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#98167 - 03/09/03 01:10 PM Jelkes?
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Why might have Tennessee Williams used "Jelkes" as Hannah Jelkes' surname in The Night of the Iguana

Coffin is a good name for her aged grandfather, and certainly Ms. Fellows, who's a lesbian, but hasn't come face-to-face with the fact, is another well-chosen name.

But Jelkes? For the spiritual Ms. Jelkes? I can't find a thing online or in the Britannica. Rev. Shannon refers to her as a 'female Budhha.'

Anyway, I'm intrigued by the play and would really like to ferret out a plausible reason for Williams' having named his artist-in-residence in this play as he did.



P.S. I put this question down in here with etymology because I've asked too many questions this week in Q&A.


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#98168 - 03/10/03 12:21 AM Re: Jelkes?
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I googled Jelkes. It seems to be a Dutch name. One link was about Dion Fortune's "The Goat-Foot God", which had a character called Mr. Jelkes, the owner of an occult bookshop who was trying to set up a centre for occult studies in an abandoned monastery. Dion Fortune was a novelist and writer on occultism in the 1920s and 1930s. I don't know if that helps.

Bingley
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Bingley

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#98169 - 10/30/03 08:12 PM Re: Jelkes?
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
In reply to:

One link was about Dion Fortune's "The Goat-Foot God", which had a character called Mr. Jelkes, the owner of an occult bookshop who was trying to set up a centre for occult studies in an abandoned monastery.


Wouldn't that be the oddest thing, Bingley, if Williams named the ethereal, artistic Miss Jelkes after a character associated with the occult--and writer, too!? The women in the play are different facets of the female--the female torn into three guises. But Shannon is clearly drawn to the spiritual Miss Jelkes--and she completely lacks the sexual spart that is part of the conjunction of Shannon's fall. He is such an overtly sexual--yet at the same time sexually repressed character. And Miss Jelkes is of the Spirit--the real Spirit--the Spirit that the Church has lost in Shannon's view.

So, I wonder about your Jelkes theory. There may be a bit of truth in it if it could be shown that Williams was interested in Dion Fortune.

Of course, Miss Jelkes jilts Shannon...and there's that 'j' and 'l' connection, too.


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