar Allan Poe was a 19th century writer, most famous for his macabre and mysterious short stories and poetry.
Here the narrator is evoking a disembodied or possessed hand with a life of its own.
The Macallan is a type of single-malt scotch whisky.
It's interesting to note that the narrator, on this occasion, is identifying with the behaviour of a woman.
This is another gender-tease, leaving the reader asking: what type of genitals is the narrator afraid for?
A half-nelson is a type of hold used in wrestling.
In the Bible (as in this story), Uriah was the husband of Bathsheba. This would suggest that the narrator is concealing their real names from the reader, and therefore has possibly changed other names too.
NSU stands for 'non-specific urethritis', a sexually transmitted infection that is often caused by, or leads to, chlamydia. Since the reader has already been told that Bathsheba only gave the narrator 'emotional clap', this revelation again suggests his/her unreliability as a storyteller.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was an 18th century Italian composer.
Listen on Spotify: Vivaldi Oboe Concerto in C