This quartet is indeed like a tapestry: try to follow a thread, and you're soon lost in the weave.
I'm doing research right now, about chapter 7 of Nile Shadows. I managed to locate the (Thomas) Mann quote (it's from "Joseph and his Brothers", vol. 1), to learn a bit more about the Athanasian Creed, and what do I find on page 121? A dreadful pun/reference to Herman Hesse.
I hope I didn't miss more puns...
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